A number of area country clubs and courses currently are undergoing extensive renovations in the hopes of attracting more golfers. Most will reopen in the fall. Here’s a list of clubs reporting major upgrades and what they are improving:
Head pro Brian Lake reports that Bradenton Country Club closed April 15, and he hopes to reopen it mid-October.
“We are doing a complete regrassing of whole the course,” he said. “We are also redoing all green side bunkers drainage up. Fairway bunkers will be resanded. We removed all asphalt cart paths and are installing limestone waste areas in their place. We removed nearly 500 poorly planted trees and planted 204 palms in their place. We are excited to unveil an incredible transformation in the fall. “

Legacy Golf Club will be closing June 4th to redo all of the greens with TifEagle Bermuda. They will also be doing cart path repair and green side bunkers on select holes. The clubhouse and pro shop will be closed for repainting / redecorating so there will be no food service, but the driving range will be open. September 15th is the target reopening date.


According to James Mason, director of golf and club operations for Coral Hospitality, Jacaranda will reopen about Oct. 1 after an extensive renovation that began in April.
The tee boxes, fairways and rough at Jacaranda will be replaced with Celebration Bermuda grasses. The Nos. 11 and 12 greens will be redone with TifEagle Bermuda grass. All the greens will be reshaped, cutting them back to their original size.
“We want to bring the golf course back to its original design,” said Mason. “It should be the best golf course in the area.”
Other area courses under Coral Hospitality include Rosedale, Riverwood, Eagle Ridge in Fort Myers and Arrowhead in Naples.


Sara Bay Country Club, a private member-owned golf club located north of downtown Sarasota, began an extensive restoration of the legendary Donald Ross championship golf course on April 30th. Considered one of Ross’ personal favorites, the Club has hosted the Senior PGA Championship in the 1940’s, the LPGA Tour in the 1950’s, numerous FSGA Men’s & Women’s Championships, the 100th Women’s Southern Amateur and most recently, the LPGA Symetra Tour.

“We began a restoration of the original Donald Ross design to the greens on April 30,” said Paul Barone, a PGA Master Professional, and COO/General Manager.
“Along with restoring the greens we are redoing all of the bunkers on the course with capillary concrete liners and angular sand, rebuilding five tees, doubling the size of the practice putting green and redesigning the short game practice area. Our goal is to reopen the course by October 1.

Leading the project is Kris Spence of Spence Golf Inc., a nationally recognized leader in the design, renovation, and restoration of classic golf architecture. The firm’s experience, spanning over 20 years and 60 golf courses, is best known specifically for the restoration of the unique elements of Donald Ross designs.
“The primary focus of the project will be to restore the greens and bunkers closely to the Ross field drawings. This will include reducing crowning on the greens and tapering the approaches, as well as restoring strategic bunkering and shot angles. The restoration will also include visibility improvement of fairway bunkering, construction of five new teeing areas and enlarged practice putting and short game areas,” said Barone.
“We’re very excited to revitalize our course and deliver an outstanding golf experience to all of our members and guests. Donald Ross designed a true masterpiece, and we are honored to provide a golf experience that can only come with time and tradition,” said Daren King, PGA Head Golf Professional.
About Sara Bay Country Club
Founded in 1926, Sara Bay Country Club is a private, member-owned golf club located north of downtown Sarasota, Florida’s cultural capital, and a short drive from the Gulf Coast Keys of Longboat, Lido, St. Armands, Bird, and Siesta, as well as Lakewood Ranch. The tasteful décor of the old Florida-styled clubhouse creates a warm ambiance, while it exudes an understated elegance. Festive seasonal events feature live entertainment, dancing and gourmet meals. Full-service locker rooms for both men and women further enhance the traditional atmosphere of the Club. The Club offers members the unique combination of tradition, camaraderie and exceptional golfing experience. During the golf course restoration, the restaurant will be open serving lunch to members Monday-Saturday and dinner on Friday evenings.
About Spence Golf Inc.
Kris Spence is recognized as one of the leading golf course architects in the design and restoration of classic golf architecture. A traditionalist at heart, Kris brings his passion and understanding of the golden era courses to each project. His ability to integrate design, construction, maintenance, and management comes from 25+ years of experience in every facet of the golf business.
“We are regrassing the entire golf course,” said Brian Dahl, the head pro at Mission Valley. “That includes fairways, rough, greens and tee boxes”
The course has been closed since April 23 to complete the $2 million renovation under the supervision of renowned architect Tom Fazio.

Greens will be TifEagle Bermuda and rest of the course will be TifTuf Bermuda grass. All tees and bunkers will be reshaped.
Dahl said the course should reopen by Nov. 1 to the almost 300 members.


Currently, 27-hole Myakka Pines Golf Club in Englewood is not doing any renovation but architect Ron Garl has talked to the board of directors about a five-year plan. Greens were renovated two years ago.


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Mark Cardon

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