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Spotlight: Winter golf prep at Florida’s Saddlebrook Golf & Tennis Resort

It’s tough to not feel just a shade envious when strolling the grounds of Saddlebrook Golf & Tennis Resort near Tampa. Also the home of a boarding prep school for elite golf and tennis players, you’ll see smiling kids enjoying open-air meals, lounging at the pool and strolling the manicured resort trails en route to classes or instruction or the first tee.

Doesn’t exactly sound like your own high school experience, does it?

Then, of course, their grooved golf swings are of course something to behold.

The good news is we can all feel young again at 36-hole Saddlebrook Resort. Spread across 480 scenic acres full of preserved wetlands and forests, there are two charming 18-hole courses to choose from, a rejuvenating spa, four dining concepts and an excellent practice center and academy.

The original Saddlebrook Course, a par 70 layout, has gentler land than the more sculpted and newer Palmer Course, which features more difficult green complexes but relatively generous fairways.

“The Palmer is well maintained and is easily one of my favorites,” wrote catkins101 in a Golf Advisor review from July, 2020. “The greens are perfect and there is a lot to offer after your round. For the price, this is the best non-private course in the area.”

The 18th hole of the Saddlebrook Course is a long and narrow par 4 that wraps around a pond and finishes next to the main resort compound where there may very well be onlookers eying your finish.

Saddlebrook Golf Club & Tennis Resort
The 18th hole of the Saddlebrook Course.

Saddlebrook is equipped for buddies trips by offering stay-and-play packages in spacious and fully-equipped onsite villa accommodations. If you’d like to send a junior to sample the Saddlebrook life, the resort offers golf and tennis camps during holiday breaks. And of course, parents are welcome to enjoy all the resort has to offer as well.

Check out this Golf Advisor Round Trip video that spotlights the history of Saddlebrook Resort and a visit with owner Thomas Dempsey, including its association with Arnold Palmer. WATCH HERE

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