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Soleta Golf Club To Set The Tone In SW Florida

by | Feb 11, 2024 | WHERE TO PLAY

Myakka City, FL., consists of one post office (perhaps the smallest in the country) that closed in 2021, an old schoolhouse (also closed), less than 100 residents, and a lot of big alligators.

You know the saying, “Blink and you’ll miss it?’’ Heck, you don’t need to blink, and you might miss Myakka City.

Much of that, however, will change beginning this fall with the opening of the private Soleta Golf Club community. Located on 530 acres of Old Florida land within Myakka City, Soleta Golf Club – designed by World Golf Hall of Famer Nick Price – is expected to be the carrot that continues to draw businesses, residents, and, yes, golfers to the only developable land remaining east of Sarasota’s Lakewood Ranch.

“Everything is growing east (of Sarasota) as fast as it can,’’ said Alan Pope, Soleta’s membership director.

Pope knows the Sarasota/Lakewood Ranch/Bradenton area, having been membership director of the exclusive Concession Golf Club (co-designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin) in Bradenton. While at The Concession, Pope co-founded The Concession Cup, a biennial golf competition between top amateurs from the U.S. and Great Britain.  He then was hired by The Coral Creek Club in Boca Grande to enhance the club’s national and statewide presence and reputation.  Pope’s mandate is the same at Soleta Golf Club. That is, help elevate the high-end private golf experience in an area (and state) that can’t build private clubs fast enough to meet demand.

“The ceiling still is very high,’’ Pope said. “The waiting lists (at private golf clubs) are very long. Wealth in the Northeast has grown so much in the past couple of years that people are still relocating to the Naples, Sarasota, West Palm Beach, and Miami markets.’’

Pope said the club expects to open the golf course by this Thanksgiving. Fully built out beginning in 2026, the club’s amenities will include a world-class, 30-acre golf practice and indoor performance center designed by David Leadbetter, a spa, fitness center, clubhouse, lagoon pool, and children’s splash pad, tennis, and pickleball courts, indoor and outdoor play areas for kids, plus an event open space.  Multiple fine and casual dining options are also planned.

“The course will have that ‘Old Florida’ native look,’’ Pope said. “It will be very playable for average and higher-handicap players. Not much water comes into play, except from the pro tees. Nick wants a firm and fast course. It will play through the old oaks – without holes playing next to each other.  We want to focus on avid golfers, good etiquette, and families, with high-end great service and a great golf course.’’

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<a href="https://golfonemedia.com/author/steve_pike/" target="_self">Steve Pike</a>

Steve Pike

Steve “Spike” Pike is a lifelong journalist whose career covers Major League Baseball, the NFL, and college basketball. For the past 26 years, Spike has been one of the more respected voices in the golf and travel industries, working for such publications as Golfweek, Golf World, and Golf Digest for The New York Times Magazine Group. In 1998, Spike helped launch the PGA.com website for the PGA of America. As a freelance travel and golf writer, Spike’s travels have taken him around the world. He has played golf from Pebble Beach to St. Andrews, walked the Great Wall of China, climbed an active volcano in the Canary Islands, been on safari in South Africa, and dived with sharks off Guadalupe, Baja California. Steve lives in Delray Beach, Fla, and posts his golf and travel content on his website at spikeongolfandtravel.com. He can be reached at spikee41@hotmail.com.