The Concession in Bradenton, Florida is an exclusive club that opened in 2006 and features a Jack
Nicklaus signature course that was rated #88 in America's Top 100 by Golf magazine in 2009. The
course has a maximum USGA difficulty rating of 77.6 and a slope of 155 (that it shares with 12 other
clubs including Pine Valley, TPC Sawgrass, Castle Pines and Hazeltine) . . . but the club is so much
more than that.
If you don't already know, The name Concession comes from the 1969 Ryder Cup matches at Royal
Birkdale. In one of the most famous gestures of Sportsmanship ever, Jack Nicklaus conceded a missable
putt to Tony Jacklin on the 18th hole of their singles match that resulted in the first ever tie in Ryder
Cup history 16-16. This is the prevailing theme at the club. Tony Jacklin not only was part of the origin,
he lent his hand in the design of the course as well.
The setting is 520 acres of rugged landscape draped with mature Florida Live Oak and towering Pines
throughout. Rolling terrain and lakes add great variety to the test, all while serving up vistas of the
highest order. Along with the Bear's Club, and the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach this might be Jack's
finest work in the state he's called home since 1965.
The Clubhouse at The Concession
Details with a special touch are abundant at The Concession, and Ryder Cup history is displayed
prominently everywhere at the club, each bag stand on the driving range displays a different Ryder
Cup result, this one needs no explanation.
1st hole at 428 yards, grabs your attention early. Tony Trace our caddy, was fresh off a loop with
David Leadbetter, who was seen having lunch in the clubhouse when we arrived. You never know who
you will run into at The Concession. 1993 PGA Champion and 2008 Ryder Cup Captain Paul Azinger holds
the course record (65) and lives close by.
2nd fairway view
Choose your tees wisely, every hole is a challenge at The Concession . . . there are no cup cakes on
this layout. The white tees are 5909 yards, 7474 yards from the tips.
The green complex at the 577 yard third is a present day Nicklaus design - plenty of room off the tee
and precision is required on the approach. There are shaved runoffs to test your shortgame if you
miss the green in regulation. If you don't think Donald Ross and Alister Mackenzie have influenced the
Golden Bear's design evolution, then you're not paying attention. The surfaces at Concession are part
Pinehurst No.2, Augusta National and Seminole (which is one of Ross's premier works just down the
street from Jack's compound at Lost Tree Village in North Palm Beach).
The fifth shown above, is Jack's favorite design at Concession.
The 183 yard par 3 sixth has a Harbour Town look, the miss is left here.
Sometimes you stand on a tee box and get that WOW feeling . . . this was it for me. The tee on the
par 5 seventh is as beautiful an inland hole as I've seen in the state. Not to mention, strategically it's
a great risk reward hole. If I were to make a list of my favorite 18 holes in Florida (great idea for a
future piece) this is definitely on the list.
#7 part two - If you want to go for #7 in two, you must carry the hazard beyond the pine tree. Your
work just begins after two perfectly executed knocks. The green is severely undulated.
The Golden Bear might have had some Donald Ross influence again here at the eighth, the scene
resembles Pinehurst No.2.
The tee at the dogleg right 436 yard ninth.
If you go through the fairway at the ninth, this fairway bunker awaits.
The short 349 yard par 4 - twelfth, lay up short of the bunkers or test your long game by attempting
to blow it over. If you clear the bunkers, you'll be left with a partial wedge to a firm well undulated
The elevated green on the 13th is well guarded short, if you miss long get ready for a near impossible
up and down (there is a 30 foot drop on the backside).
The Par 3 fourteenth played 215 yards. LinksNation staffer and mini tour player Michael Kartrude made
an Ace with a 5 iron! As far as we know it's the third Ace in the hole's history, and the first from the tips.
The view from behind the 14th, the surfaces are firm and fast . . . just what you'd expect from a
championship layout of this caliber.
The fifteenth requires a well placed tee shot between the fairway bunkers and the greenside bunkers.
Notice the rolling fairway on the par 5 - 17th hole
The 486 yard finisher is a brute, and will be the perfect closer when the club hosts the 2015 NCAA
Golf Championships in consecutive weeks for both the Men and Women. This is the first time in the
events history that both events will be held at the same location. It is also the first time in 25 years
that the event will be held in Florida. Just last week, the club hosted the Big Ten Match Play
Approximately 40 courses around the World have been given clocks by Rolex, typically a course must
host a major championship to receive one. After featuring the club on one of their commercials, Rolex
provided the club with two clocks.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the outstanding service by Beth and Ryan in the Pro Shop, and
Steve in the Mens Lockeroom. Caddy Tony Trace showed great green reading skills and the perfect
temperment for a great day at a track often mentioned among Americas top 100.
To find out more about The Concession: http://theconcession.com/