Golf Lover’s Paradise: Top 5 Golf Courses in Sarasota, Florida

Jennifer Flanders
Jennifer Flanders
Published on October 16, 2022

There are 29 golf courses in Sarasota, Florida, and 3 are municipal courses. There are also another 51 golf courses within 20 miles of Sarasota, including 25 public, 3 municipal, 1 PL, and 22 private courses. I did say Golf Lovers Dream, didn’t I?

Whether you like to dabble in golf, or plan on making a move to a luxury destination where you can spend your leisure time surrounded by thousands of acres of lush green, bunkers, and fairways- then Sarasota, Florida is the golf lover’s paradise you have been searching for!

With 29 golf courses, including municipal and private member golf clubs, the city of Sarasota has a long history with professional golf. Hosting numerous major championships, qualifying events, invitationals, and even PGA Tours, it’s no wonder that people love to play golf in Sarasota: many of the legendary country clubs we will talk about today were designed by renowned golf designers and even an International Master golf course designer.

Coming from designers who themselves are simply players that live and breathe to tee off, you will find that these golf courses and activity facilities are more than just well-kept turf and sprawling land. Each one holds its own for reasons we will divulge in this list of the best golf and country clubs in Sarasota, Florida as ranked by Jenn Flanders, Sarasota Realtor and Native.

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So are you ready to find out about the Top 5 Golf Courses in Sarasota, Florida? Here they are:

1. Sara Bay Country Club
7011 Willow Street
Sarasota, FL 34243

To start, this private member owned golf club is a Historic Donald Ross Golf Club, and it is ranked #50 in the Top 100 Golf Courses in Florida. With classic Donald Ross design, this club was founded in 1926 and is a stone’s throw away from Siesta Key, Lakewood Ranch, and the Gulf Coast Keys. It sits in Florida’s culture capital, just north of Downtown Sarasota, and is thought by many local golf lovers to be the most authentic Donald Ross design in the state.

According to Ross, both the everyday golfer and the pro player should look for the same qualities in the ideal golf course: it should present a challenge, a mental test and an eye test, bringing out the best in a player, inspiring them to use mental control and judgement to make the right shot. Sara Bay Country Club exemplifies this perfectly.

Sara Bay has plenty of personality- from the course design to the multitude of experiences, the social scene, and stylish clubhouse. This private club has many active clubs and leagues so you will be sure to enjoy making new friends and meeting new challengers on the green.

What golf events have been hosted at Sara Bay Country Club?
Florida State Golf Association major championships
LPGA Symetra Tour
100th US Women’s Southern Amateur
USGA Qualifying events

2. TPC Prestancia, owned and operated by Heritage Golf Group
4409 Tournament Players Club Drive
Sarasota, FL 34238
Phone (941) 922-2800
[email protected]

Formerly known as the Country Club of Sarasota, this non-equity country club in the Palmer Ranch area was built with an attention to detail to host the PGA Senior Tour in 1985. The club recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation in 2018- and the resulting course was even better than the original. The TPC Prestancia is a member of the TPC property network nationwide, and was the third private club in the network.

Sprawling over 500 acres, TCP has two 18 hole champion golf courses known as the Stadium Course and the Players Course. The Stadium Course design by famed International Master Golf Course designer Robert Von Hagge, was inspired by designers behind the TPC Sawgrass Ron Garl and Mike Souchak. The golf courses feature coastal wildlife balanced with aesthetics and some of the best playing conditions in the area.

TCP Prestancia is privately gated at Palmer Ranch in Florida’s West Coast and it is the hub of this exclusive community of residences.

What golf events have been hosted at TCP Prestancia?
Chrysler Cup Tournaments (8)
American Express Invitational Champions Tour events (5)
PGA Senior Tour (13 years)

3. The Founders Golf Club
3800 Golf Hall Drive,

Sarasota, FL 34240

Imagine over 700 gorgeous acres of a private golf club community nestled in Sarasota, Florida, full of fairways, and lakes. Serene, winding streets punctuated with lush trees and natural preserves at every turn. Now picture just over 260 homes spread across that land. Is it possible that such a dreamy setting as this could be a place you call home? YES. This is the award-winning Founders Club.

Only minutes from downtown, I-75, and world-class beaches on each side, welcome to a boutique setting community in Sarasota with an ever growing list of amenities and a vibrant, like-minded member and resident body. If you want to be surrounded by some of the most luxurious homes and real estate in Sarasota, then you must take advantage of everything the Founders Golf Club has to offer.

Aside from the 4,000 square foot Golf Hall, this club boasts an 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. Get custom fitting and PGA professional instruction at the Founders Learning Club Center, as well as state-of-the-art TrackMan radar tech. There are only a limited amount of 275 memberships awarded, so members are guaranteed no tee-times pretty much all year round.

4. Laurel Oak Country Club, managed by Hampton Golf
2700 Gary Player Blvd,
Sarasota, FL 34240
Phone: (941) 378-3608

Voted 1st Place two years in a row in the Herald-Tribune Sarasota Reader’s Choice awards, this private country club is all about relaxation, and golf! Surrounded by some of Sarasota Florida’s best beaches, members enjoy access to amazing golf and world-class amenities.

Aside from the two meticulously maintained 18 hole championship golf courses (the Rees Jones Course and the Gary Player Course, there’s always something to play! Laurel Oak country Club boasts a 45,000 square foot Clubhouse on 800 acres in Sarasota. The club has a swim center, 12 tennis courts, programs for kids and adults, and hosts events and weddings- so you can experience all the best that life has to offer in this serene, friendly atmosphere.

What golf events have been hosted at The Laurel Oak Country Club?
2018 Sarasota Open
2019 Sarasota Open
2021 US Junior Am Qualifier
2021 Florida State Mid-Amateur
2021 North Florida PGA Matchplay Championship
2020 Florida State Womens Senior Amateur Matchplay Championship
2021/ 2020 / 2019 Korn Ferry Qualifier formerly WEB. Com Tour
2019 Florida State Womens Amateur
2018 Florida State 64th Boys Junior Championship

5. The Meadows Country Club
3101 Longmeadow
Sarasota, FL 34235
(941) 371.6000

What many locals call the most beautiful complex in Southwest Florida, is only minutes away from I-75, the University town Center, and Sarasota’s lively downtown area. In the last few years, the course underwent a $1.5 million enhancement and restoration led by JGCC Golf’s David Johnson, and reopened again in early 2021. The project added new and exceptional greens, bunkers, fairways, and rewarding challenges for the casual player and the pro alike.

There are 54 holes of golf nestled throughout the course in this lush community, and the best part is members enjoy exclusive access. Recently, the Highlands Course was updated with a new second hole green and The Groves Course also has new greens.

But wait, there’s more! The calendar is chock full of events from social activities to educational classes to recreational excursions that involve miles of biking and walking nature trails, sheltered from the sun by the towering oaks. Plus there are 17 tennis courts, a junior Olympic pool for swimming fanatics, a state of the art fitness center, pickleball, restaurants, event halls and events happening two thirds of the year!

With all that said, you are sure to discover why at The Meadows, you “Join for the lifestyle. Stay for the friendships.”

From championship golf courses that have hosted great golf legends, to walkable golf courses for the casual golfer with elegantly stylish clubhouses, and a variety of events and activities the whole family can enjoy- you can find it all here in vibrant Sarasota, Florida, at any of our well-known and much loved country clubs.

Hi, I’m Jenn Flanders! I am a native of Sarasota and have been a licensed Realtor since 2010, obtaining my broker’s license in 2017. I would love to answer any questions you have regarding area real estate or anything to do with the Sarasota area!

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