Bobby Jones Golf Club
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1000 Circus Blvd
Sarasota, FL 34232-1228, United States
Owned and operated by the City of Sarasota, this is a 45-hole complex named for the legendary Robert Tyre Jones, Jr., who dedicated the facility in-person on Sunday, February 13, 1927. The original 18 holes (the "British Course") were designed in 1926 by Donald Ross. The "American Course" opened with nine holes in 1952, followed by the second nine in 1967. The John H. Gillespie Executive Course was completed in 1977.
Average Hole Difficulty
thegolfinguy - 12/22/15
The British Course plays a little over 6700 yards from the back tees, making it a lot longer than its American counterpart; it’s also more wide open. From the back tees, the course rating is 72.1 and the slope is 123. The British Course is an old school golf course with small dome-shaped greens, a Donald Ross trademark. Many large live oaks, pine stands and palm trees give shape to and define the long straight fairways. Water comes into play on several holes and in places that long ball hitters need to be aware of. The British Course also features a set of hybrid tees playing 5,971 yards. Over the years Head Professional Christian Martin and the grounds crew have changed a few holes around, adding length on a few holes by stretching out the back tees, while shortening a few holes for the seniors and women. Martin and his staff also oversaw the redevelopment of all of the greens on the British Course, and redid them with Diamond Zoysia, a grass that stands up to just about anything Mother Nature can throw at it. To me, it’s one of the best grasses out there; to golf courses, it requires less maintenance.
The par 3, number 4 hole is one of the holes Martin added some length to, making it now play about 174 yards. Your tee shot requires good distance control with sand on either side of the green just waiting to catch errant shots. Even if you’re playing the hybrid tees, you’ll play from back here.
Number 13 was also stretched out. Originally, it was a short par 5, playing around 470 yards. After listening to players talk about how the course needed to be lengthened, Martin and his staff moved the blue tees back and the hole now plays 540 yards, although the original length is still played from the White tees. This extra length gives the hole a totally different look and requires three well struck shots to reach the green.
Number 18 is a good finishing hole. Out of bounds abounds – the driving range that runs adjacent to the hole is out of bounds as is anything long and left of the green. Be sure to take enough club on your approach shot as bunkers on either side of the front of the green await short shots. A two putt is no sure thing here as the slope of the green is the most interesting on the course.
In the near future, I think you’ll see big changes at The Bobby Jones Golf Club. I can foresee them building a new clubhouse and working out of a trailer for a year or so while a new one is built. The golf courses themselves are in good condition and a great value for the price.
According to a recent article in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, a city-appointed study committee recommended $14.5 million in capital improvements, including a do-over of both courses, a new clubhouse and a player development/teaching center. The task force also suggested that greens fees be increased by an average of $7.50 a round, a small price for golfers to pay for such big improvements.
Both regulation courses at the Bobby Jones Golf club offer golfers of all levels and abilities a fair test of golf. Granted, they may not be the toughest courses around, but no one here is looking to win the US Open either. What Bobby Jones offers is a well-kept municipal course, with a very friendly staff and reasonable rates. The food at the snack bar is good and the beer is cold. If you’re showing up to play for the first time, there are a number of hospitable groups for both men and women and someone’s bound to invite you to play. For more information, visit them online at www.BobbyJonesGolfClub.com or give them a call at (941) 365-GOLF (4653).
mmontisano - 12/28/13
Everything in the last 2 comments still ring true for now. it's a good deal and every bit of $37 I was expecting to get.
bkuehn1952 - 4/20/11
@bthoss's comments are still reasonably accurate for March, 2011. The "American" is shorter and a bit tighter - lots of little areas to the side that will grab an errant shot. The "British" is just a longer version of the "American". The ambience is truly "American Muni". Lots of regulars, lots of 70+ year olds, tiny practice green and truly awful driving range. Still, I liked it. At $31.50 to walk 18 holes in March it is a bargain. The fact that they allow walking it a real plus in my book (except when you are trailing a 4-some of octogenarians). The greens rolled reasonably well and were quick. There was sand in the bunkers and grass on the fairways. It is certainly not the most picturesque layout but it works for this golf-starved northerner.
bthoss - 4/15/09
I play this course quite often with friends. I'd say it is pretty average overall, but they don't overcharge for the product so we go because it is cheaper than some other nice courses in FL. During the winter (dry season in FL) the rough gets burnt out (not uncommon down here). They usually keep the greens in the pretty good shape and course overall is a pretty good value. There is a small driving range at the course, but they discourage hitting driver off of it.
The course is owned by the City of Sarasota. Don't go here if you like to yuk it up with the Starter and chat it up in the club house after the round. The employees treat you like you are next in line at the DMVGÇª a bit off putting if you are used to a friendly attitude at your local course.
Keith Benedict - 7/16/11
phinman23 - 5/9/11
seandogrocket - 3/22/11
SticStigler - 7/15/10
Best Score: 68
British / Blue