Course Architect: William Byrd, Ron Garl (Blue redesign, 2005)
Year Opened: 1982
Location: Longboat Key, Florida
Slope: Red/White 134, White/Blue 132, Blue/Red 139
Rating: Red/White 72.5, White/Blue 72.8, Blue/Red 72.8
Par: 72
Yardages: Red/White (6,768), White/Blue (6,827), Blue/Red (6,743)
                             RED                  WHITE            BLUE HERON
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 379 Yds    1 - Par 4 390 Yds    1 - Par 4 379 Yds
                      2 - Par 4 400 Yds    2 - Par 4 430 Yds    2 - Par 4 395 Yds
                      3 - Par 3 175 Yds    3 - Par 5 535 Yds    3 - Par 3 148 Yds
                      4 - Par 5 518 Yds    4 - Par 4 387 Yds    4 - Par 4 418 Yds
                      5 - Par 4 339 Yds    5 - Par 3 160 Yds    5 - Par 5 605 Yds
                      6 - Par 3 185 Yds    6 - Par 4 380 Yds    6 - Par 4 345 Yds
                      7 - Par 4 400 Yds    7 - Par 3 184 Yds    7 - Par 3 170 Yds
                      8 - Par 5 562 Yds    8 - Par 5 523 Yds    8 - Par 4 419 Yds
                      9 - Par 4 384 Yds    9 - Par 4 437 Yds    9 - Par 5 522 Yds
                      Par 36  3,342 Yds   Par 36  3,426 Yds   Par 36  3,401 Yds

Awards Won: Rated 4 stars by Travel + Leisure Golf Magazine (2005).

Website: longboatkeyclub.com

HISTORY:  Part of  a 45-hole  facility at  Longboat Key  Club and  Resort, the
Harbourside  Course  features 27 tree-lined  holes bordering Sarasota Bay. The
Red  and White  nines wind  up and  back, south  of the  clubhouse, while  the
recently-renamed Blue Heron nine is spread out on the north end.

The  Blue Heron  holes, formerly called the Blue nine, recently underwent a $2
million facelift under the guidance of architect Ron Garl.

A  graduate of  the University  of Florida,  Garl has  designed and  remodeled
courses  all around  the world, including gems in the "Sunshine State" such as
TPC at Prestancia, Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club and Grenelefe Resort.

Garl  added bunkers, sand  dunes and chipping areas to the Blue Heron nine and
rebuilt  the  putting surfaces, creating  an exciting and challenging group of

The  Red  and White nines will  also be renamed  and redesigned by Garl, as he
adds  large  waste bunkers into  the design to bring  the course up to today's
standards with the improvement of technology.

REVIEW:  The Red  nine features tight, tree-lined fairways with water on seven
of  the holes.  The opening hole is  a straightaway par four, requiring only a
fairway  metal off the  tee. A short iron remains to a green flanked by a pair
of large bunkers. A perfect start to get into the flow of the round.

With  water  down the entire right  side, the second hole requires an accurate
tee  ball to  have any chance at  making par. The second bends slightly to the
left  and, after  a successful tee shot,  just a medium to short iron remains.
The green slopes from back to front, so play below the hole.

The  next  hole is the first  par three, stretching  to 175 yards -- the third
longest  of the  six one-shotters. The long, narrow green slopes back to front
and is flanked on both sides by tall stands of trees.

The  par-five fourth  is a straightaway 518-yarder that can be reached in two.
However,  be wary of  the out of bounds and trees right and water left off the
tee.  Sand around the green could be tricky to recover from, especially with a
front flag.

The  narrow fairway on the short, straightaway fifth requires just a long iron
to  set up a  little wedge to the undulating green. Trees once again flank the
fairway, while a large waste bunker stands short and right of the green.

Heading  back towards  the clubhouse,  the  sixth is  the longest  of the  par
threes  at  Longboat Key.  With sand everywhere,  this gem quite intimidating.
When the wind is up, this could be one bear of a hole.

With  water  down the right and  sand on the  left, the par-four seventh is as
demanding  as it  gets. Long and straight  off the tee will result in a medium
iron to a green protected on the left by a deep trap.

The No. 1 handicap hole on the Red is the par-five eighth, stretching a modest
562  yards from  the blue  tees. Water  runs down  the entire  right side  and
crosses  short of the green. Favor the left side off the tee, though a pair of
traps  guard the  landing area. One of  the few holes not surrounded by trees,
the  eighth is affected  by the wind, thus making it a true three-shot hole as
it  bends  to the right.  The green is wide-open,  except for the bunker left,
which  is well  off the  surface. This  should be  one of  your best  shots at

The  closing hole  on the Red is a  beaute. Water all along the left side with
sand  down the  right  and a  long  waste bunker  left.  Pinpoint accuracy  is
required  off  the tee,  as the  fairway is  pinched in  the landing area. The
putting surface slopes from back to front with two large traps on either side.
With  a northerly  wind and  a back-left  flag, this  hole could  be a  round-

The longest of the three nines, the White is laid out similar to the Red, with
six holes featuring water. Once again, there are tight, tree-lined fairways on
the way out and water-guarded holes coming home.

The  first hole on the White is the easiest on the course, straightaway with a
wide  fairway.  After a  successful tee  shot, just  a wedge  will remain to a
slightly-elevated  green  with a  bunker on  the right.  Really no reason that
birdie can't be made.

In contrast, the second is long and tight. Stretching 430 yards, this par four
features  tough bunkering down the right side of the landing area and tightens
as  you reach  the putting surface. Any  shot missed to the right of the green
will be gobbled up by a dense thicket of mangrove.

The  third hole  is listed  as the  most difficult  on the  White nine,  as it
reaches  535 yards  from the back buttons. Although it plays straightaway, the
hole is tight and tree-lined with sand short and left of the green. Making par
will not be easy.

The  dogleg-right fourth is  a gem. Sand down the left side guards the landing
area, while water looms right, the side you must favor to have an open shot to
the  green. The  putting  surface is  slightly elevated  with  a large  bunker
fronting  the promised land.  Any shot long of the green will be wet, as water
wraps around the back of the hole.

The fifth is a straight-forward par three of 184 yards. Club selection is key,
as  sand guards the entire back section of the green, not to mention the right
portion  as well. The  putting surface is quite flat, but a back-right pin can
make this one devilish hole.

The  only  option of play  on the par-four sixth  is straight down the middle.
Trees  guard the right  and water left on this difficult hole. Keep the driver
in the bag and use your fairway metal or long iron to set up a medium to short
iron  to  a small green protected  by sand on  three sides. Tough hole to make
birdie, let alone a par.

Although  ranked as the eighth easiest hole on the nine, the par-three seventh
is  as  tough as it gets.  With the wind  blowing in your face, club selection
here is quite difficult, ranging anywhere from three-iron to seven-iron. Trees
right,  and sand left  and right with a sloping green, make this hole anything
but easy.

The  key on  the snake-like,  par-five eighth  is length  and accuracy.  Water
encompasses  the entire  left side of the  hole, while sand guards most of the
right. Your opening shot must hug the right side, thus flirting with the trees
by  the tee.  Going for the green in  two is certainly a gamble with the water
and  numerous traps  fronting the surface. The  smart play would be out to the
right  with your layup  shot and then a little wedge to the green. The putting
surface is quite slick from back to front, so play below the hole for a birdie

Running along side the marina, the ninth is a solid finishing hole, stretching
437  yards. A  pair of long bunkers  guard the left side of the fairway, while
the  right side is  open. However, you must favor the left, as tall trees will
partially  block  your approach to the  green. The fun really begins with your
second  shot, which  must cover a small  body of water fronting the green. The
putting surface is also no bargain, as the two-tiered, split-level green would
indicate. Making par here will be quite a task.

The  most picturesque  of the  group  is the  Blue Heron  nine. Following  its
facelift, the Blue features some outstanding views with water coming into play
on six holes.

The first is a sharp dogleg-right par four, just 379 yards in length. Accuracy
is  key, as  the fairway must be  hit, avoiding the large traps in the landing
zone. A short iron awaits to a fairly small green that slopes gently from back
to front.

Talk  about a sharp  dogleg, the second is almost 90 degrees from the tee box.
Once  again,  not a long hole,  but plenty of carry  over a lake to a generous
fairway.  The  slightly-elevated green is  protected nicely by numerous traps,
ready  to swallow up  any errant approach. A good hole to make par, just don't
be too greedy.

The  par-three  third is the  shortest of all  of the one-shotters at Longboat
Key,  just  148 yards  in length.  The defense  is the  fronting traps and the
sloping  green, which  cants from back to  front. Play below the hole to leave
the best shot at birdie.

Another  dogleg to the  right, the fourth plays over water off the tee and all
along  the right side to the green. One of the more difficult holes out there,
especially  when the  wind is up, the  fourth could be a back-breaker. To make
matters  worse, sand protects the left side of the fairway, so par is a unique

The  best  of the  Blue and  Longboat Key  is the  par-five fifth, measuring a
whopping  605 yards from the tips with water down the entire right side. Start
off with a tee ball over water on this dogleg right. Then your layup shot must
split  water  right and  tall sand  dunes left. Finally,  your approach to the
green  must be  pinpoint, as water and  wind will lead your shot astray to the
left to right-sloping peninsula green.

A  reprieve of  sort is  the sixth,  at  just 345  yards from  the back  tees.
Straightaway  with sand dunes left and numerous bunkers around the green, this
hole can be had, especially when attacking with a wedge.

One  of  the prettiest holes  at Longboat Key is  the par-three seventh, as it
offers an outstanding view of Sarasota Bay in the background. Bunkering short-
left  and right-front  make this hole quite the challenge, especially with the
wind blowing in. As little as a seven-iron or as much as a three-iron can make
this one tough hole.

Another  picturesque setting, the eighth bends to the right with the Bay along
the  left. This  par four is tough  and is usually wind-affected, making par a
difficult score.

The  final  hole on the  Blue Heron  nine has it  all. Sand, water, length and
difficulty.  This par five starts out straight with down the right side and OB
and Sarasota Bay left. The layup area narrows with water and sand to the right
while  the hole  takes a  significant  turn to  the right  towards the  green.
Numerous traps guard the putting surface, which is open to the elements.

FINAL  WORD:  Although certainly  not long by  today's standards, Longboat Key
Club's  Harbourside  Course has all  you need and more.  First up, 27 holes of
solid  golf featuring mature trees, beautiful vistas, sculptured bunkering and
let's  not forget --  a challenge. The White and Red nines are similar. Tight,
tree-lined  holes with  plenty of H2O. The Blue Heron nine is spectacular, not
to  mention  very difficult  and visually intimidating.  All three courses are
quite playable with numerous tee boxes from the beginner to the advanced.

The  resort has many  "Stay and Play" packages to choose from, is just minutes
away  from  Sarasota and St.  Petersburg and  an hour from Tampa International
Airport.  Longboat Key  Club  and Resort  features over  200  guest rooms  and
suites,  each  with private balconies.  Only a stone's  throw from the Gulf of
Mexico,  Longboat Key  is a  quality family  destination, especially  with its
year-round  "Kids  Klub," spa and  fitness center.  Depending upon the time of
day, golf prices range from $60-80 per round from May through December.

The bottom line: Longboat Key Club is an outstanding golf destination. Another
key  ingredient  is its location to  the nightlife and attractions of Sarasota
and the fun and games of St. Pete and Tampa. This is one you shouldn't miss.