Bargain Golf Courses near Siesta Key and Sarasota

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When thinking about Siesta Key most people would start with the beaches, especially #1 rated Siesta Beach. But for many, this is also a golf destination. There are many fine public golf courses that you can play for reasonable prices in the area, even during the January to March peak season.

If you are picky about the golf courses you play, as I am, you probably look for an interesting, challenging, but playable layout, well maintained fairways, and traps that actually have sand in them (covid took a toll on sand traps). This is Florida, so most courses have grass varieties that can withstand the summer heat, but go dormant in the winter. I’ve played all the courses below, and they regularly overseed in the winter so there is growing grass, not hardpan, on the fairways and greens. All courses in Florida have water hazards, so bring a good supply of golf balls.

Prices during the peak season can run to the $125 - $150 range. If you don’t mind paying that much you can probably ignore this list and just play the top resort courses. The courses below will range from $50 - $80. Afternoons are less than the morning, and weekends may be less than weekdays (believe it or not). These less expensive courses fall into two categories, brand new courses in developments just being built, and older courses that don’t have the brand-new fancy clubhouse, and where the maintenance is very good, but not quite what the $150 courses have. In the summer (May to September), almost all the courses have great prices. In the shoulder seasons (October-December and April), most prices come down a little. All courses are within 45 minutes of Siesta Key.

If you’re going to be here for 30 days or more, take a look at the Suncoast Golf Trail card and the Big Summer Golf card, they have some good discounts.

Shoulder Season (October-December, April). Play these courses while they are affordable.

Heron Creek (North Port):

A beautiful course with 27 holes. Huge driving range (included with green fees). In immaculate condition. A challenging but fair layout.

Wellen Park (North Port):

A brand-new golf course in a new development. Play it before it’s closed to public play. On the 2024 Suncoast Golf Trail card. A great layout in excellent condition. Driving range included with green fee.

Jacaranda West (Venice):

Nice layout, excellent condition. Usually on Suncoast Golf Trail card. Driving range.

Play any time, reasonable pricing in the Prime Season (January-March).

The River Club (Bradenton):

An excellent layout in Bradenton. Good condition. Very reasonable prices. Driving range. A bargain!

Serenoa (Sarasota):

Another tough but fair layout, good condition. They have put money into it the last two years. A sister course to Legacy. Join the Loyalty Club. Driving range. Close to Siesta Key. 3/1/24: Sand traps are not good, like playing off concrete. Rake before taking your shot.

Heritage Harbour (Bradenton):

Another reasonably priced Bradenton course. Major re-design in 2022. Good condition, interesting layout, reasonable prices. Usually on Suncoast card. Driving range.

River Run (Bradenton):

A City of Bradenton golf course. A real bargain. Nice layout, some interesting holes (#9 is a great par 5). Pretty good condition. No range.

The Highlands (Sarasota):

Good condition. From the white tees it’s a little long unless you can hit it 220-230 yards. Move up a tee. No range.