Vibrant Outlook for Sarasota Area Golf Communities


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, April, 13, 2013 – A recent golf study by the Sports and Leisure Group can put aside the apprehension of some Doubting Thomases on the wisdom of property developments like Esplanades Golf and Country Club, one of the first U.S. golf communities to be launched since the Great Recession, Sarasota Bay Real Estate said. The study, presented during the 2013 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Florida, indicated bullish prospects for the U.S. golf market with increases in club membership, more golf rounds, and rising demand for better links.

National homebuilder Taylor Morrison commenced development of the Esplanades project at Lakewood Ranch early this year with some 1,250 homes as one of its major components. These residences are being developed in a 400-acre site along with a golf course and country club facilities. The golf links will be the fourth such facility within the master-planned Lakewood Ranch.

Taylor Morrison is also set to develop this year the Esplanades Golf and Country Club of Naples in a 1,793-acre site that the homebuilder purchased this February. This project will revolve around an 18-hole championship golf course and a 28,000-square-foot clubhouse as come-ons for close to 800 single family homes to be built.

Rising local memberships, perfectly timed acquisitions

The Concession

Recent reported gains in membership in some Sarasota golf and country clubs, such as those at The Concession and The Founders Club, validate the SLRG study on the local level, Sarasota Bay Real Estate noted. It added that some perfectly timed golf property acquisitions were made last year stand to benefit from the bullish prospects of the golf market, the full service realty firm added.

One of these is Neal Communities’ purchase of Boca Royale Golf & Country Club located in Englewood. This golf community is comprised of 800 acres with 500 home sites, a clubhouse, tennis courts, and some undeveloped lots. Some 400 acres of its area are wetland nature preserves. A unit of Texas-based Oncourse Strategies also purchased last year the Serenoa Golf Club including its 17,000-square-foot clubhouse. In another transaction in 2012, a Tampa-based company acquired the Greenfield Plantation, a development in Bradenton with a 70-acre golf links and a 5,000-square foot clubhouse.

Sports tourism: boon for real estate sector

Significantly, upbeat expectations have also been expressed on the impact of the Solheim Cup, the prestigious biennial team tourney of U.S. and European women golfers, possibly being hosted by The Concession in 2017. Coincidentally, Manatee and Sarasota also have pooled their resources to bid as host of the World Rowing Championship for that same year.

Both sports events are expected to attract thousands of tourists and visitors, thus presenting the opportunity for the two counties to further broaden buying interest on their real estate market. The Solheim Cup and the World Rowing Championship, SBRE also said, have high media values that can serve as a conduit to groom Manatee and Sarasota even more as a destination of property investors. Notably, too, the Sunshine State is host to six legs of the US PGA Tour this year, providing significant media exposure to the venues’ property market. These PGA stops include Palm Beach Gardens; Doral, Miami; Copperhead, Palm Harbor; Orlando; Windermere; and Ponte Vedra Beach.