Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Venetian Golf and River Club – Much More Than Great Golf

Venetian Golf 1  The Venetian Golf and River Club is located in Venice, Florida and was designed by renowned golf course architect Chip Powell. The par 72 Venetian plays 6,912 from the back tees and has a course rating of 72.9 with a slope of 127.  With five sets of tee markers and TifEagle® greens, Venetian provides players of all abilities with a fantastic golfing experience.

Each hole was designed and named with one of Powell’s architect role models in mind. At the Venetian you’ll come face to face with “Donald Ross”, “Biarritz” and “Alister MacKenzie.” The course opened in 2003 and is managed by WCI Communities, Inc.

Like many courses in Florida, The Venetian’s practice range is a lake. They have small, floating greens at various yardages, complete with the flag. You will not incur any penalty strokes when you hit into this water and there will be no doubt about where your ball lands. There’s something even more satisfying when – if – you actually hit the rock-hard green.

The Venetian Golf and River Club features generous fairways framed with an abundance of wild grass, strategically located bunkers and natural-looking mounds. Forced carries become optional because of the way the hazards are configured. There are few trees, only a smattering of palm and pine stands, and the wind will definitely become a factor.
The Audubon Signature Cooperative Sanctuary Program

Audubon International aims to improve the quality of life and the environment through research, education and conservation assistance; their motto is “Helping People Help the Environment.” The Audubon Signature Cooperative Sanctuary Program provides guidance in implementing and developing the elements of a Natural Resource Management Plan that ensures a variety of environmental issues are addressed in the planning and construction of the project. The Audubon staff work with developers, owners, consultants, architects, and managers from the design stages through construction and management of the project after its completion. Venetian Golf & River Club is proud to partner with Audubon International as a Gold Signature Member, the highest level of participation that a golf course development can achieve.

Memorable Holes

Number 1: Par 4, 402 yards. A dogleg right par 4 starts your round off at the Venetian Golf and River Club. A good drive will still leave a long to medium iron to this large, elevated green which slopes back to front. A par is a great way to start off your round on the Number 3 handicap hole.

Number 2: Par 5, 500 yards. This par 5 slight dogleg left is definitely reachable in two but watch out for the fairway bunker if you try to shorten the hole. You will have the fly the ball onto this very elevated green; it’s protected by sand all the way across the fairway. The green is large and crowned in the middle; shots to the back of the green are likely to roll off. Number 2 is a nice golf hole.

Venetian Golf 2Number 5: Par 4, 342 yards. A sand trap with grass mounds about 240 yards from the tee is the major obstacle on number 5. Water on the left side can come into play off the tee if you decide to hit driver. My advice: leave it in the bag; a fairway wood or hybrid is all you need off the tees. The long, kidney shaped green is crowned in the middle and guarded by water on the left

Number 6: Par 4, 358 yards. Number six offers two routes to the green; clearly the intent of the architect to create a risk/reward scenario. The saner play is to go right of the sand traps in the middle of the fairway. A good drive will still leave a long, uphill approach shot to an elevated green with not a lot of trouble around it.

Number 8: Par 3, 207 yards. For me, this is one of the toughest holes on the course. First off, it’s long and requires a carry of around 160 yards. Secondly it’s narrow off the tee. Combine those two attributes and throw in a large bunker in the front right quadrant of the green and you have all the trappings of a tough hole. Take a par and run!

Number 9: Par 4, 372 yards. A pretty par 4, number 9 is a dogleg left around a lake. It’s a nice looking golf hole but the true attraction of this hole is the green. The front half slopes back to the fairway like a black diamond ski run. Getting on in regulation on number 9 is less than half the battle on this hole.

Number 11: Par 3, 192 yards. Although this is a fairly long hole, the true test to scoring well on this hole is to navigate the green. There is easily a three club difference from a front pin to a back pin location. If the pin is in the middle you’re in luck; the green is concave, dropping off right in the middle. It’s like someone dug a trench right through the middle of the green.

Number 16: Par 4, 308 yards. Club selection is critical off the tee. The large bunker in the middle of the fairway comes into play. It’s about 100 yards short of the green; the fairway bunker on the left is about 60 yards out. It may be a short hole, but number 16 is far from the easiest hole on the course.

Number 17: Par 4, 443 yards. Number 17 has a Scottish feel to it. Although handicapped number 4 on the scorecard, for many it’s the hardest hole on the course mainly due to its shear length. The fairway bunkers on the left are reachable off the tee; if you have the misfortune of finding one, you will definitely pay the price. It is very hard to advance the ball from these traps. From there you will have a long (emphasis on long) approach shot to a large elevated green. There are more fairway traps about 40 yards short of the green. Speaking of the green, it’s a two tiered gem and probably a two-club difference depending upon pin placement. Make a par here and consider yourself blessed.

Number 18: Par 5, 503 yards. This dogleg left features water all down the left side until you’re about 200 yards out from the green. Your approach shot will be to an elevated green with a large deep bunker in front. Anything short and right of the green is likely to find the wet stuff. Deep fairway bunkers guard the left side of the fairway on your layup shot. Take your par here and head to the 19th hole!

Last Word

First off, the course is in immaculate condition. Golfers will enjoy beautiful views of meandering fairways and protected greens with a superb array of native flora and fauna on this Audubon International Gold Signature Course. There are some short par-4s that you may initially consider drivable however a miss hit of the tee and they can quickly become blemishes on an otherwise impressive scorecard.

Many believe, as do I, that you have to hit the ball to the correct spot on the green in order to get close. The Venetian Golf and River Club isn’t about knocking the ball a mile off the tee, good scoring is made (or lost) on these greens. If you have a good short game and can putt, you will score well here.

Venetian Golf 3The Venetian Golf and River Club rewards the more aggressive players with shorter routes to the green. Most of the time this requires flirting with the hazards; either large fairway bunkers or water. There is always the option of playing it safe which will require a more controlled tee shot or a longer approach. An example of this is No. 16. All you have to do is carry the marsh from 240 yards – do it and you’ll have a short chip onto the green. The course is full of holes like this, risk-reward situations that make you stop and think, and think some more.

For more information or to set up your next round or golf outing, you can reach the Venetian Golf and River Club online at www.venetiangolfandriverclub.com or give them a call at (941) 483-4811.

David Theorethttp://www.thegolfinguy.com
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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