Snaking alongside the Boca Ciega Bay, The Tides Golf Club's 18-hole course confronts golfers with oceanfront breezes that are both relaxing and a challenge to tee shots on tree-lined fairways. Waterways come into play on 12 holes and figure more prominently on the back nine, where a pond imperils errant golf balls on every single track. Tidwarf grass adorns the course's elevated greens, which provide a true surface for golfers to roll their putts or roll their toy-sized golf carts.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,329 yards from the tips * Course rating of 70.6 from the tips * Slope rating of 123 from the tips * Three tee options * See the scorecard
After a $1.8 million makeover in 2007, Largo Golf Course invites visitors to cruise down its lush new fairways and attack reworked greens while gunning for a par of 62. The executive course includes 8 par 4s and 10 par 3s, adding up to a total distance of 3,335 yards from the back tees. Between strokes, players cruise in an electric cart, which provides a smoother ride than a dogsled pulled by the most committed caddies.
Course at a Glance:
The one-hour, two-person lessons focus heavily on swing improvement. During the lessons, golfers will learn how to successfully decrease strokes. Check out this video for a 60-second preview of what to expect during a lesson. Establishing a natural swing almost takes the golfer out of the game by removing the human element known as over-thinking. This Groupon includes necessary balls, but you should bring your own clubs to re-familiarize yourself with them; part of successfully forging that no-think stroke is using a consistent club of choice. Sign up with a friend, or alone to be placed into a session by Mike.
Pinebrook/Ironwood’s 3,964-yard executive course challenges every golfer’s stroke and strokes every retina with its beautiful Gulf Coast surroundings. Water borders 16 of the fairways, with 37 bunkers, or 6.4 million years in hourglass time, buffering the well-manicured greens. Budding Ben Hogans can cruise the course in their own golf cart and line up on super-quick Champion Ultra-Dwarf Bermuda grass, which is said to outperform traditional Bermuda for producing a true roll and distorting Mayday signals.
You don't want to go into the first hole Waterlefe Golf & River Club's 18-hole, Ted McAnlis-designed course cold. Like many tracks on the formidable course, the opening par-five curves around Manatee River and its surrounding ponds; the river imperils any opening drives that veer right, and a separate pond awaits to gobble up any approach shots that miss to the left. From a birds-eye view, parts of the course look like shapely crescents of green carved into the deep-blue waterways. Unfortunately, you'll have to compromise your enjoyment of the scenery with the challenge of avoiding it.
Played from the tips, the par-three 9th hole plays to 230 yards, and it's all marsh from the tee to the green. The river hugs both sides of each of the final three holes, giving each golfer one last chance to prove they can keep their ball dry without having to dress it in a tiny wetsuit.
Though the course may be a harrowing challenge to some, PGA pro Steve Dietz has made it his home. As director of instruction at The Golf Academy of Waterlefe, Steve draws from 25 years of experience as a golf pro to create the curriculum used by his staff of fellow PGA instructors. The Golf Academy's ultimate goal is to help golfers hit straighter drives, more accurate approach shots, and longer putts en route to lower scores. Lessons often incorporate a combination of video swing analysis, user-friendly online tools, and other modern training devices. In addition, the Academy's club-fitting services match golfers with their ideal club set based on swing technique and body type so they know they're getting the most out of their equipment.
Course at a Glance:
Silver Dollar Golf Club’s 18-hole course is designed to challenge both beginning backswingers and golf gurus. Focus on fundamentals and follow-throughs as you and a friend vehemently cart around fairway bunkers and traverse through the well-manicured course. Water hazards and majestic trees surround the sprawling course, making precision a crucial factor in preventing mulligan malpractice lawsuits.
Situated in the cool shadows of cypress trees and home to glistening ponds, Northdale Golf & Tennis Club's 6,824-yard course reflects architect Ron Garl's vision to sculpt a layout that capitalizes on natural beauty without spoiling it. A former dairy farm, the emerald expanse challenges golfers with tree-lined fairways, water hazards that appear on multiple holes, and white-sand bunkers, which greenskeepers procure in bulk by trimming Zeus's beard every spring.
Tennis instructors preside over the club's nine lighted tennis courts, grooming forehand strokes in lessons and ensuring an even-spread layer of dust over the clay surfaces. The Compass Grille awaits hungry visitors and tennis balls that have lost their bounce at the end of the day, serving up deli-style fare and drinks from a full-service bar with a variety of imported and domestic beers.
Course at a Glance:
Northdale Golf & Tennis Club's rates fluctuate throughout the day and week.