Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Plantation Golf and Country Club – Perhaps the Finest in Venice

Plantation Golf and country Club2Plantation Golf & Country Club is located in Venice, Florida. It is a member-owned, private Club with 36 holes of championship golf; tee times are always available, Thirteen Har-Tru tennis courts, a heated junior-Olympic size swimming pool, spa, state-of-the-art fitness center, and a grand clubhouse with the look and feel of “Old Florida” also await new members. Plantation has received “Best Private Country Club”, “Best Banquet Facilities” and “Best Tennis Facilities” honors from the Sarasota Herald Tribune’s Reader’s Choice Awards. Both the Bobcat and Panther courses have been included in Golf Digest’s “Places to Play” directory. Plantation Golf & Country Club has also been selected to host the LPGA Annual Tour Qualifying School since 1987, one of only two qualifying schools in the nation.

In designing both courses at Plantation, Ron Garl has designed two distinctly different tracks. This provides members a challenge every time they play as well as a rewarding golf experience at every level. Impeccably maintained year-round, Plantation’s courses continuously attract those who demand the finest playing conditions.

Plantation Golf and country Club4An enthusiastic membership has made the golf association at Plantation one of the most active in the area. In addition to regularly scheduled men’s and ladies’ play, members may participate in a variety of fun-filled special events. Our award-winning PGA and LPGA staff professionals complete our reputation for the highest standards of excellence.

Both the Bobcat and the Panther courses have undergone recent renovations that include state-of-the-art irrigation systems and complete new bunker designs.

Bobcat Course

The 18-hole “Bobcat” course at the Plantation Golf & Country Club opened in 1980 and features 6,840 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72. The course rating is 73.0 and it has a slope rating of 130 on Bermuda grass.

Many golfers in the Venice area believe that the Bobcat course is one of the finest 18-hole tracks in the area; it was once recognized in the top 50 nationally. It has been said that more earth was moved to create the rolling hills of the Bobcat than any other course in Florida. The reputation of the Bobcat course grows in stature each year as enhancements and modern playability standards are increased to shape the future. It is certainly one of the best conditioned and maintained courses in the Southeastern United States.

Memorable Holes:

Number 2: Par 4, 418 yards. Number two is a slight dogleg left and plays every bit of the 429 yards written on the scorecard. The green is guarded on the right by a lake and a greenside stone retaining wall. Keep it left! The hole is featured on the cover of the scorecard. Long ball hitters should consider hitting their tee shot over the left side of the big hill in order to shave off several yards of this long par 4. Be sure to keep the approach shot below the hole.

Number 4: Par 5, 528 yards. Number 4 always plays longer than its total yards. In some circles the landing area of this hole is considered the highest elevation point in southwest Florida (many courses claim this). A mountain of earth was moved here to create an uphill tee shot followed by a beautiful view down to the second landing area and the quasi-island green. Long ball hitters may be able to get on the green in two. For the rest of us, this is a three (or four) shot hole. Miss the tee shot right and it is most likely wet. There is enough forgiveness on your layup shot down the fairway from left to right, but your distance is critical. Play to the 100 yard marker if you can, and get a short club out to the green. Smart distance calculations can lead to birdies here at #4. Your second shot is the most important on this hole.

Plantation Golf and country Club3Number 9: Par 5, 538 yards. This par 5 is a slow, sweeping dogleg right. It can play over 530 yards and features water down the entire right side with a very slim margin for error between fairway and lake bank. A great front nine finishing hole with a beautiful view of the clubhouse and grounds revealed as you progress down the fairway. Once again, your second shot is the most critical. The smart play is a fairway wood or hybrid and you’ll be smiling at the Halfway House.

Number 10: Par 4, 435 yards. A straight away, long par 4 with a large bunker looming on the right side of the tee shot landing area. Out of bounds begins down the left side about 200 yards from the white tees; for most this is a true “grip it and rip it” hole. If you can get past the first hill off the tee, you will have a much easier approach shot to the green. Forget about hole position, aim for the middle of the green. The 10th traditionally plays as one of the most difficult holes for the LPGA Qualifier each year.

Number 13: Par 5, 530 yards. Truly the most interesting hole on the course; this hole tempts, and sometimes tortures those who misplay this double dogleg. Although not a sharp dogleg, the hole meanders back and forth between fairway bunkers and lakes on either side. This hole is a thinking man’s hole. The emphasis on the first two shots is on placement rather than length; miss the landing area on your second shot and odds are you’re all wet – and so is your ball. The conservative player will score best on this hole.

Plantation Golf and country Club1Number 17: Par 4, 386 yards. Number 17 is a classic par 4. As you cross the street from 16 toward the five different tee boxes that make up #17 tee; the course’s largest lake as well as the entire dogleg comes into view. Three bunkers invite your eye to the right half of the green as do two fairway bunkers that inevitably come into play. This hole is best played – you guessed it – down the middle of the fairway (aren’t they all?). Cut off as much of the lake as you dare, just keep in mind, better safe (right) than sorry (left and sinking fast). Your tee shot is definitely the key on this hole. 

Last Word: Plantation is a definite must play if you are looking for somewhere to go in the Venice area; the trick is getting on the course as it is a private country club. The rolling terrain is a nice addition to the basically flat golf courses typically found in Florida. You will find yourself facing some uphill blind shots; downhill lies and side hill lies are definitely a possibility as well.

The course is well maintained and the staff is quite friendly.

Amenities at Plantation Golf and Country Club include the Golf Learning Center; a full driving range, short game area and a large practice putting green. You will be able to get a good warm up before a round or get in a solid practice round whenever you want. There are also 13 Har-Tru tennis courts that are active with weekly leagues as well as a fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment which offers some of today’s most advanced work-out systems. There is also a certified personal fitness trainer on site at all times.

There are some terrific membership deals going on right now at Plantation. For more information, visit them online at or call Membership Director Elaine Dexter at (941) 497-1479. You can also reach her by email 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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