Lakewood Ranch Gets Another Golf Course–Esplanade at Azario

by | Aug 15, 2020 | NEWS

Come for the Golf, Stay for the Lifestyle

Discover the newest golf course in Manatee County that is creating such a buzz among local golfers. If golf is your game, you will love Esplanade at Azario which features breath-taking views and multiple tees for all players, making it both friendly and challenging.

The new community of Esplanade at Azario Lakewood Ranch, a Taylor Morrison creation, features an 18 hole championship golf course that opened to the public this summer. The nationally acclaimed developer and home builder, known for its beautiful lifestyle centered communities teamed up with Golf Course Architect Chris Wilczynski, ASGCA, to bring this stunning golf course to life. This is the third design on Florida’s west coast that the two parties have collaborated to build. Esplanade at Azario is an exciting new addition to the master-plan community of Lakewood Ranch, a highly desirable residential area.

Joseph Fontana, Taylor Morrison Division President, says, “We are excited to work with Chris again to build a golf course that residents will enjoy for years to come. He understands the vision of our Esplanade brand and helped us develop a course that complements its signature lifestyle.”

“It was an honor to partner with Taylor Morrison again to create another state-of-the-art golf course that will provide residents at Lakewood Ranch with an exceptional golf experience,” said Wilczynski. “Our goal was to create a golf course that is visually dynamic and fun for players of all levels, and I’m excited for people to experience it.”

The golf course sits within the approximately 1,000-acre Azario community that provides homes with picturesque views and a serene setting. Five of the Esplanade at Azario holes are played along and through mature oaks and pines. Hole # 12, named ‘Enclave,’ plays to a raised green surrounded by several deep bunkers and native Florida vegetation. Hole # 17, ‘Big Oak,’ requires a bold tee shot across a lake to the multitiered 9,000 square foot green adjacent to the largest native oak on the property. Wilczynski’s signature touch of building within mature trees is visible throughout, elevating the beauty and memorability of the layout. With six sets of tees that play from 3,500 to over 7,000 yards, the design features wide fairways randomly placed strategic bunkering and 18 masterfully constructed greens.

Working with a flat canvas, Chris and his team turned the present obstacles into beautiful solutions. To add dimension to the otherwise flat land, Wilczynski dug several large man-made lakes and used the soil from the excavation to give the golf course subtle nuances, residential lot pads and roads.

“The extensive earthmoving and detailed landscape we created for each hole brings a dramatic transformation to the original property which is not found elsewhere,” said Chris.

The golf course which will ultimately be a resident-only private venue provides a scenic tour through 18 holes of rolling grounds within the Esplanade at Azario Lakewood Ranch resort-lifestyle community, where new homes are now selling. Homeowners will have access to an exciting array of planned resort amenities including a Wellness Center, Culinary Center, Bahama Bar, a resort-style pool and state-of-the-art fitness center, sports courts, gathering places with fire pits, and a full-time Lifestyle Manager located on-site to plan special events, parties and much more for the residents.

The Esplanade at Azario Lakewood Ranch community and daily operations of the golf course are managed by Pope Properties and Pope Golf,  a local consulting firm that manages several other courses in Southwest Florida. Go to or call 866-495-6006 to make a reservation for a visit or a tee time.

About the Author

<a href="" target="_self">Dave Daubert</a>

Dave Daubert

Dave, a member of Golf Writers of America and International Golf Travel Writers Associations, has been writing about all things golf since the turn of the century. He was Managing Editor at a regional golf magazine for 11 years before joining eSouthernGOLF in 2013 as Editor. Dave has been published at TriStateGolfer, FairwaysGolfCanada, GeorgiaGolf&Travel, TexasGolfInsider, GolfTrips, NewEngland.Golf, ProGolfWeekly, and numerous regional and state publications. His unique perspective and insight make for an enjoyable read and interesting articles. Contact him at

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