The words “golf” and “Florida” are synonymous in the same way “skiing” and “Colorado” are. And with over 1,000 golf courses that host around 48 million rounds every year, one can say that Florida is the golﬁng capital of the world.
But not all golf courses and golf clubs are the same. Some, like The Concession Golf Club, are destined to be head and shoulders above others. What exactly makes this luxury golf community special? Let’s take a closer look below.
Where excellence, sportsmanship, and camaraderie collide
Located in Bradenton, Florida, The Concession Golf Club is more than a place to experience golf as a player and a spectator. It’s also where families and non-golfers can celebrate special occasions, spend quality time during weekends, or simply live.
The Concession Golf Club’s history dates as far back as 1969. It was a time when golﬁng legend Jack Nicklaus conceded that year’s ﬁnal putt in the Ryder Cup to rival Tony Jacklin. Nicklaus’ concession resulted in the ﬁrst-ever tie in the prestigious tournament.
Fast forward to 2006, the two golf gurus teamed up to commemorate the 1969 concession by designing and creating The Concession Golf Club. Situated in the Lakewood Ranch section of Manatee County, the golf club carried a vision for excellence: It was to become a world-class, championship-level, private golf facility.
Its main goal was to provide a venue where players of all skill levels can enjoy golf under tournament conditions. It meant giving the players and spectators a brand of high-level golf where the natural setting is the star. The course runs through majestic landscapes featuring a mix of breathtaking elements. These include pine forests, oak hammocks, fragrant magnolias, meadows, and wetlands.
Advanced players will be challenged by the bunkering and contoured greens that casual and seasoned golfers come back for. The par-72 championship course measures 7,470 yards and features 18 holes. It also has a course rating of 76.6 and a slope of 155.
Complementing the course is a private practice area with a 10,000-square-foot putting green, 14,000-square-foot chipping green, and a dual-ended driving range. It’s one of the most important elements of The Concession Golf Club. The area measures 23 acres and was hailed by Golf Digest as one of the “75 Best Practice Areas in the United States.”
What’s new at The Concession Golf Club?
Since it opened in 2006, The Concession Golf Club at Bradenton, FL received its fair share of enhancements and updates. In 2010, the club announced the completion of its new and improved layout. It added ﬁve new tee boxes and installed a new set of golf tees right between the blacks and blues.
The club also modiﬁed some of its old bunkers and removed some palmetto trees and other plants to improve the course’s playability. The developers made sure that the updates didn’t reduce the course’s difﬁculty level for the lower handicapped golfers.
Almost a decade after, The Concession Golf Club started expanding its golf course facility. Banking on a $2 million budget, the club launched a project that involved a 9-hole, par-3 short course and a one-acre putting course, both conceptualized by the Nicklaus Design team. To set the new facility apart from the championship course, the developers named the par-3 course “The Gimme” — a homage to the short putt Nicklaus conceded to Jacklin in 1969.
The Gimme features templates of some of the famous holes that have graced the game. Hole #3 comes with a deep-stacked sod bunker and green that’s akin to St. Andrews’ famous “Road Hole.” Meanwhile, the signature hole #5 is a callback to the #17 at TPC Sawgrass with its island green. And then there’s hole #9 that comes with a surprise bunker situated in the green’s middle. Its design is a nod to California’s Riviera Country Club’s hole #6.
Meanwhile, the one-acre putting course dubbed the “Snake Acre” features 18 holes. It’s also one of the largest putting courses in Florida and allows nighttime play through its powerful LED light installations.
Though The Concession Golf Club’s master plan was to build a golf facility without any houses lining the course, the residential aspect of the design was treated with equal importance. The elegant estates and impressive amenities around the community make properties at The Concession Golf Club an appealing investment.
Awards and recognitions
In its 16 years of operations, The Concession Golf Club has reaped multiple awards and accolades. For starters, Golfweek.com ranked The Concession Golf Club third among the best residential courses in Florida and 29th in the country.
Aside from having one of the “Best Practice Areas” in the country, the golf club was also recognized as or awarded the following:
- #1 “Toughest Courses in the Tampa Bay area” by the Tampa Bay Business Journal since 2013
- #9 on Golfweek’s Best Private Courses list for Florida for 2021
- One of the Top 200 Golf Courses in America in 2018 by Golf Digest
- #7 among the Best Courses in Florida in 2018 by Golf Digest
- #93 out of the Top 100 Modern Courses in the U.S. for 2017 by Golf Week magazine
- One of the Top 100 Golf Communities of 2014 by Travel and Leisure
Some of the world’s top golfers also saw action on this esteemed golf course. In 2015, Bryson DeChambeau took home the 2015 NCAA Championship at The Concession Golf Club. The victory made him the ﬁrst-ever SMU golfer to bag the NCAA individual title by a single stroke.
The Concession Golf Club also hosted international tournaments that helped push the sport to greater heights. An example is the annual PGA Tour World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship, which was held here in February 2021. It was the ﬁrst WGC event played in 2021, which brought more exposure to the region.
All these events and milestones helped shape not only the history of The Concession Golf Club but also of the sport as a whole.
The Concession Golf Club membership cost
The initiation fee is $100,000, while the annual golf dues are $10,800. Though you don’t need to be a resident in the community to become a member of the golf club, investing in The Concession Golf Club real estate will certainly bring more value, especially if living in Bradenton and near a golf course suits your lifestyle and preferences.
Custom estates at the concession
A major highlight of The Concession is its luxury real estate, where each custom estate is unlike the other. There are over 230 custom home sites within the community, divided into four enclaves that boast the utmost privacy.
Ranging from $2 million to $12 million, estates at The Concession Golf Club measure anywhere between 3,000 and 15,000 square feet on half-acre and acre lots. These properties typically feature up to ﬁve bedrooms and ﬁve bathrooms. You can view some of the existing estates and available home sites as you drive around The Concession’s many streets, such as Lindrick Lane and Parkstone Terrace, and get inspired by the plethora of designs in the community.
Living on prime property at The Concession Golf Club, you will be minutes away from the golf course and other amenities. There are also plenty of opportunities to network or make lifelong friends on and out of the golf course.
Security and accessibility
The Concession gives residents a high level of security and exclusivity without compromising accessibility. Private security ensures the community’s safety 24/7. Security personnel is situated at the gated access points off University Parkway and State Road 70.
Despite this tight security, residents and their guests will never feel sequestered while inside The Concession grounds. And just so, the golf community is a stone’s throw away from a wide array of upscale dining and retail options.
The recently opened Waterside Place in Lakewood Ranch is about a 15-minute drive away from The Concession. It takes roughly the same time to reach Sarasota Polo Club. Neighboring communities include Panther Ridge and Del Webb.
Beyond custom estates and golf at the concession
Despite its name and focus, The Concession Golf Club caters to more than just players and golf enthusiasts. A variety of amenities can be found here, as well as social events that help keep the community tight-knit.
Wining and dining
Any discussion about The Concession Golf Club will not be complete without mentioning The Bistro, where members and their guests can enjoy everything from tasty quick bites to full meals in a relaxed, ﬁne-dining setting. Culinary memberships are offered to guests who want to enjoy The Bistro without the golf aspect.
The Bistro’s pride and joy, however, is its extensive wine list. Housed in their private cellar is a selection of over 365 different wine options, of which more than 90 have earned a 90+ point grade for their superior character and styles.
Diners who want to sample the best of The Bistro’s wine collection should check out The Captain’s List, which is reserved for only perfect and near-perfect scoring, hard-to-acquire wines from around the world.
Residents looking to celebrate momentous occasions will ﬁnd the perfect venue in The Concession Golf Club. The club offers different spaces for hosting special events like birthday parties, christenings, anniversaries, and weddings.
For starters, there’s The Boardroom, which is a Private Dining Room that adjoins the club’s formal dining room. The size is perfect for special board meetings as well as intimate dinners with only a limited number of guests.
If you wish to hold a party outdoors, there’s an open terrace right outside the clubhouse that can accommodate up to 250 guests. There is a ﬁre pit that helps keep parties warm during chillier nights. Panoramic views of the golf course serve as the perfect backdrop.
The Concession Golf Club also hosts several special events throughout the year, such as Mother’s Day Brunch” and “Breakfast with Santa.
Unwinding at The Concession Club House doesn’t always have to involve the golf course. Members and guests can enjoy various health and wellness offerings that beneﬁt the mind and body. These include the Sports Clubhouse, which is ﬁtted with state-of-the-art gym equipment, day lockers, and showers. Saunas and treatment rooms are also available to members who want to unwind.
More recreation can be found outside in the form of tennis courts and an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
Activities and lifestyle
What else is there to enjoy in and around The Concession Golf Club apart from golf, dining, and special events? We rounded up some of the must-see attractions and activities in the area:
- The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota was established in 1927 and is now known as the ofﬁcial state art museum. Also known simply as The Ringling, the museum has a number of permanent collections on display. These include an exhibit on archaeological ﬁnds dating back to Greek Antiquity; a 320-strong collection of European ﬁne art, including a gallery dedicated to Peter Paul Rubens; and artifacts from South, Central, and East Asia.
- Sarasota Polo Club is one of the largest polo communities in the world. Locally, it’s an important part of the social scene. It was established in 1991 and spans a total of 170 acres. In it: world-class equestrian facilities, lush grass polo ﬁelds, riding trails, exercise tracks, on-site veterinary care, a pavilion, and a member’s Clubhouse where most of the socializing takes place.
- San Marco Plaza in Lakewood Ranch takes guests across the Atlantic and into the Mediterranean world with its Italian-inspired galleries and arcades. At the heart of it all is a tall seven-story clock tower— a typical feature in most Italian piazzas. Upscale dining options and specialty boutiques such as Pianegonda and Instant Recall are some of the establishments you’ll find here.
- Ruth’s Chris Steak House is soon to open its second location in the Sarasota-Lakewood Ranch-Bradenton area. Their 6,500-sq.ft. Lakewood Ranch arm is currently under construction at 6490 University Parkway. For now, you can feast on the restaurant’s signature prime cuts and hand-crafted cocktails at their other Sarasota location at 6700S Tamiami Trail.
- OLIVIA, the modern Italian trattoria that won Tampa’s hearts, is due to open an outpost at Lakewood Ranch’s Center Point in 2023. For those who can’t wait to sample their authentic Italian ﬂavors, their original Tampa branch at 3601 W. Swann Avenue is open for reservations.
- Owen’s Fish Camp has been a Sarasota favorite ever since it opened its doors at 516 Burns Court. A love letter to the Old Florida lifestyle, the restaurant serves local, fresh-caught seafood straight from the Bay to the table. Some of its menu standouts include Murph’s famous Bloody Mary oyster shooters, spicy creole ﬁsh gumbo served with crawﬁsh tails, and seared sea scallops with braised pork and some of Owen’s succotash and grits on the side.
- GROVE is a patio, ballroom, and restaurant all rolled into one stylish establishment in Lakewood Ranch, about a 15-minute drive from The Concession Golf Club. Their take on contemporary American cuisine uses seasonal and thoughtfully sourced ingredients to create handcrafted gourmet dishes and drinks. When you’re at GROVE, some of the must-try dishes include seared ahi tuna nachos and beef brisket
- Fruitville Commons Boulevard is a mixed-use development in Sarasota, approximately 20 minutes away from The Concession. Some of the establishments you will ﬁnd here include Cooper’s Hawk Winery, where you can participate in monthly, multiple-course dinners open exclusively for members. Clive Daniel Home also has a location at Fruitville Commons Boulevard; it is one of the best places in the Tampa Bay area to source designer home decor and furniture.
- Waterside Place in Lakewood Ranch is the ﬁrst lakefront retail hangout in Sarasota. Nestled on the shores of Kingﬁsher Lake, there are several dining and shopping options to explore. These include Good Liquid Brewing Co. and Korê Steakhouse. Waterside Place also hosts several events, including a farmers market every Sunday and Ranch Nite Wednesdays.
Invest in a world-class golf community
Becoming a member of The Concession Golf Club is an appealing investment with the potential for substantial returns, not only to your ﬁnances but to your overall well-being.
With over 18 years of experience as a Realtor, I can help you maximize your real estate investment at The Concession and other prestige communities in the area. Connect with me today at 941.447.4875 or send me an email at laura(dotted)stavola(at)premiersir(dotted)com to set up a private consultation.