Venetian Golf and River Club

Some may consider it a stroke of genius. This brand new 18-hole, par-72 luxury golf course is quite a masterpiece. Bordered by the tranquil Myakka River and surrounded by native Florida landscaping, the perfect day of golf begins here.

With over 660 acres of the 1,000 acre-span devoted to the golf course, lakes, wetlands and conservation areas, it would be tempting to play the course based solely on the view. However, this 18-hole championship golf course is so much more. It’s a true adventure packed with challenging opportunities and thought provoking prospects. Bordered by old growth forest and the Myakka River, Venetian Golf & River Club is unique to Sarasota County and is one of WCI’s finest projects. Both the golf course and community will participate in the Audubon Signature Cooperative Sanctuary Program aimed at providing a comprehensive approach to environmental planning and education.

The golf course at Venetian Golf & River Club is fast becoming the standard of excellence for those choosing a dynamic golfing experience. Renowned golf course architect and designer Chip Powell has done a magnificent job of re-crafting the existing terrain into a true test of skill. Taking his inspiration from the work of the early masters including Ross, Tillinghast and MacKenzie, Powell offers players the opportunity to once again play golf “the way it was meant to be played.”

Those of all abilities will enjoy the strategically placed holes that offer optional play routes and demand fevered risk and reward decision-making. Five sets of tee markers ranging from 5,000 to 6,900 yards are designed to accommodate even the longest hitters. Strategy, thoughtfulness and shotmaking skills are far more important than strength alone at this premier Florida course.

Fairways are wide but demand that shots be played to the proper side to get the best angle for approach to the green. Although land in this part of the country is known to be extremely flat, this course is anything but. It features wide and rolling fairways framed with natural looking mounds, strategically located bunkers and an abundance of grass hollows. The true character of the course is defined by the many bumps, rolls, humps and hollows that demand inventive approach shots and imaginative strategy for those needing a recovery after failing to reach the green in regulation. Roughs are spacious and cut only slightly higher than the fairways. The green surrounds are closely mowed, ensuring the option to play approach shots and recovery shots from the ground. Fast greens that average 5,800-square-feet are sloped from front to back, side-to-side and contoured in a manner that makes position on the green one of the most important elements. However, like all great greens, the best place to be on this green is anywhere but above the hole. Avoid this at all costs.

The bunker style on the course is very reminiscent of the pioneer work of Tillinghast and MacKenzie whose artistry led the way in the area of fine golf course architecture. Fairway bunkers are moderately penalizing and should be avoided if holes are to be played in regulation. While plenty of space is available for the timid to play away from the hazards, those who choose to challenge them will be rewarded with the best approach angles and shortest distances to the hole.

The front nine starts out with a spacious medium-length par-four followed by the shortest par-five of the course. Both holes give players the perfect opportunity to warm up before traversing to the challenging holes ahead. The fifth, aptly named the “Abyss,” will demand accuracy and patience if one is to score well. This 365-yard par-four will require players to challenge an eight-foot-deep bunker surrounded by native grasses that are centered within the fairway. Position rather than length off the tee and a fearless approach shot will be the key to conquering this undulating green, closely guarded by water on the left side.

Beginning at the 15th, players will face the shortest par-4. This sharp dogleg, protected by deep bunkers aligning the left side, often tempt the player to bite off more than can be chewed. At the 16th, players face the opposite challenge from this medium-length par-4 that doglegs to the right. The natural wetlands protecting the right side of the hole will once again tempt the aggressive player to cut the corner and shorten the hole. Those who choose to challenge the bunkers on the left side off the tee will find a favorable approach angle to a closely guarded green, sloped markedly from left to right.

Venetian Golf & River Club is a semi-private facility offering memberships featuring exclusive golfing opportunities for those who join. The perks include preferred tee times, complimentary green fees, special tournaments, practice facilities and more. For additional information, you may contact Brian Keller at 941-270-0049 or visit the temporary clubhouse located just east of I-75 exit 195 at 103 Pesaro Drive, North Venice. Great golf and a convenient location, make Venetian Golf & River Club the best place to play and relax.


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