TPC Tampa Bay Returns to Glory
Whenever the initials TPC precede the name of a golf course, there is a high expectation and a touch of magic to it. TPC golf courses are regular venues for top-notch tournaments, with the Players at Sawgrass in March heading the list. In Florida alone, we have 6 renowned locations, and TPC Tampa Bay is one of the finest.
For 20 years, the then-Senior PGA Tour (now the Champions) made an annual stop at this layout on the north side of Tampa. The greatest names in golf played there-Nicklaus, Palmer, Player, Trevino, and Watson.
TPC Tampa Bay has been one of the most beautiful and exciting courses in Florida. Built by the PGA Tour in 1991, Bobby Weed, in collaboration with Chi Chi Rodriguez, designed a championship 18-hole resort course that earned a 4.5-star rating from Golf Digest and was named one of the top 5 in Florida by Florida Golf Magazine.
Home of 21 consecutive Champions Tour championships, the stunning course winds through natural wetlands, cypress heads, and lagoons, provide the perfect backdrop for outstanding golf. The natural setting and abundance of wildlife are why TPC Tampa Bay is one of only two courses in the Tampa/St. Pete area to be designated an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. Aside from the flora and fauna, the masterfully designed course is meant to challenge the top golfers in the world but also provide a fun and challenging experience for players of all abilities.
Now, after six months of meticulous renovation and re-grassing, TPC Tampa Bay is getting rave reviews. Under the ownership/management of Heritage Golf Group, the new mantra is “Return to Glory.” The Bobby Weed design was pretty much left intact, just new varieties of bermuda laid throughout the playing areas.
“This has been a very exciting project,” says Steve Ostroff, TPC Tampa Bay’s GM. “The history of this property is amazing and now we are about to begin a new phase of making history again. Since we re-opened, after being closed for six months, there is a new energy being shown by everyone at the property.”
Although what was known as the Outback Pro-Am is no longer played here, the PGA Tour Champions still has ties to the course. The 2021 Qualifier was held here, and the intent is to bring it back in the upcoming years. It is a perfect venue for what is regarded as one of golf’s most difficult competitions.
“Closing a daily fee golf course for almost six months, without any revenue coming in, is a big decision for a company to make,” adds John Scappatura, Vice President of Operations for Heritage Golf Group. “But the property deserved the needed attention and the results have been eye-popping. This always has been a very pretty golf course and now the conditions are amazing.”
Go check it out! For more information or tee times, please visit TPCTampaBay.com.