ZealousGolfer.com Course Reviews: Legacy Golf Club at Lakewood Ranch

The next stop on my Florida golf trip after Disney's Osprey Ridge was Legacy Golf Club at Lakewood Ranch. Legacy Golf Club, located in an area populated by numerous upscale private and public courses, is one of Florida's most intriguing courses. According to oobgolf.com, "Offering a level of service and conditions found at world-class private facilities, this award-winning Arnold Palmer-designed course, managed by Troon Golf®, has quickly earned its reputation as one of the premier courses in Southwest Florida." The course is in great shape, especially since it is still relatively new, and shows great similarities to other Arnold Palmer designs. Legacy is located in Bradenton, Florida, which is near Sarasota, and around an hour away from Tampa Bay.

Legacy Golf Club may be summarized in three words: water and bunkers. Massive bodies of water come into play on 17 of Legacy's 18 holes, all of which have a unique name. However, if golfers have the ability to avoid spraying shots, the King's course can be tamed. After I hit nine fairways and eight greens on the back nine of Legacy, I was able to walk away with a 37, which I was pleased with.

The first hole is known as "The Legacy," which includes a 223 yard tee shot over fescue and water onto the fairway. The hole plays at 454 yards from the black tees, which is recommended only for low single digit golfers. However, from all tees, water lines the entire right side of the hole, culminating in an undulating green with an extremely deep bunker on the left side of the green.

The rest of the front nine plays much like the first hole. Trouble on both sides of the fairway, large, undulating greens, and bunkers to catch sprayed shots. Hackers ought to beware Legacy, while better players will likely thrive. This is the case on the third hole, named "Lake Uihlein," which is forces golfers to tee off onto an island where the entire fairway and green is located. Players must hit a short way to reach the island itself, which may scare most novice golfers. Even scarier is the bunker in the front right side of the green rolling straight into the water.

Following the third hole is the "Watering Hole," a 205 yard par 3 from the black tees with no landing area in front of the green. The only area which is safe to miss at is a small area behind the green. Less aggressive golfers may lay up to a narrow fairway on the right side of the tee box. However, golfers till are left with a tough pitch into the green, which, if struck too firmly, may easily roll right into the water.

The front nine culminates in a long par, which forces players to hit their approach shot almost entirely over water. "Lack Schroeder" plays at 428 yards from the black tees, but may punish golfers with three bunkers on the left side complemented by water extremely near the fairway sloping toward it.

The risk reward style of Legacy continues into the back nine. Hole 11, titled "Split Oasis", forces golfers to choose to play a safe drive, which leaves a long approach into the green, or a tough drive onto a narrow fairway, which leaves a wedge into the green. In between the split fairways is a giant bunker ranging across the entire hole. Additionally, small patches of turf are randomly placed to further punish the aggressive player.

"Seven Sisters," the 14th hole, is a 565 yard par 5 with a bunker placed perfectly in the landing area. For golfers fortunate enough to miss that bunker, the seven bunkers for which this hole was named look to spoil good rounds. Water and bunkers surround the right side of the green, so golfers who wind up in the seven sisters will be forced to lay up.

Coming down the stretch, the 17th hole, called "Arnie's Island," is a short par 3, which resembles TPC at Sawgrass's famed 17th. The hole is short, playing at 151 yards from the black tees, but is made especially difficult with high winds due to a lack of protection by trees.

For golfers who escape Arnie's Island, the 18th features more split fairways. "Homestead" requires golfers to fire over water, a gigantic bunker, and then escape a looming waste bunker surrounding the right side of the hole.

Overall, Legacy Golf Club at Lakewood is a tough test of golf. The course allows for players to get hot an have a great round, or struggle with their sprayed shots. Every tee shot and approach shot is challenged, so the round will constantly remain exciting. Plus, the island green coming down the stretch is highly enjoyable and does resemble TPC at Sawgrass's island par 3. However, the greens were slower than expected when I played there, but a worker informed me the area was in need of water. If the greens match how well the rest of the course was maintained, it may be one of the best tests of golf in the entire state of Florida. ZealousGolfer.com gives Legacy Golf Club at Lakewood 4.5 out of 5 stars for exciting play, a great design, and an all-around good golf atmosphere.
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1 Response to "ZealousGolfer.com Course Reviews: Legacy Golf Club at Lakewood Ranch"

  1. Stephen says:


    Would you be interested in allowing GolfHubs.com to post your reviews of golf courses? Here's an example of what they look like: http://golfhubs.com/course/reviews/?courseid=22728 (they link back to your site, if desired).

    I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.


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