As the story goes, Tony Jacklin had about a two-foot putt to halve the final hole of the 1969 Ryder Cup and earn a tie for Europe with the US. Before attempting the putt, Jack Nicklaus conceded it to Jacklin in a gesture that has become known as “The Concession.” The United States retained the Ryder Cup by virtue of its victory in 1967 and this remains the only tie in Ryder Cup history.
That spirit lives on with a course that these two golfing greats have collaborated on. Aptly named The Concession Golf Course, here you will find the ultimate in golf luxury.
Exclusivity and luxury define the residences of The Concession. One reason that The Concession community is a desirable home location has to do with its proximity to both Bradenton and Sarasota. This prime location provides the residents access to the urban amenities of two cities including their centers for business, entertainment, arts, culture, and sports. Factor in the allure of nearby beaches and fabulous resorts in such locales as Siesta Key, as well as the ease of access off of I-75 and you have a luxurious community that the more affluent in society would like to call home.
Only 236 golf and custom estate homes are planned for the 1,200 acres of century-old oaks, towering pines and protected wetlands. Over half of The Concession home sites are at least an acre, ensuring a stately, private setting for grand estate living. The Concession neighborhoods include Nicklaus Manor, a private enclave of just 33 homes, ownership of which includes a Full Signature Membership and optional private concierge service. The neighborhoods of Birkdale and Lindrick, comprised of custom estate homes on sites ranging from one-half to two acres, offer serene lake and preserve views.
Set among towering oaks, the Clubhouse is the social center for The Concession. You can find every amenity associated with the world’s most privileged golf clubs inside the clubhouse at The Concession Golf Club. It is filled with memorabilia of legendary golf events, personalities, and tournaments including the 1969 Ryder Cup match from which The Concession derives its name.
Spacious verandas and voluminous windows overlook the golf course and shimmering lakes. Members and their guests can enjoy both casual and formal dining, card rooms, private dining rooms, and an extensive golf shop and men’s and women’s locker rooms outfitted to provide everything the serious golfer requires. In a separate sports center, members can work out in a state of the art fitness center, relax in the spa, enjoy an invigorating set of tennis and then cool off in the outdoor pool.
The Practice Facility
Complementing the 7,470 yard championship golf course is one of the world’s largest private practice areas where members can hone their skills.
The practice facility covers 23 acres and includes a double-sided driving range. It features an elevated tee area, a 10,000 square foot putting green with both flat and undulating areas and a 14,000 square foot chipping green that also has both flat and undulating areas. Both the putting and chipping greens offer several bunkers, giving players the opportunity to recreate every shot on the golf course.
Titleist Pro V1 balls are used throughout the entire facility. It’s no wonder the practice area was chosen by Golf Digest as one of the “75 Best Practice Areas in the US.”
There are several categories of club membership at The Concession. Property owners get access to full memberships and invitational memberships are extended to non-residents of the community. Membership packages for young professionals as well as corporate memberships are also available. For more information on membership, please contact Kim McNeal at 941-322-1922 x103 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Paul Azinger considers The Concession Golf Club “one of the best golf courses in the state of Florida,” and believes that in the near future The Concession “will be recognized as one of the best golf courses in the world.” According to David Ledbetter, “legends Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin have combined to bring golfers of all levels a great and enjoyable test of golf.” And Jonathan Yarwood who has seen some of the best courses the world has to offer ranks The Concession in his top five courses, period. Pretty strong words from some of golf’s best known stars!
The Concession is not without its share of accolades:
Golf Digest: Best New Private Course – 2006;
75 Best Practice Areas (#69) – 2009
Best in State – Florida (#4) – 2011/12
Golfweek: Best Modern Courses (#60) – 2011
Best Residential Courses (#18) – 2011
GOLF Magazine: Top 100 Courses in the US (#88) – 2009
And, in 2012, The Concession will host the Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championship from March 18-20. The University Of South Florida (USF) will serve as the host school for this Golf Coaches Association of America event.
This 18-hole par 72 course is set on 520 acres of ruggedly pristine land dotted with massive oaks and majestic pines and winds its way through some of the most preserved natural environment in the state of Florida. It totals 7,470 yards from the tips and spans three miles. The course opened in 2006 and carries a course rating of 77.6 with a slope rating of 155 – the highest allowed by the USGA.
One of the striking differences between the Concession and most other courses in Florida is that there are no houses on the course; only a few rooftops are even visible. The Concession provides a golfer with an uninterrupted golf experience. But The Concession Golf Club doesn’t just offer spectacular views and peaceful surroundings. It offers a challenge – a challenge so unique that it is one of the only golf courses in the United States to have the highest possible slope rating from the championship tees. Combine the challenge with some of the scenic water features you will find throughout the course and you may experience breathtaking vistas at every turn. The Concession is one of the only clubs in the country that has the Advanced Aer system under all 18 greens providing tournament-quality playing conditions all year.
Memorable Holes (All yardage is from the white tees).
Number 1: Par 4. This slight dogleg left par 4 has both woods and sand traps on the either side of the fairway. Hit a great drive and you can fly the bunker on the left side, leaving a much shorter approach. Otherwise, favor the right center of the fairway to leave yourself the best angle to an elevated green that is flanked on either side by large, deep bunkers and features a lot of undulation. In fact, everything on this course – the fairways, the rough and the greens – all feature a lot of undulation. This is a gorgeous starting hole on what will prove to be one of the finest courses in all of Florida.
Number 3: Par 5. From the tee, consider anything left of the large tree in the fairway a success. You’ll need to avoid some well-placed fairway bunkers on your layup shot. Favoring the left side of the fairway on your layup will take some large bunkers somewhat out of play on your approach shot. This odd-shaped green sits several yards above the bottom of the fairway and the green slopes hard in the front. In fact, with a front left pin placement, you will be hard pressed to get it close; anything past the hole leaves a downhill putt that is almost impossible to stop. This is a magnificent golf hole.
Number 4: Par 3. Make sure you take enough club to carry the waste area on this fairly long par three. The large, elevated green is fronted by a bunker, taking away any chance of running it on the green. Par is a good score here.
Number 7: Par 5. Hitting the fairway off this tee goes a long way – literally – as you’ll be playing downhill. You will most likely need to play over a large marsh on the left side on your layup – it tends to come into play no matter what tees you play from. Be careful with your approach shot as the fairway tends to get real narrow as you approach the green. This is another large and elevated green that is surrounded by deep, cavernous bunkers.
Number 13: Par 5. Playing from the back tees, you are faced with a long carry over water to an open fairway. From the forward tees, the water only comes into play if you hit it left. Keep your layup shot left of the lone pine tree on the right edge of the fairway. Playing up the left side really opens up the hole; unless you hit it too long up the left and find the fairway bunker. This large, elevated green id guarded by a huge complex of bunkers short and right as well as woods a little farther right. This is another hole where if you can make a par – take it!
Number 16: Par 4. Water all the way up the right side makes number 16 an interesting hole. If you can hit a fade off the tee, now is the time to do it. Hit it too far left and you are likely to find the complex of fairway bunkers which will leave a blind shot over a small wooded area to the green. Sand guards this elevated green both long and short.
Number 17: Par 5. In comparison to the others, this is a relatively short, manageable par 5. It’s a dogleg left over water however a good drive can cut off a lot of the distance. Favoring the right side on your layup will take the water out of play however make sure you steer clear of the fairway bunkers. A back pin placement brings into play a complex of bunkers on the right side which can prove hazardous to your scorecard. There is also a large bunker behind the green which cannot be seen – until you’re in it! Par here is a definite possibility.
Number 18: Par 4. Accuracy is at a premium off the tee as you finish up your round on number 18. A good drive hit even slightly to the right is bound to find the water. Sand on the left side adds to the difficulty off the tee. Your approach shot will be slightly downhill but most likely into a wind. The green is large and receptive.
Last Word: As far as the course is concerned, it one of the most challenging courses I have played in the state of Florida. I put it right up there with Old Corkscrew in Estero and Black Diamond in Lecanto; it’s that good. If you play well here, you feel as if you won a 12-round prize fight by decision.
Water hazards are strategically located; a few of them even hidden from view off of the tee. Stray off the fairway and you are likely to find one of the many sand traps; traps that are very penal in nature. As a matter of fact, the sand was imported from northern Ohio and each trap is hand raked daily; is that attention to detail or what? The Concession also spared no expense in moving mature trees so as to enhance (or should I say confound) the golfing experience by locating them in more strategic places along the course.
The greens are what define The Concession; they are some of the nicest in all of Florida. They keep them running quick during “the season” so beware. When hitting an approach shot to any of the greens here, your best bet is to listen to your caddie; he’s the only way you are likely to get it close. Undulating greens is an understatement out here; at The Concession, good putting is either going to make or break your round.
For destination weddings, events and other information about The Concession visit www.theconcession.com or call 941-322-1922.