With snowbird season in full swing, there are plenty of new golfers in the area who may be unfamiliar with which local golf courses are the best to play.
In a five-part series, the Sun will highlight some of the most enjoyable golf courses that the area has to offer.
We began with Sarasota National Golf Club and highlighted Heron Creek Golf and Country Club last week.
The fourth course in our series is …
Plantation Golf & Country Club
For golfers looking to belong to one course, Plantation Golf & Country Club is one worth the investment.
Plantation is one of the few golf clubs in the area to boast 36 well-designed and maintained holes — providing a lot of replay value.
Along with its variety, Plantation has also proven to be a challenging course for even the professionals as it has hosted LPGA qualifying tournaments each year.
There’s also an air-conditioned driving range, chipping and putting greens, and lessons offered with an hourly rate from the club pros.
Above all, the ability to play two different courses it what sets Plantation apart.
“Panther tempts you to go for shots that you shouldn’t instead of playing smart, and Bobcat plays a little longer but is more forgiving,” Plantation head golf pro Julie Edgar said. “If you want to belong somewhere and you don’t want to feel locked in, it’s nice not to have to play the same course every day.
The variety of its 36 holes is hard to find. Plantation is one of the few golf clubs in the area with two separate 18 hole courses.
“Having 36 holes is unusual in itself around here,” Edgar said. “And they’re distinctly different, so you don’t feel like you’re playing the same golf course every day.
“Bobcat was the original golf course and it’s much longer and wider, and Panther is tighter and much more of a shot-making course.”
Panther’s Claw: No’s. 12, 13, 14 and 15
This stretch includes some of the signature holes of Plantation Golf & Country Club. These four holes include two island greens and some tough tee shots.
Bobcat: No. 18 — A 412 yard Par 4 where the green is tucked away just past water and between two bunkers — creating a difficult approach shot.
“It’s always been a classic finishing hole for the LPGA because it’s a difficult hole and there’s some tricky pin placements,” Edgar said of No. 18 on the Bobcat course.
Members have the benefits of not only exclusive access to its 36 holes, but also a full clubhouse including a bar, lounge are and fully stocked pro shop.
Members also have the option of paying for some golf lessons and have access to the tennis courts, bocce ball, pickleball, aquatics and a fitness center.
$125 (accompanied guest rate)
Memberships range anywhere from a full membership (unlimited access to golf and tennis) rate of $5,350 joining fee + $749 (plus tax) per month to a social membership (limited access to golf and tennis) fee of $1,200 joining fee + $233 (plus tax) per month.
Booking a tee time
Through April, it’s best to call up to six or seven days in advance to get a preferred tee time. However, because the course is fully private, you must be either a member or a guest to book one.
500 Rockley Blvd., West Villages