Sara Bay Country Club
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Sara Bay Country Club

7011 Willow St, Sarasota,Florida,34243
Type: Private
No. Holes: 18
(941) 355-6544
Detailed description

Sara Bay Country Club is a Private 18 hole golf course located in Sarasota, Florida.

Sara Bay Country Club Golf Course first opened for play in 1926. The course was designed by Donald Ross. Joe Lee redesigned the course in 1980. Brian Silva restored and updated the course in 1991 and 2006.

Opened in 1926 under the original name of Whitfield Estates CC, the club was the centerpiece of Whitfield Estates, one of Florida's first golf course communities. The plan was conceived and developed by a prominent Atlanta businessman, Perry Adair. He retained the services of the most respected golf course architect of the time, Donald Ross, to design a premier course with the flavor of Pinehurst #2. To insure the success of the venture, Mr. Adair recruited his personal friend, Robert 'Bobby' Jones, to be the sales manager for the real estate surrounding the club. Additionally, the club's first head golf professional was 'The Silver Scot' Tommy Armour.

Shortly after the club opened, it was the site of the fabled match between the world's best amateur, Bobby Jones, and the best professional, Walter Hagen. For the record, Jones recalls in his autobiography that it was the worst "drubbing" he suffered in his career, but went on to say that he regarded "Whitfield Estates course as one of the best in America".

In 1964 the club's name was changed to Sara Bay Country Club, reflecting its proximity to Sarasota Bay, and became an independent private club. After a round on the course, a sports writer once said that "Sara Bay CC exudes a restrained elegance that can only come with time and tradition. The course offers what golf was meant to be, exciting, fun and challenging a test for every club in your bag".

The greens at Sara Bay Country Club, more than any other of Donald Ross' courses, mirror his famous design at Pinehurst No. 2. Brian Silva, a leading expert on Ross designs, confirmed this similarity when he undertook the restoration of the course in 1991. In the fall of 2006, Silva completed an extensive renovation, the scope of which included all new tee complexes, a rebuilding of all bunkers, improved drainage, re-grassing of fairways, and conversion of putting surfaces to TifEagle Bermuda. Throughout every facet of this project, extraordinary care was taken to preserve the integrity of the original Ross design.

Par for the course is 72. From the back tees, the course plays to 6,686 yards. From the forward tees, the course measures 5,172 yards. The longest hole on the course is # 7, a par-5 that plays to 560 yards. The shortest hole on the course is # 4, a par-3 that plays to 140 yards from the back tees.

Watch out for # 5, a 383 yard par-4 challenge and the #1 handicap hole on the course. The easiest hole at Sara Bay Country Club is # 16, a 189 yard par-3.