Sarasota National Golf Club in Venice, Florida: Looking good

VENICE, Fla. -- Opened in 2008, Sarasota National Golf Club has undergone several ownership changes in the past few years, but it has never looked better.

Recently purchased by WCI Communities, this 7,344-yard layout features flawless TifEagle greens, wide fairways and 110 bunkers, which were renovated in 2013.

Designed by Gordon Lewis, the golf course has five sets of tees and very few forced carries, despite having water on about a third of the holes. The open layout has a little bit of links feel, especially with the wind blowing.

Many holes stand out, but the par-5 seventh is probably Sarasota National Golf Club's signature hole. This 560-yard dogleg left is reachable in two by good players, but they have to avoid a cluster of fairway bunkers, then hit a long approach across or around the water to a peninsula-type green with plenty of undulation.

Originally planned as a private golf course, Sarasota National, which is operated by Troon Golf, is currently operating as a daily fee. Considering the quality of golf, Sarasota National is one of the more reasonably priced golf courses in the Sarasota/Bradenton area.

Feb 11, 2014

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Mike Bailey

Senior Staff Writer

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in the Houston area. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 20 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @Accidentlgolfer.