Golf on Longboat Key, Florida
Nothing is more relaxing than starting your day off with an early tee time at a world-class golf course. Luckily, it’s easy to do on Longboat Key. Consistently rated among the country’s finest golf courses, The Resort at Longboat Key Club has earned Golf Digest’s prestigious “Best Places to Play” award and continues to serve as Florida’s premier golf resort.
Why golf you may ask? The golf course is a great place for you to get away from the everyday chaos of your life and enjoy some relaxed time with friends—whether old or new. It’s filled with friendly, interesting, and successful people. Over the past 40+ years I’ve enjoyed playing golf with people from different walks of life and been lucky enough to make lifelong friendships with different people from different parts of the world. Lasting friendships can be started and grow right at the golf course. In fact, my own obsession with chasing a little white ball around a golf course began around age 6, and I still think back on those awkward moments on the school bus with golf clubs in tow.
The Longboat Key Club is very inviting. If you show up at the resort with less than a foursome, you can often be paired with others. It’s easy to plug into weekly events as well, such as golf mixers, or a 9-hole scramble featuring a team event, which includes 2 men and 2 women.
Test your skills on the tree-line Harbourside Golf Course that runs along Sarasota Bay or the challenging Links at Longboat Golf Course on the Gulf side of the island. No round of golf is ever the same.
This challenging, 27-hole layout features three, nine-hole courses . The Red course is 3,314 yards; the White course is 3,342 yards; and the Blue course is 3,368 yards. There are 4-5 sets of T boxes to match individual player’s ability. All courses have been recently resodded with Platinum Paspalum grass.
The White Egret nine measures 3,342 yards and has the least amount of water of the three nines. Don’t let the lack of water on this nine fool you. Its difficulty is found in tight fairways which demands accuracy off the tee. Once you’ve positioned yourself correctly, big inviting greens give you plenty of target to aim at.
The Red Hawk was redesigned by architect Ron Garl, who challenges the golfer with many risk and reward opportunities. More open and forgiving than the White Egret, this nine has water that plays into many shots. The Red Hawk measures 3,314 yards and the Platinum Paspalum grass playing surface gives you a great lie every time and makes the game a pleasure to play.
The final nine at Harbourside is the famous “Blue Heron”, measuring 3,368 yards—the signature nine of all holes. Golf course architect Ron Garl completed a $2-million renovation of the Harbourside Blue Course in January of 2005. Mr. Garl rebuilt the putting surfaces, added new bunkers and chipping areas. Number 5 on the Blue Heron, a par-5 - 580 yard challenge could easily be called the signature hole of the entire Harbourside Golf Course. The horseshoe-shaped hole with its peninsula green features water the entire length - water which may be crossed twice. This hole has it all - length, water, sand and beauty. The player must hit three good golf shots in a row to avoid all of the trouble that awaits. Bordering Sarasota Bay with breathtaking views at every turn, these nine “signature” holes challenge every part of your game.
Redesigned by Ron Garl in 2014, The Links on Longboat (formerly the Islandside Course) has many characteristics of a classic seaside links course . It looks like one of those old-time Florida courses you used to see on postcards. Ocean breezes, expansive natural areas and big greens create an incredible golfing experience.
Links on Longboat stretches out to 6,672 yards from end to end with five sets of tees to accommodate any level of play. Known as the “watery challenge,” the 6,672 yard course borders the Gulf of Mexico with water hazards coming into play on all 18 holes. Accuracy off the tee is essential, and the greens roll quickly and true. More than 5,000 palm trees and pink and white blooming oleander line the fairways and canals, making The Links one of Florida’s most beautiful courses.
The Par 71 layout demands accuracy off the tee. Most holes feature small waterways that run along one side of the fairway to force you into a decision on placement validating the original “watery challenge” description.
I admit it – I love golf. Golf is one of the oldest and most enjoyed games around. It offers you a challenge each time you play, at the same course or different ones. There are few sports like golf which allow for so many little achievements. It needn’t be winning a tournament, nor even beating your opponent – accomplishments could be as minor as holing a putt or avoiding a “penalty area”.
The list goes on – making a par, making a birdie, striping a drive on a testing hole, or getting cleanly out of a bunker. Golf is a love/hate relationship that we keep coming back to, no matter how many times we have fallen short, for those heart-pounding moments of triumph. If you’d like to talk more about these incredible courses, call me – one thing I probably know as well as Longboat Key real estate, is Longboat Key golf.