For years, Forest Lakes Golf Club in Sarasota was one of the most popular golf courses in the area, but time and the recession that hit in 2008 took a toll on the course. The property remained closed for more than 10 years and then in 2016 it was reapportioned and golf course architect Gordon Lewis was called on to design a new course. The result is a golf course that will delight and amaze every caliber of golfer.
The Palms Golf Club at Forest Lakes is a truly unique layout. The new Palms Golf Club is a par 64 course that will challenge every aspect of your game regardless of how good or bad you are. You’ll find four sets of tees with distances ranging 2,731 and 4,545 yards, making it a great course for juniors and newcomers to the game. Celebration fairways, mature trees and TifEagle greens that typically run about 10.5 – 11 on the stimpmeter make for great golfing conditions.
What makes the “Presidential”-style course so unique is that the front nine is a regulation-length nine with a par of 35 while the back nine features 7 par 3’s and two par 4s for a par of 29. In essence, it’s two totally different nine-hole layouts, each with their own special features. Regardless of your skill level, you’re probably going to use every club in your bag. And several golf balls too!
There are several holes out here that you won’t soon forget, starting with the first. You can’t see it from the back tee, but there’s a creek down the left side that crosses the fairway about 220 yards out and can ruin what you thought was a great tee shot. Take something a little less off the tee, and leave yourself a short pitch onto a flat, relatively small green protected by a single bunker front right.
The par 5, 3rd hole has two water hazards in play down the right side. The first one comes into play about 190 yards from the back tees. The landing area off the tee between the water and trees left is narrow, so choose your club wisely off the tee. The fairway opens up a bit between the second water hazard and the tree line so leaving your layup shot about 100 yards short of the green is a safe lay and leaves a manageable approach shot into another small green. The second pond is being enlarged, which will only add to the beauty of this hole.
The shorter “Presidential” back nine starts with one of the toughest holes on the course. It’s a narrow par 3 that plays 177 yards from the back tees with trees down the right side and a retention pond on the left that shouldn’t come into play. In fact, there’s nothing good to the left! The green is fronted by a bunker front right. Par is a great way to start this nine.
At 241 yards from the back tees, Number 11 is a risk/reward par 4. For my money, the reward greatly outweighs the risk, especially if a draw is in your shot repertoire. There’s a bunker front left that catches anything short. The green is pretty small but seems to hold shots well.
If for some reason you don’t feel like playing a round of golf at The Palms Golf Club, it’s a great place to practice and hone all aspects of your game. The aquatic driving range has several floating target greens and is long enough to let you hit every club in the bag, while the short game area and practice putting green let you practice all of your shots on and around the green.
Is your company or organization is planning a golf tournament or outing? The Palms Golf Club is worthy of consideration; after all, they are the most accommodating people in golf! Whether you’re looking for a traditional stroke play event, a four-person scramble, a golf marathon or something totally unique, the staff is there to help you maximize the profitability of your event!
Because of its layout, it’s appealing to more golfers than a typical championship course, meaning you’re likely to attract more players. The front nine is the perfect place to host a 9-hole league. It’s a par 35 that plays almost 3,000 yards and has a par 5. Throw in some cold beers after your round and a few hot dogs and you’ve got all you need for the perfect league setting! The back nine is perfect for groups looking to play 9 holes, have a drink and enjoy some fun and camaraderie, all in under 2 hours! The Palms Golf Club welcomes all different types of organizations, professional associations, groups, and clubs.
If you’re looking to take up the game or improve the way you currently play, The Palms Golf Club Golf Academy can help. They feature two locally seasoned golf professionals: Jay Nash and Douglas Erb, each with their own unique teaching style. Instruction is available for juniors as well as adults and groups. You can design your own package or series or schedule a playing lesson.
It may not be your typical regulation length championship golf course but The Palms Golf Club at Forest Lakes is a challenging layout that provides a variety of holes, water features, mature landscaping, and more! Best of all it can usually be played in about three hours. I challenge you to find a golf course anywhere that has a friendlier staff and is more welcoming than The Palms Golf Club at Forest Lakes. The club is located minutes from Siesta Key, Bird Key and Lido Key on one of Sarasota’s busiest streets, Beneva Road.
The Palms Golf Club at Forest Lakes is a semi-private club meaning it’s open to the public. It’s very popular with locals, visitors and snowbirds alike. Memberships are available; if you’re interested call General Manager Sven Nelson and he can fill you in on all the details. Or visit their website at www.palmsatforestlakes.com.