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Sports

This Bradenton jewel gets a makeover. A two-time major champ led renovation project

 

Tony Jacklin, winner of two major championships, said he learned quickly during his legendary golf career what to expect from a Donald Ross-designed course.

“None of it was rocket science,” Jacklin said. “It was all plain, simple stuff. He saw the opportunities in that way — a simplistic way. It wasn’t about creating monuments as far as he was concerned. It was golf ability, playability to the golfer.”

It was no different with Bradenton Country Club, a course Jacklin became an honorary member at nearly 20 years ago.

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The simplistic approach is what Jacklin strived to do as he renovated Bradenton Country Club back to its original Ross design, which meant removing six bunkers and 560 trees — most that weren’t part of the 1920s design — and replaced with 226 palm trees.

Bradenton Country Club after it was originally built in 1924. Famed golf course architect Donald Ross was hired to design the course. Provided photo

“We plant the greens first,” Bradenton Country Club general manager Dave Taylor said. “Then we sod areas around the greens, we sod the areas around the tee boxes and then we plant the tees, then we came in and planted the fairways, planted the rough. And we did it six holes at a time.”

The $2.5 million project included renovations for the course, the main roof to the clubhouse and adding a resort-style pool with accompanying furniture and restaurant.



Friday’s grand reopening features a 120-player member-only shotgun tournament at 10 a.m. Jacklin and Vaughn Curtis, who was the club’s president during most of the renovation period, are hitting ceremonial first tee shots.

On Saturday, the club is hosting its annual Fall Gala with fireworks, music and entertainment around the club. The event normally happens in November, but was moved to coincide with the reopening celebration.

Send story tips to @Jason__Dill on Twitter.

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