Chris Wilczynski to design second course at Florida community

Chris Wilczynski to design second course at Florida community
Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Golf course architect Chris Wilczynski has been appointed to design a second golf course at Esplanade Golf and Country Club in the Lakewood Ranch community near Sarasota, Florida.

Lakewood Ranch, part of the Schroeder-Manatee Ranch group, is a 31,000-acre master-planned community which is home to over 30,000 residents. Wilczynski’s design will be the seventh 18-hole layout at Lakewood Ranch and also his second course at Esplanade G&CC, having designed the first in 2013.

“Like most of inland Florida, the land has been used for agriculture and ranching,” said Wilczynski. “The palette that we are working within is a relatively flat piece of land that is bisected by a beautiful creek and wooded wetland preserve. The site has a nice pastoral aesthetic with mature vegetation in areas.”

Wilczynski explains that houses will only line one side of seventeen of the holes. “A few of the holes will be played along the wooded preserve. The overall land plan is great. This will not feel like a typical residential golf course.

“The layout will feature wide fairways, randomly placed bunkers that will be set at diagonals to the intended line of play, 6,000-9,000 square-foot greens and six sets of tees ranging from 3,400 to 6,800 yards. We want the course to be fun and we want to provide options at each hole and at each shot. The concept of ‘easy and hard angles’ will be used throughout the entire design.”

Plans for the course have been finalised with Wilczynski working with home developer Taylor Morrison,– engineering firm Waldrop Engineering and irrigation designer Tony Altum.

The unnamed new course is the fifth project that Wilczynski and Tony Squitieri of Taylor Morrison will have worked on together. “We have worked together for over 20 years and with each project Chris’s passion, creativity, commitment and desire to exceed expectations remains constant,” said Squitieri.

“We are looking forward to developing another great golf course that complements Taylor Morrison’s vision,” said Wilczynski. “We want the course to benefit the community, its residents and the environment that it is supported by.”

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019 with a course opening expected in 2020.