Innisbrook Re-Opens Island Golf Course


Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club is known by golfers worldwide for over 35 years of outstanding golf. Now the resort is proud to announce that golf at Innisbrook has just gotten better. After $1.7 million in renovations, the Island Course officially reopens today to offer what may be the resort's most impressive layout... and that's mighty praise considering Innisbrook's Copperhead Course is a favorite among the PGA TOUR players who arrive each March to compete in the PODS Championship.
Entrepreneur Sheila C. Johnson and her hospitality company, Salamander Hospitality, purchased Innisbrook this July and immediately began the renovation of the Island Course, already rated 4.5 stars out of a perfect 5 by Golf Digest's Places to Play. Johnson commented, 'The Island Course was designed on a very beautiful and unique parcel of land with one of the highest points of elevation in Pinellas County. This course is dramatically striking in both beauty and challenge. We knew right away we could take this course to a new level with the right scope of renovation and make it deserving of national acclaim.'

Innisbrook Island Course
The mystical 2nd hole at the Innisbrook Island course.
Island has hosted the Southern Amateur, the NCAA Golf Championships, four Florida Opens, and numerous USGA tournaments. The course opened during the week of October 7-13, 2007 to host over 700 amateur golfers from 69 U.S. cities competing in the GOLF CHANNEL Amateur Tour National Finals.
Now newly overseeded and in tournament condition, Island has been lengthened to 7,310 yards, with a par of 71. Golfers are sure to find great challenge at the extended 11th hole, now playing 530 yards -- one of the longest par fours in the country. Island now sports all new Tif Eagle greens -- the same putting surfaces as Copperhead. Additional improvements include new cart paths, course signage, bunkers, irrigation systems, new tree plantings and finer landscaping throughout. The Glase Golf Construction Company, based in Bonita Springs, Florida, has overseen the entire renovation project.
When asked his opinion about the impact of the newly renovated Island course, Director of Golf, Jay Overton, a 30-year veteran of Innisbrook and former player on the TOUR stated, 'It's now very easy to foresee the Island Course as yet another perfect venue for a major golf event at Innisbrook, in addition to Copperhead -- a consistent favorite among PGA TOUR professionals. I hope what we'll soon find is the emergence of Island back into the rankings among the top golf courses in the country.'
Enhancements to golf at Innisbrook are only the beginning of Johnson's plans for improvements to this distinctive property. Johnson and Salamander Hospitality President, Prem Devadas, also unveiled the first concept boards for further resort additions and improvements alluded to in July when announcing the purchase of the resort. Most notably, the construction of the resort's first full-service, luxury spa is scheduled to be completed by late 2008. The 12,000 square foot facility will offer 12 treatment rooms, a salon for hair, nails, manicures and pedicures and an outdoor spa courtyard with a relaxation pool. There will also be a new 4,000 square foot, state-of-the-art fitness area with workout studios and locker rooms. The Pamela Temples Design Group, based in St. Petersburg, Florida, has been hired to design for this project as well as other upcoming renovations at the resort. Architecture Incorporated will be the architectural firm on all of Innisbrook's renovation projects, with offices based in Ft. Meyers, Florida and Reston, Virginia.
In addition to the new spa, the resort's Tennis and Fitness Center will undergo extensive exterior and interior renovations including new locker room facilities. Also, Innisbrook's 11 Har-tru courts will undergo surface renovations as well as the addition of new seating areas to create a better venue for high profile spectator events that Johnson is planning to attract.
Innisbrook's three clubhouses and restaurants are also on the resort's list of immediate improvements to be completed prior to the end of 2008. The Copperhead Clubhouse will have a complete interior renovation with a restaurant concept change to an upscale 'Chop House', introducing a menu of exciting Italian specialties to complement its outstanding Steak House fare. The Island Clubhouse will also receive exterior and interior enhancements including complete locker room renovations, as well as a re-do of the existing restaurant, Turnberry Pub, that will introduce an updated and more comfortable version of a traditional golf grille and bar. The Highlands Clubhouse will be completely redesigned to add a new guest registration lobby for all arriving guests, as well as Johnson's signature gourmet market and deli - Market Salamander. Johnson plans to expand her Market Salamander concept here to create a new contemporary grille and bar for the Highlands Clubhouse. Additionally, the rear patio that overlooks the Highlands North and South courses will be expanded to include an outdoor bar which will become a lively gathering place for resort guests. Each of Innisbrook's six climate- controlled swimming pools will be upgraded and enhanced including all new poolside furniture for dining and relaxation.
Innisbrook's 65,000 square feet of meeting space will also receive an extensive make-over with all new interiors and furnishings. Two new executive boardrooms, seating up to 20 each, will be created featuring fine furnishings and appointments. With 14,000 square foot of ballroom at Inverness and twin 8,280 square foot ballrooms in the main conference center, Innisbrook will once again be one of Florida's finest conference facilities.
Plans to further enhance Innisbrook's golf experience include a new practice and instruction area adjacent to the Highland's practice facilities, and each of Innisbrook's four golf courses will receive new tee signage and a new, upgraded fleet of golf carts as well as new cart paths.
Literally no building at the resort will go untouched, with many new infrastructure upgrades planned throughout. That also includes the complete renovation of Innisbrook's Penthouse Suite which will be renovated from top to bottom, with Johnson personally involved in each design choice. Salamander Hospitality Vice President and Innisbrook Managing Director, Chuck Pomerantz, will oversee all of the resort's renovations.
Situated on 900 wooded acres of rolling hills and 70 acres of lakes on Florida's Gulf Coast near Tampa, Florida, Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club is located just 30 minutes from Tampa International Airport. Innisbrook features 72 holes of championship golf, 620 spacious guest suites and rooms, four restaurants and three bars, the Innisbrook Golf Institute, 11 tennis courts, fitness and racquetball center, six heated swimming pool complexes, a nature preserve, and three conference halls with 65,000 square feet of meeting space. Innisbrook is owned and managed by Salamander Hospitality, a privately owned and operated company based in Middleburg, VA, just outside Washington, DC and built upon a uniquely entrepreneurial approach to the hospitality business. For additional information call (727) 942-2000 or visit
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