New Rules, Faster Play Can Ace It Anew for Golf Communities


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, September 1st, 2015 – The popularity of golf may be in a plateau nowadays, but recent initiatives to reinvent this royal and ancient game can help rekindle its popularity by making it more fun and exciting, a fresh lead which should also help sustain market interest in Sarasota homes for sale in local golf communities.

A seven-point “Relaxed Rules of Golf” is one initiative which promises to contribute much in improving the sport’s paltry 1% annual growth expected for the rest of this decade. As per the National Golf Foundation, this gain is only apace with the projected increase in the national population.

Simplified rules speed up play

New Rules, Faster Play Can Ace It Anew for Golf Communities

These new rules, introduced a year ago in the popular Golf Channel program Morning Drive, not only injects more fun in golf but also fosters easier and faster play, making the game less time-consuming and less intimidating particularly to beginners. Specifically, those who would be happier with this novelty are golf amateurs and aspiring players.

One of the innovations in these relaxed rules is double par or maximum score, that is, 6 on par 3 holes, 8 on par 4s, etc. Another salient new guideline is one stroke for all penalties, including those for unplayable lie, lost ball, water and lateral hazards, and out of bounds. To help speed up a round, players are given just two minutes to look for lost or out-of-bound balls.

In Sarasota, Venice Golf & Country Club (VGCC) is one of the advocates in rule changes to make the game faster and more enjoyable. Occasionally, VGCC greens feature two cups so that a golfer can aim for the nearest pin placement, and to make a long putt more makeable, extra wide cups are also provided. In addition to these come-ons, course upgrades costing $2.5 million are underway at VGCC, including the installation of a cutting edge sprinkler system that will cut water usage by 40%.

Shorter layout at revived Palms Golf

Lesser playtime, on the other hand, is the draw by which the Palms Golf Club hopes to attract players in its links scheduled to reopen this fall 2015. A remake of the Forest Lakes Country Club layout closed some 10 years ago, Palms Golf still retains the former course’s 18-hole play, but it is now designed shorter at a par 64. It will also feature a unique aquatic driving range with moveable target “greens” floating in a six-to-eight-acre lake. For extended practice hours, lighted target greens and floating, glow-in-the-dark golf balls are under consideration for this golf facility.

With a new, 8,500-square-foot clubhouse also fast shaping up, Palms Golf Club and its initiatives to entice golfers back appears providing buying impetus to Sarasota homes for sale in the neighborhoods at the Forest Lakes Country Club Estates. Early this 2015, at least three deals were recorded in this community of 401 single family homes and 122 condo/townhome units. Significantly, one of these recent sales was closed just four days of the property’s listing in the market. Current Forest Lakes listings have options on Sarasota homes for sale priced from around the mid-$200s up to the $700s.