The minute you pull into the parking lot at Club Renaissance in Sun City Center, there is a cart attendant there to meet you at your car. Once you tell him your tee time, he quickly loads you bags onto the cart and whisks them off to the set up area. Upon reaching the pro shop to sign in, you will notice that your carts are set up and ready to go.
Unfortunately, there is no need to arrive extra early for your round at Club Renaissance; you see there is no driving range. If you feel that you MUST hit a bucket before you tee off, one of the friendly cart attendants will direct you to The Sandpiper, a WCI Communities sister course that has a driving range. It is only 5 minutes, tops, by cart. If you just need to swing a few times to get loosened up, there is a hitting net just outside the pro shop where you can swing away to your heart’s content – or until someone else wants to use it!
Club Renaissance is located in the southeast corner of Sun City Center and is managed by WCI communities. Granted, the course may not be as aesthetically pleasing as some of the other WCI courses, mainly because it gets a HUGE amount of play; over 50,000 rounds a year according Head Golf Pro Bob Dailey. Club Renaissance measures 6,701 yards from the longest tees for a par of 72. The rating is 72.5 with a slope of 128 on Bermuda grass with TifEagle Bermuda grass greens.
Club Renaissance is a tale of two nines – two VERY different nines.The front nine has an open Scottish links type feel to it; the fairways are wide and the greens are vast. You will find that on several holes you can (and need to) hit bump-and-run approach shots. Forget about spraying your tee shots on the back nine; it requires more accuracy from tee to green as it meanders through a large conservation area. In fact, water comes into play on every hole on the inward nine. Most fairways are lined with large pines and stately oak trees.
Number 2: Par 4, 433 yards. This is the longest par-4 on the course. Off the tee, water and out-of-bounds on both the left and right sides await an errant drive. A long, accurate drive will set up an approach shot onto a large green that slopes heavily from back to front. There is a collection area left and a bunker to the right of the green. Make sure you know where the pin is on the green before making your approach shot; a front or back pin placement could be a two club difference.
Number 4: Par 3, 184 yards. Be sure to check the wind before playing this hole. If you are playing into the wind, the hole can easily play about 210 yards. This is a challenging par 3 nonetheless; your tee shot goes over water and the hole plays uphill to a large, elevated green that is well bunkered. Other than that, it’s a piece of cake!
Number 10: Par 4, 483 yards. Although not the longest par 5 on the course, this hole needs to be played a certain way if you want to score well. Plan on hitting your drive towards the bunkers on the right side of the fairway; this takes the lake on the left side out of play. You can then play your second shot up the left side of the fairway with a shorter iron. This sets up another short iron approach shot onto a green that slopes from right to left and back to front. Long hitters beware; there is a lake to the right of the fairway off of the tee. Risk outweighs reward on this hole.
Number 13: Par 4, 358 yards. The best shot off the tee is down the left side of the fairway; this leaves a clear view of the green. Anything left off the tee will probably find the water; anything right is in the trees and marshland. Your approach shot is hit onto a green with a bunker on the front-right as well as trees long and left of the putting surface. The green has a “hog’s back” in the center and putts tend to slope toward the sides of the green.
Number 16: Par 5, 492 yards. A straight tee shot here is a necessity; not only because the fairway is so narrow, but also because of the marsh area on both the left and right sides of the fairway. If that is not tough enough, the second shot is played to a narrower landing area with marshland to the left and a lake on the right. The green is surrounded on three sides with a collection area that runs towards the woods. Because the green’s highest point is in the center, putts run away. Pray that the greens keeper is in a good mood that day.
Last Word: This is another WCI course that is a must play. It’s convenient to reach from Lakeland, Tampa, St. Pete/Clearwater and the Sarasota/Venice area. Club Renaissance has six sets of tees and can be enjoyed by golfers of all ability; you can make it as long or as short as you want. Like all the WCI courses, it is always in great condition; the grounds crew works nonstop to see to it that everything is first rate as far as course conditions are concerned. The grass around the bunkers and lakes is always well trimmed; the greens are also in pristine condition. For more information or to book a tee time, visit them at www.clubrenaissancescc.com or give them a call at (813) 642-9091.