Five years after designing the signature course at Esplanade Golf & Country Club at Lakewood Ranch, developer Taylor Morrison (TM) has asked golf course architect Chris Wilczynski, ASGCA, to create a second golf course at the 31,000 acre master-planned community. The newest design by Chris will be the seventh 18-hole layout on the property located just east of Interstate 75 between Bradenton and Sarasota on Florida’s Golf Coast.
Wilczynski has finalized the plans for the course, having worked in conjunction with Taylor Morrison, Waldrop Engineering and irrigation designer Tony Altum of Indianapolis. The new course, which has not been named, is the fifth project on which Chris has worked with Tony Squitieri of TM. “We have worked together for over 20 years and with each project Chris’ passion, creativity, commitment and desire to exceed expectations remains constant,” Squitieri said.
“Like most of inland Florida, the land has been used for agriculture and ranching,” Wilczynski said. “The palate that we are working within is a relatively flat piece of land that is bisected by a beautiful creek and wooded wetland preserve. The site has a remarkable pastoral aesthetic with mature vegetation in some areas.”
Lakewood Ranch, whose parent company is Shroeder-Manatee Ranch, is located in both Manatee and Sarasota counties, on land that, since the early 1900s has been owned by the Ulhlein family, children of the original owners of the Schiltz Brewery in Milwaukee. In addition to citrus farming and cattle ranching, the Ranch has been used for tree and turf farming and aggregate mining.
“A few of the holes will be played along the preserve,” said Chris, who also noted that 17 of the 18 holes are ‘single loaded,’ meaning homes will only be built on one side of the hole. “The overall land plan is great. This will not feel like a typical residential golf course.”
Wilczynski went on to say, “The layout will feature wide fairways, randomly placed bunkers that will be set at diagonals to the intended line of play, 6-9,000 square-foot greens and six sets of tees ranging from 3,400 to 6,800 yards. We want the course to be fun and provide options at each hole and each shot. The concept of ‘easy and hard angles’ will be used throughout the entire design.”
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019 with a course opening in 2020. “We are looking forward to developing another great golf course that complements Taylor Morrison’s vision. We want the course to benefit the community, its residents and the environment that is supported by,” added Chris.
Taylor Morrison has recently acquired A/V Homes which includes the second largest active-adult community in Florida, Solivita, in northeast Polk County, where the Stonegate Golf Club, a fantastic two championship 18 hole golf complex, is located.