It?s not uncommon to stumble upon fake alligators as you make your way around a mini-golf course. But at Smuggler's Cove's locations, live American alligators snap their jaws in exhibits nestled amid the miniature fairways. With an old-fashioned bamboo pole players can dangle a treat above 20?50 of the predatory alligators, which leap from the water to snatch their treat. Between feeding frenzies, games take place on Smugglers Cove?s 18-hole outdoor courses, where balls roll past rushing waterfalls, into caves, over mountainous terrain, and into a hole in a pirate ship.
Designed by Ted McAnlis to take advantage of the area’s natural wetlands, the fairways at The Preserve Golf Club are riddled with water hazards and marshy areas. Water comes directly into play on 9 of the course’s holes, and players end up traipsing across 11 bridges as they hit their way from beginning to end. Many stumble at the 3rd hole, whose aim-blocking sabal palms earn it a handicap of 1, or at the course’s signature 17th hole, which drowns balls left and right. The course’s greens are newly recarpeted with ultradwarf bermuda grass, and pines, oaks, and palms line the fairways, their branches grasping at stray balls like nature’s catchers' mitts.
Before tackling the aquatic mischief of the championship course, golfers can take aim at the island target greens of the aqua driving range, where 40 hitting stations let players gear up for the watery course. After facing down the fairways, players select from a deli-style menu at Ryder Cup Grille, which features live music from artists such as Larry Crane, longtime guitarist for John Mellencamp.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 7,000 yards * Course rating of 74 * Slope rating of 141 * Three tee options * See the scorecard
With a stay at Resort at Longboat Key Club in Longboat Key, you'll be by the ocean and convenient to Mote Marine Aquarium and St. Armands Circle. This 4-star resort is within close proximity of South Lido Park and Gulfcoast Wonder & Imagination Zone.
Make yourself at home in one of the 218 guestrooms featuring refrigerators and microwaves. Rooms have private balconies. 42-inch flat-screen televisions are provided, with cable programming available. Bathrooms have designer toiletries and hair dryers.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Pamper yourself with a visit to the spa, which offers massages, body treatments, and facials. When the sun is out, a round of golf or a day at the private beach are two great options for taking advantage of the fine weather. Additional amenities include concierge services, supervised childcare/activities, and babysitting/childcare. If you'd like to spend the day shopping, you can hop on the complimentary shuttle.
Satisfy your appetite at one of the resort's 6 restaurants. Relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge or a poolside bar.
Business, Other Amenities
Event facilities at this resort consist of conference/meeting rooms, small meeting rooms, and a ballroom.
At Evie’s Golf Center’s mini-golf course, putter-wielding patrons embark on an 18-hole, par 40 odyssey through treacherously sloped, emerald-turf corridors kissed by the gentle mist of hole-side waterfalls. Outduel old rivals with a smooth and dependable putting stroke, or use the round as practice to fine-tune new techniques such as using your own double-gripped putter or intimidating finicky orbs until they take cover in each hole.
Each of the three courses in the Pope Golf portfolio challenges golfers with a unique layout that incorporates pristine features of Florida’s natural landscape. At Misty Creek Country Club, players share a wildlife preserve with exotic birds and try to keep their golf balls out of local vegetation and bald-eagle hairpieces. River Wilderness Golf and Country Club showcases a dramatic layout that drapes across 150 acres of an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. Nearing its 40th anniversary, Bent Tree Country Club surrounds players in sylvan beauty as they play their way through a 6,863-yard track that has hosted US Open qualifiers and Florida state high-school championships.
Misty Creek Country Club at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-72 course * Total length of 6,895 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 73.3 from the back tees * Course slope of 137 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole
Bent Tree Country Club at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-72 course * Total length of 6,880 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 73.2 from the back tees * Course slope of 133 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole
River Wilderness Golf and Country Club at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-72 course * Total length of 7,072 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 74.8 from the back tees * Course slope of 134 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole
Freedom Fairways Golf & Tennis 18-hole executive course packs the experience of a full round into a modest 3,099-yard layout. Playing to a par of 63, the course presents a favorable layout for novices, who can also elect to rent clubs from the pro shop unless they want to see what they can shoot using only a tire iron. The facility also encompasses outdoor tennis courts with plexicushion surfaces designed to reduce wear-and-tear on players' feet.