Monday, September 20, 2021

Bent Tree Country Club – The Grand Old Lady of Sarasota

benttree1  Tree-lined fairways of towering mature oaks, large well groomed green complexes, and miles of lakes and streams create a unique and tranquil setting for a round of championship golf at Bent Tree Country Club.

This club is truly a natural beauty. The setting is peaceful. Every effort has been made to retain the property’s natural beauty, where birds and wildlife abound. The unspoiled terrain creates the feeling of a long established northern course. Golfers of all levels will appreciate the course; it is both forgiving and rewarding. Bent Tree is one of the few courses in Florida that actually promotes walking; you can do it any time of day, even on weekends

Bent Tree was originally designed by Bill Lewis; Ward Northrup handled the redesign of the greens in 1994. Bent Tree offers four sets of tees ranging from 5,465 to the tips at 6,863 yards. The par 72 layout has two signature holes: the par three 12th hole which requires players to hit a tee shot to carry 185 yards over water to a steep front sloped green protected by a mammoth bunker in the front of the putting surface. Then there is the ever dangerous 511 yard par five, 18th which features a double dogleg with water left, right and in the middle of the fairway to a three tiered green. The back nine is considered by all to be the toughest part of the course.

Designed to challenge golfers at all levels, the course caters to the most skilled golfer and forgives those with higher handicaps.

Memorable Holes
Number 1: Par 5, 565 yards. A great grip it and rip it par five to get your round underway. Although a generous fairway lies in wait, trees on the left and right will grab errant tee shots. Stay clear of the fairway bunker on the right side to set up the approach shot. Your approach shot demands a certain amount of accuracy; it’s important to be on the right tier of this two tiered green if you want to make birdie.

benttree2Number 4: Par 4, 423 yards. A sweeping dogleg left with trees and out of bounds down the left side make for a very demanding tee shot. If a draw is in your shot repertoire, you can draw the ball around the corner, still leaving a mid to long iron to the green. Bunkers on the front right and back left of the green can easily come into play. Par is a good score here.

Number 12: Par 3, 181 yards. You’ll need to calm your nerves in order to hit this scary tee shot over a watery grave. The Sunday golfer may want to reach into the bag for an old ball. While you’re at it, you might as well pull out a couple! Be sure to check the wind before you select your club; it will feel differently on the tee than it does on the green. Be sure to take enough club to get to the putting surface, make your par and run!

Number 16: Par 4, 356 yards. Although not the longer par 4 on the course by any means, this hole may be short on distance, but it is definitely long on difficulty. You will only need about 185 yards off the tee; you will also need to be on the left side of the fairway. The forest on the right hand side of the hole will capture many tee shots. Your approach shot needs to clear the creek that crosses the front of this three-tiered green. Make a par on this hole and you will likely gain a shot on the field.

Number 18: Par 5, 497 yards. A gambler’s dream; this is the pinnacle of a risk/reward hole. The conservative player will play a tee shot straight out toward the fairway bunker; the gambler will try to fade their tee shot around the lake, setting up a shot to the green. The green has three levels and the back position pin is the toughest to contend with.

Last Word: Female golfers are VIP’s (very important players), which has long been a tradition at Bent Tree. Nancy Lopez won her first LPGA tournament at Bent Tree, and later added her 35th career victory here that gained her entry into the LPGA Hall of Fame. US Open Qualifiers have been hosted at Bent Tree in the past and the Florida State High School Championship was played at Bent Tree in 1998 and 1999.

benttree3Instruction is available for golfers of all levels from the courteous staff of PGA Professionals. The same professional also organize weekly, monthly and holiday golf events that give members the opportunity to enjoy friendly competition and become acquainted with one another.

The updated clubhouse hosts many social events for members and can be reserved for private gatherings. Whether it’s an early morning cup of coffee, lunch after a great round, or dinner and dancing in the evening, Bent Tree Country Club has something to offer everyone. There is no better time to join Bent Tree Country Club. With newly designed membership opportunities for families, singles, seasonal/non-residents, residents, young executives and corporations, we have just what you’ve been looking for.

Like so many other private member owned courses, tee times at Bent Tree can be had on many online tee sheets and through discount cards for the Sarasota area. Give them a call at (941) 371-5854 or visit them online at

David Theoret
David Theoret has been in the golf and golf travel industry for over 12 years, primarily selling online advertising. For the past seven years, he has also been a golf writer, reviewing golf courses, resorts, destinations, equipment, golf apparel, and training aids – the latter of which never seems to help. What started as a dream years ago, by God’s grace, became a reality in 2015 when The Golfin’ Guy editorial marketing company was founded. Working together with golf course designer Ron Garl; David’s articles and reviews have been posted on many golf travel, equipment, and apparel websites.

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