Just in time for the busy, winter, tourist season, three area golf courses have reopened after multimillion-dollar restorations.
Sara Bay Country Club, closed since April, reopened early in October.
Bradenton Country Club, at 4646 9th Ave. W., reopened Oct. 26 after being closed since April 15 for a $2.5 million restoration, and the Mission Valley Golf & Country Club in Nokomis is to reopen Friday after closing April 22 for $1.8 million in work.
Two-time major winner Tony Jacklin and club director of golf and PGA professional Brian Lake led the upgrade project at the Bradenton club. The club said the entire course was renovated, including complete green replacement with Tif Eagle and Tif Grand grass. All fairways and roughs were stripped and sprigged with Celebration Bermuda Grass. Greenside and fairway bunkers got new sand and drainage.
Cart paths were replaced with crushed limestone, six large waste areas recaptured the original Donald Ross design, several tee boxes were updated, illusion bunkers were removed, the driving range was sprigged and landscaping and arbors were updated.
Bradenton Country Club also is now offering an ultrasonic club-cleaning machine provided by Rational Golf LLC of Bradenton. The machine uses millions of imploding gas bubbles to remove dirt “at a microscopic level,” the company said.
The Bradenton club also has its own club-fitting studio operated by Lake, who is a trained operator of BioMatch equipment, which determines the optimum weight of each club.
The refurbished course will be the venue for the Manatee Chamber of Commerce’s annual golf tournament Dec. 7.
Bradenton Country Club is a private, member-owned club that was established in 1924.
Along with the golf course renovation, Bradenton Country Club made its pool resort-style with private cabanas, a new playground, Palm Café, and a planned commercial-grade tube slide. The club also includes a fitness center, seven Har-Tru tennis courts and a pro shop, two full-service restaurants and six pickle ball courts.
Nokomis’ Mission Valley Golf & Country Club, which marked its 50th anniversary last year, underwent a renovation designed by a well-known Miami-based design team. The work included a total re-grassing of the course with TifTuf hybrid Bermuda grass.
Greens were enlarged and re-grassed with an ultra-dwarf TifEagle grass, new tees were added, helping golfers at all skill levels. Bunkers were repositioned and upgraded and natural sandscape areas added and lakes expanded.
“Everyone knows Mission Valley’s golf course is a great, walker friendly layout,” general manager Doug Slusser said. “The location is ideal and this renovation is timely with the explosive population/housing growth in Venice and southern Sarasota, the club continues to upgrade itself to attract new members.”
Mission Valley, at 1851 Mission Valley Blvd., is the area’s only private country club not attached to a residential development. It also includes tennis facilities.