River Strand Golf & Country Club is without a doubt one of the gems of Southwest Florida Golf. Located in Bradenton FL, it is nestled just East of the Gulf of Mexico near Manatee River. Without a doubt a true test of your golf game. Golfers are met with water in play on seemingly every hole, strategically placed bunkers, long holes and short holes that make you rethink your every shot.
River Strand offers 27 holes of golf. Tributary, Sanctuary and Estuary. While River Strand is not your typical "Florida" Course, it is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and scenic courses you will find. Since our "season" started down here, there has rarely been an open tee time. And, with as much play as this course gets, the conditions would never show it.
For this review, I played Tributary for our Front 9, and Sanctuary for our back 9. I fully intend on playing here again soon, and finishing the review with the 9 holes from Estuary, which, in my opinion has the most scenery of the 27 holes.
Their website is; www.riverstrandgolf.com
An aerial shot of River Strand, all of the open sand areas you see are now an absolutely beautiful Golfing Community;
Hole #1 Tributary. Shorter dog leg Par 4, invites you to take driver off the tee to test the green. Smart play is a FW or Hybrid to leave yourself with a wedge to the green;
Looking at #1 green;
Hole #2, Par 3
Hole 3, fairway looking at green;
Hole #5, Par 3. 205 yard Par 3. Pin was tucked far right of green, a sucker pin begging you to test the waters...
Hole 6, Par 4;
Hole 7, Shorter Par 4, but makes you think. Blind tee shot to the dogleg left, and then a fun shot in to the green awaits you...
Looking at #7 green; Cant miss left. Or right. Or short. Or long.
Hole #8. Par 5, playing today at 575.
Hole #9, the Final hole on Tributary. Carry around 200 needed to clear the junk ahead. Strategically placed green side bunkers cause some headaches here;
Looking back on #9;
Hole #2, Par 5.
The wide fairway of #2;
Hidden sand trap behind the green on #2, makes for a difficult up & down;
Hole #5, 300 yard Par 4. Fairway slopes down to the right where water awaits. The green is incredibly small, and poses quite the test.
The green on #5;
Hole #6, Par 4 with an interesting split fairway. Again, the fairway slopes to the right toward the water. If you move the ball left to right like I do, it can be trouble.
Hole #8, Par 4. Fun carry over water.
The drive to #9;
Hole #9, finishing Par 5;
River Strand is an incredible track. A beautifully maintained course that makes you think about your game. Par 4s that under 300 yards that wreak havoc on your game due to hazards are followed up by stretching it long with nearly 600 yard Par 5s. I love it when a course makes you think, and going from a 205 yard Par 3 to a 265 yard Par 4 definitely does that. Hope to get back to River Strand soon and update this thread with pictures from the third 9 holes, Estuary.