Imperial Lakewoods

Imperial Lakewoods Golf Club - Palmetto, FLImperial Lakewoods opened for play in 1987 and was promptly ranked as one of the area’s best courses by Golf Digest. Situated on more than 500 beautifully wooded acres with 16 lakes, majestic maples, large oaks, swaying palms, and rolling terrain, Imperial Lakewoods is unique among Florida golf courses. The golf course was designed by Ted McAnlis (also the architect of the Blue Monster at Doral), who took the natural terrain surrounding Imperial Lake and produced one of his finest creations.

Not satisfied with its ranking among the top 2 or 3 public access local courses, Imperial Lakewoods has recently completed a 3-year, $3-million expansion and renovation of the course, clubhouse, restaurant and related amenities. The improvements include four new or renovated golf holes.

mperial Lakewoods is conveniently located at exit 45, directly off I-75 and one mile north of the intersection of Interstates 75 and 275. The course is located approximately 10 minutes from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and 30 minutes (or less) from Sarasota, Bradenton, Tampa and St. Petersburg.

Aside from its convenient location, and easy access via interstate highways, there is little doubt that 60,000 golfers each year are primarily attracted by Imperial’s championship golf and affordable rates.

Imperial Lakewoods Golf Club - Palmetto, FL The featured holes are the first, second, third, fourth, and seventh holes on the front nine and the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th holes on the back nine. These holes earn the respect of every golfer who plays them, as they blend with the natural surroundings to produce some of the finest golf found anywhere.

Like many of McAnlis’ designs, Imperial Lakewoods plays comfortably from the senior (silver) tees and is an enjoyable and fair course from the white tees. conversely, the course can be difficult from the tips, testing professional or low-handicap players.

One of the most picturesque holes on the course is the third. This challenging par-3 features a peninsula green and plays anywhere from 125 to 180 yards. The wind is always a factor, making club selection difficult. The shot requires accuracy and courage to avoid the water left, right and long.

The fourth is a dogleg-left par-4 measuring 394 yards from the back tee. This hole requires an accurate tee shot of at least 200 to 250 yards (depending on tee location) to carry the corner and see the green. You then need to hit a well-directed iron to a green guarded by sand on the left and trees. If you make it past the four opening holes anywhere close to par you’ve done extremely well.

The back nine has four of the finest finishing holes in golf. The 15th is a short, straight par-4 with water right and trees left. This hole requires an accurate, tee shot, then a well-placed iron into a small green. You may think birdie on the tee, but you are very happy with par when you leave the green.

Imperial Lakewoods Golf Club - Palmetto, FLThe 16th is a scenic par-3 that plays anywhere from 155 to 190 yards. Water catches shots short and left of this large green. Club selection is difficult because the tee sits back in a valley sheltered from the wind. Always check the flag on 15 because the wind will be blowing even though you may not feel it on the 16th tee.

At the 17th, you need to collect your nerves for the final two holes. There is no bail-out from this point on, as distance and accuracy are your only companions. Seventeen requires a long, straight tee shot to a tree-lined fairway. You must then choose the correct club for the long, uphill second shot to place your ball on the proper level of this three-tiered green. There is at least a three-club difference from the front to the back of this green. Three-putting on this hole is sometimes not all that bad.

The 18th is the signature hole of Imperial Lakewoods Golf Club, and is ranked as one of the best par-5s in Florida. At 600 yards from the back tees, this hole requires a long, accurate drive, an accurate second shot, and a perfect third shot to a green with water left and long right and a bunker in front. Don’t be intimidated from the tee (you’ll see nothing but water on the left) or you will be in for a big number on this hole. Your second shot needs to be played well right of the water, and the third shot should come back toward the water but not over it. Not that the hole isn't difficult enough, but don’t forget to check out the wind, which is always blowing hard off Imperial Lake. When you finish this hole, you’ll understand the frequent comparisons to the famous 18th at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

In addition to championship-caliber golf, Imperial Lakewoods Golf Club offers a wealth of amenities including a grass tee driving range; practice bunker and chipping areas; a fully stocked golf shop; breakfast and lunch; a beverage car on course; golf instruction by PGA professionals; and banquet and tournament capabilities.

Championship golf at affordable rates at a convenient location, combined with the ease of interstate travel, make Imperial Lakewoods a “must” place to visit and play.

Book your tee times directly 24 hours per day, seven days per week at: www.ILWGC.com, or call Imperial Lakewoods Golf Club at (941)747-4653 or toll free: 1-800-642-2193 from Hillsborough or Pinellas counties.

 

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