One of the newer additions to the vast array of golf courses in the Sarasota area is Sarasota National – a Troon Golf property. Nestled in what someday will be an upscale Pulte development, Sarasota National has the feel of a Scottish style links course. Like most Troon properties, this course has well manicured fairways and is in pristine condition year round. On thing you can always count on at Sarasota National is a nice breeze blowing in off of the gulf, according to the folks in the pro shop.
This Gordon Lewis designed course opened in early 2008. The course plays anywhere from 5069 yards for the ladies to 7344 yards from the championship tees. The course rating is 74.2 with a slope of 129. There is also a well maintained driving range complete with chipping and putting greens.
The “maintenance free” lifestyle of Sarasota National offers residents plenty of time for golf or relaxing in the huge, 18,000 square foot clubhouse where you will find fine dining and a bar. Plans include a 10,000 square foot community center that will feature tennis courts, a resort style pool and a state of the art fitness center.
Number 2: Par 4, 425 yards. This dogleg right begs you to try and cut the corner. If you dare to try, make sure you carry the deep bunkers on the right. Fly the traps and you are left with a short chip to the pin which sits on a very undulating green.
Number 7: Par 5, 560 yards. An enjoyable par 5 that is reachable in two. Since the green sits behind the lake on the left, your tendency is to play down the left side. Play it down the middle of the fairway to give you a better angle in to the green and you can fire at the flag. Should your approach shot fly the green, fear not; there is a good chance that the bunker behind the green saves you from going in the swamp. The bad news is that the impending bunker shot is no picnic. The green slopes back to front which could be a saving grace depending on pin placement
Number 10: Par 5, 460 yards. Keep your tee shots to the left side of the fairway to avoid the marsh on the right. A good layup shot will leave a pitch of about 80 yards to an elevated, well bunkered green.
Number 13: Par 4, 382 yards. This green is drivable from the gold tees (327 yards) depending on the wind; not so from the back tees. Keep your tee shot right of the fairway bunkers and then you should have a relatively short approach shot to an uphill green that features several undulations.
Number 18: Par 4, 390 yards. This is a risk/reward hole, a dogleg right that wraps around a small lake. A good line off the tee is the tall palm tree that bisects the fairway bunker on the left and the water. From there your approach shot will probably need to carry a little bit of the lake (depending on pin placement). There are a couple of nasty pot bunkers in the front left part of the green. Par here is a good finish on a great course.
The one thing that is never lacking at Sarasota National is the wind. Because it is so wide open, and near the gulf, there is always a strong breeze. It can be reminiscent of playing a round in Scotland – without the jet lag! This will change dramatically once the planned community is built up. However, given the economy, that could take a while. Enjoy it while you can. All in all, Sarasota National is an enjoyable course that is well kept and is a welcome addition to the Troon collection of courses.
You can reach Sarasota National online at www.sarasotanationalgolf.com or give them a call at (941) 496-8676.