Fazio Unveils Ritz-Carlton Members Club

Golf architect Tom Fazio unveiled his latest Florida gem last week during grand opening ceremonies at The Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club, Sarasota. The event was attended by over 300 members and guests, course representatives and local dignitaries.

“I’m ecstatic with the results of this golf course,” Fazio said. “This has been a special project from the very beginning and, when you see the variation in hole elevation and the placement of numerous lakes and water features, I think you can see we have created a special golf course.”

Fazio was joined in the unveiling ceremony by the ownership of The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota; Jim McManemon, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota; Sarasota resident and television sports personality Dick Vitale; television golf commentator Jennifer Mills who served as the emcee; and Ezzat Coutry, Senior Vice President of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC.

In a special presentation to Boys and Girls Clubs chapters of Sarasota and Manatee counties, it was announced that the golf course would be donated one day per year for each of the next three years in order for the charity to host a fund-raising golf tournament. In addition, a significant contribution was made by the ownership group, subsequently matched by Fazio, who’s a member of the National Board of Trustees for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the USA.

The Members Golf Club is a private 18-hole facility, available only for the use of members of The Ritz-Carlton Members Club and guests of The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. It is a par-72 layout occupying 315 acres of tropical landscape. The course was sculpted by moving nearly 1.9 million cubic yards of dirt to create elevation, relief, contouring and framing for each hole in a manner that involves 12 lakes and extensive landscaping.

There are six sets of tees, with yardage ranging from 7,417 to 5,175. “This will be a high-end, dramatic, distinctive golf club that will be the type of course that all levels of players will enjoy,” Fazio said. “It has that ‘I-want-to-come back’ feeling – when you can’t wait to play it again.”

Amenities include The Ritz-Carlton’s Caddie Concierge program and a two-level practice range, with two chipping greens and two putting greens. The clubhouse – overlooking hole Nos. 1, 10, 9 and 18 – is to open in 2007 with a golf shop, grill restaurant, lounge and men’s and women’s locker rooms.

For more information, call 941/309-2600 or visit www.rcmcsarasota.com.