Sarasota: Where golf and culture combine for the ideal couples vacation

By Travel ArticlesDecember 3, 2012, 4:16 pm

Here's the suggestion from your spouse: I want to play some great golf, but I hope there are other things to do besides shopping and dining.

Your answer should be: 'Hey, I've got a great idea. Let's go to Sarasota.'

Encompassing places like Longboat Key, Lido Key and Siesta Key, the Sarasota area is an engaging blend of excellent golf courses, white sand beaches and some of Florida's most significant cultural attractions.

Following a round of golf, there are numerous options to visit museums, attend live theater, dance and musical performances and browse art galleries.

Sarasota's cultural scene

Dubbed 'Florida's Cultural Coast,' the Sarasota area is home to a professional symphony, ballet, opera, seven live performance theaters, several museums and more than 30 art galleries.

Enhancing the experience is St. Armands Circle, a European-style promenade lined with upscale restaurants, sidewalk cafes and designer boutiques.

The epicenter of culture in Sarasota is the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, which is housed on the site of the circus magnate's former estate overlooking Sarasota Bay. The museum has one of the largest collections of Rubens paintings in the world along with many other works by notable artists. Other highlights are the Circus Museum, the 56-room Venetian Gothic palace that served as Ringling's residence, and the Asolo Theater, a magnificent structure that was built in Italy in the 1800s, then dismantled and reassemble at the Ringling estate in the 1940s.

Excellent events

If you enjoy live performances, the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, designed by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, offers musical entertainment and Broadway revivals throughout the year.

A great way to enhance a golf getaway to Sarasota is to plan it around one of its many local festivals.

For film buffs, the Sarasota Film Festival in April and Sarasota Film Society Cine-World Film Festival in November are highly regarded happenings.

For music enthusiasts, the Sarasota Music Festival, staged for three weeks every June, brings the best up-and-coming young musicians from around the world to the city, and the Sarasota Blues Fest is a rockin' good time in September.

The most comprehensive festival on the calendar is the Ringling International Arts Festival in October. Under the artistic direction of the Baryshnikov Arts Center, this festival has performances in dance, music, theater and film.

Sarasota offers golf options galore

When it's time to tee it up, Sarasota's golf possibilities are an excellent compliment to its cultural offerings.

One of my favorites is the Ted McAnlis-designed Tatum Ridge Golf Links, a Scottish-style links course with 11 lakes and lots of wildlife. I can't guarantee any birdies on the scorecard, but you'll see lots of interesting birds in this natural setting.

McAnlis also designed the Misty Creek Country Club, a Billy Casper Golf-managed course in a wilderness setting where golfers have seen everything from deer and bobcat to alligators and wild boar.

Natural woodlands and native habitat have also been well preserved at University Park Country Club, a 27-hole complex fashioned by Lakeland, Fla.-based designer Ron Garl. Ideal for all skill levels, the course has six tee placements on every hole.

If you hear locals in the Sarasota area talk about playing 'The Cat', they're referring to Bobcat Trail Golf Club, a design by former PGA champion Bob Tway and architect Lee Singletary. The design duo consistently forces you to make choices about your aggressiveness on this 'risk-reward' layout. The 411-yard, par-4 ninth is the signature hole. With water skirting the entire left side, it requires an approach to a wildly undulating green. My advice: Score par, smile wildly and head quickly to the 10th tee.

For a superb municipal golf experience, the Bobby Jones Golf Club is the only golf facility situated within the city limits of Sarasota. Only one of the 45 golf holes has any building development, making it a pleasurable way to spend four or five hours. Donald Ross fans love the British Course, designed by the Scotsman in 1926, which offers elevated dome shaped greens, open fairways and strategically placed bunkers.

One of the newer courses in the area is the Sarasota National Golf Club, a Troon Golf-managed facility that opened in 2008. If you play from the tips, you better bring a big stick as the championship tees measure 7,334 yards. Laid out around wetlands and natural areas, the course was designed by Naples, Fla.-based architect Gordon Lewis, who has fashioned several courses in southwest Florida, including Heritage Bay Golf and Country Club and ArrowHead Golf Club in Naples.

Arnold Palmer design fans are drawn to the Legacy Golf Club, a superb Troon Golf-managed, upscale daily-fee course with wide fairways, multiple elevated tees, numerous holes framed with water and sand, and a high service level.

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Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 22, 2018, 7:20 pm

Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
(1) D. Johnson: 0-1-0 (2) J. Thomas: 1-0-0 (3) J. Rahm: 0-0-1 (4) J. Spieth: 2-0-0
(32) K. Kisner: 0-0-1 (21) F. Molinari: 1-0-0 (28) K. Aphibarnrat: 1-0-0 (19) P. Reed: 2-0-0
(38) A. Hadwin: 0-0-1
(48) P. Kizzire: 0-1-0 (43) C. Reavie: 0-1-0 (34) H. Li: 0-2-0
(52) B. Wiesberger: 1-0-0
(60) L. List: 0-1-0 (63) K. Bradley: 0-0-1 (49) C. Schwartzel: 0-2-0
Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 Group 8
(5) H. Matsuyama: 1-0-0 (6) R. McIlroy: 0-1-0 (7) S. Garcia: 1-0-0 (8) J. Day: 1-0-0
(30) P. Cantlay: 0-1-0
(18) B. Harman: 0-0-1 (20) X. Schauffele: 1-0-0 (25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-0-0
(46) C. Smith: 1-0-0 (44) J. Vegas: 0-0-1 (41) D. Frittelli: 0-1-0 (42) J. Dufner: 0-1-0
(53) Y. Miyazato: 0-1-0 (51) P. Uihlein: 1-0-0 (62) S. Sharma: 0-1-0 (56) J. Hahn: 0-1-0
Group 9 Group 10 Group 11 Group 12
(9) T. Fleetwood: 1-1-0 (10) P. Casey: 1-0-0 (11) M. Leishman: 0-1-0 (12) T. Hatton: 1-0-0
(26) D. Berger: 0-2-0 (31) M. Fitzpatrick: 0-1-0 (23) B. Grace: 0-1-0 (22) C. Hoffman: 0-1-0
(33) K. Chappell: 1-1-0 (45) K. Stanley: 1-0-0 (35) B. Watson: 1-0-0 (36) B. Steele: 1-0-0
(58) I. Poulter: 2-0-0 (51) R. Henley: 0-1-0 (64) J. Suri: 1-0-0 (55) A. Levy: 0-1-0
Group 13 Group 14 Group 15 Group 16
(13) A. Noren: 2-0-0 (14) P. Mickelson: 0-1-0 (15) P. Perez: 0-0-1 (16) M. Kuchar: 0-0-1
(29) T. Finau: 2-0-0 (17) R. Cabrera Bello: 1-0-0 (24) G. Woodland: 0-0-1 (27) R. Fisher: 0-1-0
(39) T. Pieters: 0-2-0 (40) S. Kodaira: 0-1-0 (37) W. Simpson: 0-0-1 (47) Y. Ikeda: 1-0-0
(61) K. Na: 0-2-0 (59) C. Howell III: 1-0-0 (50) S.W. Kim: 0-0-1 (54) Z. Johnson: 0-0-1
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Watch: Bubba hits 366-yard tee shot ... with an iron

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 22, 2018, 6:47 pm

You know Bubba Watson is plenty long off the tee. And when you put a little wind to his back and let him hit downhill, the ball is bound to travel a great distance.

But, still, this is a 366-yard tee shot at the par-4 ninth hole at Austin C.C. ... with an iron. Yeah, it runs for a long time. But, again, 366 ... with an iron.

Watson won the hole with a par and made the turn, 2 up, in his Day 2 match against Marc Leishman at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

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Romo starts hot, stumbles to 77 in PGA Tour debut

By Will GrayMarch 22, 2018, 5:14 pm

There was plenty of good, but also plenty of bad for Tony Romo in his PGA Tour debut.

Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption, Romo shot an even-par 36 for his opening nine holes in the Dominican Republic. The former NFL quarterback bogeyed his first two holes, but steadied the ship with three birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 4-8.

The early highlight of the round came at the par-4 fifth hole, where Romo drained a putt from across the green for his second straight birdie:

But the back nine wasn't as kind for the 37-year-old, who dropped five shots in a four-hole stretch from Nos. 13-16. It added up to a 5-over 77 in the opening round, which left Romo ahead of only Guy Boros among the players who had finished in the morning wave.

"I hit two poor tee balls. Just didn't commit to it, and ultimately just got put in a tough spot where you're just trying to make par," Romo said. "I hit a lot of good shots, and they ended up a couple times in some poor spots. But you learn the golf course as you play it throughout the week."

Romo has played as an amateur partner in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and has played individually in U.S. Open local qualifiers and mini-tour events as an amateur. But this marks his first attempt to gauge his game against the best players in the world who are not in Austin for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

Romo was even par through 12 holes before a three-putt bogey from the fringe on No. 13. A nasty lie in the rough led to a double bogey on the par-5 14th, and Romo had to hit provisional tee shots on both Nos. 15 and 16. While he ultimately found his original ball on both holes, he left with a pair of bogeys.

"I really hit some good shots, and I'm close," Romo said. "I had a chance to be under par pretty easily there for a while, and then two or three shots on the back nine cost me. But that's golf."

Romo will tee off at 1 p.m. ET Friday in the second round alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.

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Horschel, Kisner & Perez join "Feherty," Monday, March 26 at 9 p.m. ET

By Golf Channel Public RelationsMarch 22, 2018, 5:10 pm

PREVIEW: Perez details rocky collegiate golf experience at Arizona State

Billy Horschel, Kevin Kisner and Pat Perez – each winners of multiple events on the PGA TOUR – will join David Feherty on his self-titled, Emmy-nominated series Feherty presented by Farmers Insurance®, Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

“This might be the biggest group of benign social deviants I’ve ever had the privilege of speaking to,” said Feherty. “They’ve been responsible for nine career wins on TOUR collectively, but they’re each also capable of getting into some mischief.”

The episode – filmed in Naples, Fla. – will touch upon several topics, including:

  • Their respective upbringings and corresponding introductions to golf.
  • Reflections on their junior golf and collegiate playing days, and how it helped prepare them to compete as a professional.
  • Contemplating which mulligan(s) they’d take in their life if given the opportunity.

Future guests on Feherty this year include Paul Azinger, Stewart Cink, Boo Weekley and Paul Goydos, among others.

A two-time Emmy-nominated host (Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host) Feherty has been described as “golf’s iconoclast,” by Rolling Stone, and “the last unscripted man on TV,” by Men’s Journal. His all-star lineup of golf-enthused and culturally relevant guests feature celebrities from across entertainment, sports and politics. To date, Feherty has sat down with four U.S. Presidents (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump); sports legends Charles Barkley, Nick Saban, Stephen Curry and Bobby Knight; Hollywood icons Matthew McConaughey, Larry David and Samuel L. Jackson; World Golf of Fame members Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson; and a host of current golf superstars including Paula Creamer, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Michelle Wie. Feherty is produced by Golf Channel’s original productions group, which also oversees production for Driver vs. Driver and Golf Films.