Special treat: FREE golf.......
By registering on line & having my birthday in April, I got a free round of golf (only paid for the obligatory golf cart for visitors) at a very beautiful and well cared for semi-private golf course.
El Conquistador (El Con as the locals say) is now IMG ACADEMIES/Golf & Country Club (golf/tennis) where Nick Bollettieri trained Andre Agassi & Maria Sharapova. The course was renovated in 2005.
As you arrive at the "bag drop" areea, a warden drives up to your car with a golf cart, loads your clubs so you can just ride to the pro shop.
I was paired off with 2 members (American Korean) for the 1st 9 holes.
Very lush/green fairways (watered each day), lots of huge double "S" shape bunkers & "heavenly" greens, very quick but kind to your putting.
Well laid outlcourse & each hole offers its own challenge whether varied dog legs, huge bunkers or water on nearly each hole, ondulations on some fairways and leading to the greens with bumps and mounts to make interesting chipping as the grass is nice and short.
The "heavenly" greens rolling down, sometimes steeply.
The tropical trees are well established so are the big bushes with pretty pink flowers (laurels).
Lovely breeze today.
I saw a variety of tropical birds.
The last 9 holes, I was on my own, I dit get lost once, entirely my fault, as the signage is well laid out.
Although on my own, the last 9 was quick and very enjoyable. Had time to take a few pictures.
Only lost 1 ball but I tasted the beautiful white sand numerous times !!! Good practice.
Well designed Score Card with course layout on the right pages....
When one returns the golf cart, a warden comes up and cleans your clubs & put the headcovers back for you. As I am not used to this treatment I thought it was very pleasurable and I enjoyed it.
Friendly & busy Proshop.
Vast Clubhouse/Bar elevated and overlooking Sarasota Bay with lovely views of unspoilt shoreline out to Longboat Key (where I am staying) in the distance. Good spot for birdwatching.
The steak sandwich is to die for and is served with fresh fruit.
Pretty & friendly waitress.
What a super day ...... no more golf in Florida as off to Miami South Beach for a few days before my return to Twickenham.....