One of the most frequent criticisms leveled at Tom Fazio is that the quality of his course designs is often obscured by the clusters of homes that invariably line each hole. Not this time. The architect was handed a 350-acre tomato field in western Florida without a subdivision in sight and the results are superb.
Located 20 minutes from downtown Sarasota and bordered by the Braden River, the Ritz-Carlton Members Club is a sprawling 7,549-yard layout that weaves through mature oaks and palms and hops over and around 16 man-made lakes. The dirt excavated to create those water hazards adds instant character in the form of fairway mounds that top 30 feet.
As its name suggests, this is primarily a members club, but you can tee it up as a guest of the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota, which is 14 miles from the course. The Members Golf Club opens this month.
Greens fees are $165-$225. Walking is encouraged. For tee times call 941-309-2000 or visit ritzcarlton.com