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Southwest Florida

Includes Sarasota, Cape Coral, Ft Myers, Naples and Marco Island.

Heading down from Tampa and into Southwest Florida, golfers are in for some very pleasant surprises. The terrain gets more tropical, the further south you go, and all of the golf courses, resorts and pro shops make the most of the verdant landscapes. Much like the rest of the Florida peninsula, this is a non-stop run, from one town to the next, with a plethora of golf courses dotting the spaces between. String them all together, and this one 125 mile long region could keep you happily busy for months enjoying them all!

We begin at the southern edge of Tampa, in Bradenton. Then there are Sarasota, and Venice. Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda come next, near sister cities, after which are the trinity of Cape Coral, Ft. Myers and Ft. Myers Beach. When you've finished there, head a bit further down 75 to Naples, and south from there to finish off this string just north of the Everglades National Park, on beautiful Marco Island.

Bradenton itself offers up half a dozen quality courses, including the amazing Waterlefe Golf & River Club, set along the southern bank of the Manatee River. This resort's championship course, surroundings and amenities could easily make for a fun and relaxing week all by itself. Stoneybrook and Rosedale are a short drive away, and the affordable municipal River Run Golf Links, next to the Pirates' Spring training area, gained a full renovation in 2005. Peridia Golf and Country Club and the Preserves Golf Club will finish off the Bradenton stretch and slide us gently into Sarasota's domain.

To the east of I-75 is the Legacy Golf Club, technically in Lakewood. This course's rave reviews and breathtaking white sand beaches earned it special mention, before we get into Sarasota proper with the Palm Aire Golf & Country Club. There are another half dozen or so great courses to play in the immediate area. It bears mention that there is a beautiful tropical resort and golf club to the far east shore on Longboat Key (pronounced Kay, which is another name for an island.) And it wouldn't be right not to mention the Bobby Jones Golf Club as well. Yep, there's plenty to play, and you could just about walk between some of these great courses! There's even another Stoneybrook Club (of Sarasota)!

A glance at a map will show you that Venice is the first long stride, but don't think a bit of it. The run between Sarasota and Venice is likewise rife with marvelous courses you can play! There's Calusa Lakes, with its pro shop, the Mission Valley Golf and Country Club... the Capris Isles... and then you'll see I-75 head due east for a few miles, then south on to Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda, on one side or the other of the river delta that opens into Charlotte Harbor. The vistas there are worth the drive all by themselves!

Ease a little further on down the road and you'll find yourself in the incomparable Cape Coral area, which also includes the greater Ft. Myers area, including Ft. Myers Beach. There are no less than ten courses along this 20 mile stretch of road from N. Fort Myers on down through to the Beach that shares the name. By the time you include all of the courses, there's one just about every mile! Some place their courses right on the river delta, while others stick closer to I-75. Those include Pelican Preserve, Heritage Palms, Six Mile, Renaissance, Cross Creek, Legends, ... it's literally too long a list to introduce them all in this text, and we've still got Naples and Marco Island to go!

Heading south on I-75, you'll come across Bonita Springs, and then Naples. The Interstate takes a final turn to the east again in Naples, and heads directly on across the 108 mile stretch to the Atlantic coast at Fort Lauderdale. But before we do that, let's have a better look at the Naples area and the Marco Island resort. Looking at a map, one is surprised to realize that all of that green isn't a park or similar distraction. No, those are all golf courses – All of them! Twineagles, vanderbilt, the Quarry, the Vinyards... just literally far too many to enumerate, let alone mention! It's hard to imagine any place that is any thicker in gold course than here... and that's a good thing! Not only do you get great courses to enjoy, but you'll find deals that just won't quit! The landscape is beautiful, the gulf breezes adding their serene magic to the mix. What else could any one human being want?

 So you see, this southwest region of the great State of Florida truly is the promised land for visiting golfers of all ages, skills and abilities. Young college age players have been thrilled to spend their spring break there, while old pros know what it is to walk on greatness. So treat yourself to your own custom tour of southwest Florida's golf greatness! The weather, the waters, the food and the game itself all conspire to ensure you, your guests and family a vacation you'll cherish for years to come!