Saddlebrook Resort

Of course, often getting to the course can become a challenge, as when you leave the registration area of the resort you can’t help but hear the DJ’s music and the massive “SuperPool,” people making waves, soaking up the sun and having margaritas and maybe a few cold ones.

Saddlebrook Resort has it all – including the SuperPool!

After the latest cold snap, I bet you can see yourself down there right now!

When you do hit the two Arnold Palmer courses at your doorstep you will find that you have plenty more water to deal with.  Maybe not as pleasant as that in and around the SuperPool.

Neither the Palmer Course or Saddlebrook Course are long by today’s standards, both under 6,500 yards and very playable for all, but on Palmer you have 14 holes with water and on Saddlebrook, 13 out of 18, you have water to deal with.  Both courses have undergone a year of revitalization and having been there just last month I can tell you they are in great shape!

That is not the only thing that is undergoing a revitalization. There are over 500 condo style units in the rental program and although this is a more long term process it is well under way and anticipated to be completed by late 2020 or early 2021.

Need some help with your game? Check out the Golf Training Center!  Saddlebrook is home to over 100 students from around the world.  While attending the Preparatory School they enrolled in the Golf Academy or the Tennis Program. There are over 16 acres of practice area including a massive space dedicated to your short game.

A few Tennis Courts at Saddlebrook

There’s no shortage of technology here either, all the latest gizmo’s, TrackMan, SamBalance Lab, SamPuttLab are all way over my head.

Tennis aficionado’s take note – The Tennis Center has 45 courts and a coaching staff of 25 or more. The team at the Harry Hopman Tennis Academy can customize a program for one or 20. From this program have come the likes of Pete Sampras, Jim Courier, Martina Hingis, James Blake, Mardy Fish, Andy Roddick, and currently, John Isner, and Alexander and Mischa Zverev. Not a bad collection of graduates.

Tampa, Florida is easily accessible from around the world and especially from the Northeast USA and Canada. The Tampa area offers up so much to do, an exciting downtown area with many attractions such as Busch Gardens, the allure of major league sporting events, and professional sports teams such as The Lightning, The Rays and Buc’s close by!

Saddlebrook might be one of the most unique settings when it comes to Florida resorts.  Once you’re there and you drop off your vehicle at the valet, you get shuttled to your villa and everything is at your doorstep. The pool, the golf, a great bar, TD’s – other than the one at the pool, and a Steakhouse named Dempsey’s which is second to none.

Saddlebrook – 18th Green

Should you choose that and you do not want to walk anywhere, a simple call gets someone to your doorstep before you have your laces tied up!

Other things that you might be up for: a bike ride, fishing, volleyball or basketball.  Zumba or perhaps Yoga might be your thing? They have that too!  Or maybe just a visit to the 7,000 sq. ft. European Spa.

“On the Saddlebrook course, it’s about course management,” said director of golf Kyle Bruce. “There are water and tree lines on both sides of the fairway, you basically want to get the ball to the 150-yard marker, then move the ball from there. The greens are relatively flat so it’s easy to get up and down. It’s more course management than a grip-it-and-rip-it type of golf course.

Its fairways are lined by a hammock of cypress and oak, the natural beauty will transport you back in time to the Florida of the Conquistadors. The signature hole, the 425-yard 18th, magnifies this sensation. The drive must be sent down an emerald ribbon between stands of towering cypress, whose branches are adorned with Spanish moss. Three white-faced bunkers staring at you in the landing area. The soft afternoon sunlight glints softly off the deep pond fronting the green, where gators and turtles rest on the bank. Two solid, aggressive shots will reach the green and award the player with par.

18th hole on the Palmer Course

The Palmer course is more of a links style course. You want to try and get as far as you can down the fairway. It’s open off the tee box, left and right. Your second shot is most important, if you’re above the hole, it’s going to be a three putt, pretty much, with the undulation of the greens. If you’re not on your short game that day, it can be very tough.”

While many of the holes provide generous driving areas, level ground is rare and the firm green fairways are contoured. Facing the green from the slanting fairways, the smallish greens are framed by white-faced bunkers. Hilly lies and sweeping Florida breezes make it challenging to attain the accuracy needed to find these targets. The Tif-eagle greens are firm, fast and undulating, allowing only a crisply struck shot to hold their surface. Surrounding the greens, the thick, gnarly Bermuda rough tangles around the club and complicates the soft touch needed to play short pitch shots. Miss the green, and you face a difficult par. Several holes require length, all reward finesse. The Par 4 fifth hole is a beauty, with water to the right and sand to the left of the green.”

Time to escape the cold!!!  Yes! Just do it!

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