With a great history and an abundance of natural beauty, Bent Tree Country Club is popular spot for golfers in the Sarasota area. Originally designed by Bill Lewis, this once-fully-private facility opened in 1975, but has been semi-private in recent years with flexible membership plans. It wasn't long after Bent Tree Country Club debuted that it was thrust into the limelight as it played host to the Sarasota LPGA Classic from 1976 to 1988. Champions included Kathy Whitworth, Judy Rankin, Nancy Lopez, and Patty Sheehan. Sheehan won it three times, while Lopez took the title twice. The golf course has undergone renovations over the years from golf architects Ward Northrup (1994 greens renovation) and Ron Garl, who oversaw major changes in 2015. Garl's work included newly excavated bunkers, new fairways and remodeled tee boxes to give Bent Tree Golf Club a fresh look. The course has five sets of tees and plays from 5,217 yards to 6,686 yards. It features tree-lined fairways, well-maintained greens, mature oaks and miles of streams and lakes to create a tranquil, but challenging setting. Signature holes include the par-3 third hole, which requires a 185-yard carry over water to a bunker guarded by huge bunker. The other signature hole is the par-5 ninth, a double dogleg with water left, right and in the middle to a three-tiered green. And it doesn't get any easier from there. The back nine is consider the tougher of the two nines. Golfers who play Bent Tree Country Club will also enjoy observing the birds and natural wildlife that populate the course. Bent Tree is also an easy walk, and carrying your bag or taking a push cart isn't discouraged. In addition to the par-72 golf course, Bent Tree offers a fully-grassed driving range, short-game area, practice greens and golf academy. Golf lessons are available from the professional staff. A beautiful grille room in the clubhouse as well as a well-stocked golf shop complete the experience at Bent Tree Country Club.