VENICE, Florida – Plantation Golf & Country Club in Venice, Florida is not only a great place to play golf – with two 18-hole Ron Garl-designed championship golf courses – it’s also a great place to call home. As one of southwest Florida’s premier country club communities, PGCC sits on more than 1,300 acres, with residences that include maintenance-free villas, patio homes, condominiums and single-family homes. All homes have golf course, lake or natural views. The styles of homes are a pleasing mix of classic, contemporary Florida designs in pastel shades that blend seamlessly into the community’s natural setting.
PGCC is a private club owned by Concert Golf, owner of more than 20 properties nationwide, from the Midwest to the Atlantic Coast. Since purchasing PGCC in February of 2019, Concert Golf has invested over a million dollars into improvements and intends to spending another million in 2020. Members have not nor will be assessed. As a member of one Concert Golf club you become a member at all of them, giving you the privilege of playing a round of golf, tennis, swim or dine at another concert Golf property during your travels. It’s a benefit that’s hard to beat.
For many Plantation residents, golf is the main attraction with 36 holes of Ron Garl Golf providing an amazing experience. The Bobcat Course opened in 1982 and is considered by many to be one of the finest 18-hole courses around. Every fall since 1988, PGCC has been honored to host the LPGA Tour Qualifying School Stage Two. Annika Sorenstam, Michelle McCann, Georgia Hall, Mel Reid, Nelly Korda, and Hannah Greene have all qualified here. More earth was moved here to create the rolling hills on the Bobcat Course than any other course in Florida and to this day it is one of the best maintained and conditioned courses in this part of the state. There are seven sets of tees that can be played anywhere from 6,813 to 4,551 yards. The course rating is 74 and the slope is 140 from the Back tees.
For me, the most memorable hole is number 5, a long dogleg right and the course’s #1 handicap hole for men. Members refer to Number 5 as “Big Foot” because of the large foot-shaped bunker at the corner of the dogleg. Find Big Foot off the tee and you’ve pretty much taken par out of play; the same can be said if you hit it through the fairway and find the water. Your approach shot plays to a large, well undulated green protected front left by a long, narrow bunker. A new wood retaining wall frames the entire left side of the putting green and adds to the overall beauty of the hole.
The Panther course also designed by Ron Garl, was opened in 1987. It plays a little tougher even though it is shorter than Bobcat (6,813 vs 6,427 yards). Architect Stephen Key renovated the course in 1999 by enlarging the greens, incorporating more undulation and making the bunkers more dramatic. The putting surface was changed to TifEagle Bermuda grass which is far more durable and quicker. Great care goes into the maintenance of the courses and how they impacts the environment.
The stretch of holes from 12 – 15 is referred to as the “Panther’s Claw.” Number 12 is a short, 90 degree dogleg right that requires two shots over environmentally protected areas. Don’t let this hole fool you; it takes two well-executed shots to reach the green in regulation. Number 13 is a par 5 where your second shot is the most demanding and sets up at least a 60-yard carry over water into a well-undulated green. With only one hazard on the 14th hole, players think it’s an easy par, but the trees that line the fairway tell another story. The narrow fairway slopes left and only adds to the drama. The par 3, 15th is pure Ron Garl, a 141-yard hole with an island green that is surrounded by sand. Although it’s one of the largest putting surfaces on the course, the water and sand tend to take their mental toll on golfers.
You’re ever too old to learn and that is especially true when it comes to golf. Whether you’re new to the game or just need some fine tuning, Plantation has Class A PGA and LPGA golf professionals are on staff. They teach out of PGCC’s Golf Learning Center located on the property and use the latest teaching technology including the FlightScope Launch Monitor and various club fitting systems. Practice areas include practice bunkers, short-game areas and multiple targets on the multi-sided driving range. Major equipment manufacturers come for “Demo Days” allowing members to try all the latest and greatest golf equipment. USGA handicaps are maintained through the Pro Shop. Studies have shown that golfers who practice, take golf lessons or seek professional advice on equipment ultimately enjoy the game more. This philosophy applies to tennis too.
PGCC has an extensive tennis complex featuring 13 Har-Tru tennis courts, 5 of which are lit for night play. During the season, weekly leagues as well as a year-round junior program and other activities ensure that everyone may find a competitive, fun group to join regardless of their skill level. There is a club championship, monthly mixers, pro exhibitions and themed social events. USPTA certified instructors provide private and group lessons as well as clinics. The Tennis Pro Shop staff can help keep both your equipment and wardrobe up to date.
PGCC has two pickleball courts. Pickleball is easy to learn and play while being low impact and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. There are 4 bocce ball courts where teams of men, women or mixed teams play weekly. It has become extremely popular.
Fitness, health and wellness are important aspects at PGCC. Quality Matrix weight machines, stationary bikes, treadmills, step machines, ellipticals and free weights are available in the Fitness Center. Members may work out on their own or with a certified personal trainer to help them develop a workout program. A full fitness calendar of classes includes Zumba, Yoga, Balance and Tone, TRX plus Arms & Abs. Getting healthy has never been easier or more fun!
Swimming is one of the best exercises one can do for the entire body. The heated Junior Olympic size pool is popular with swimmers of all ages plus there is a heated Jacuzzi spa that seats 10. Poolside food and beverage is available. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy the Florida sunshine with houseguests and grandchildren.
The 30,000-square-foot clubhouse is a beehive of activity. There are card rooms were groups meet regularly to play bridge, euchre, mahjongg and poker. There’s a number of dining venues in the clubhouse offering a wide variety of food. The Sunset Lounge and Member’s Grill both have spectacular views of the golf course and water. There are two well stocked bars and a Wine Club. Facilities are available for private parties plus PGCC can cater an event in your own home. The Executive Chef and his team of culinary artists put together weekly specials using locally sourced food. The a la carte menu features a delicious selection of dishes ranging from handheld sandwiches and burgers to gourmet dinners. Festive parties, Sunday brunches, seafood buffets and dinner dances are held throughout the year for members and their guests.
PGCC offers several membership categories to meet the needs of just about everyone. A Full Membership gives access to everything the club has to offer: Golf, tennis, the Fitness Center, the Aquatic Center and all activities in and around the Clubhouse. A Sports and Fitness Membership includes everything but golf, although limited golf is included. A Social Membership offers unlimited access to the Clubhouse and all social activities, the Fitness and Aquatic Centers, bocce, pickleball and limited golf and tennis opportunities.
PGCC strives to exceed member expectations by delivering quality services and fine facilities in a professional, responsible and hospitable manner. PGCC is attractive and affordable. If you are interested in becoming a member, I urge you to contact the club directly for more complete membership information.