LAKEWOOD RANCH — A grassy field along Lake Uihlein at the end of Lakewood Ranch Main Street now is a peaceful plot removed from the bustle of daily activity.
But soon, businessman Jacob Spooner hopes to “putt” the spot on the map for a still-relaxing, but more family-oriented use.
Within months, Spooner will begin installing the newest addition to Lakewood Ranch Main Street — an outdoor miniature-golf course called The Fish Hole on Lake Uihlein.
“It’s designed like an old fishing village with a water tower and an ice house, and we’ll have a coy pond,” Spooner said, noting the course will be nearly identical to his existing course on Anna Maria Island. “We landscape these golf courses like a botanical garden.”
Guests will be able to pick up their putters from a small kiosk at the start of the course, where there also will be rocking chairs on which people can relax or wait for family members as they play.
The course also will have a misting system — which can drop the temperature by about 10 degrees — for hot Florida days, Spooner said.
“It’s a very low-key atmosphere, low lighting,” Spooner said. “It’s not going to be like your typical golf course.”
Play will cost $7.50 for a first round and $2 for a second round, and $1 off coupons will be readily available, Spooner said.
Spooner said the success of the course he and his mother, Deborah Sniadach, opened on Anna Maria Island two years ago has been an inspiration for his decision to open a location out east. He spent several months scouting potential locations.
But once he saw the spot along Lake Uihlein, Spooner knew he’d found the perfect location, if it were available. The deal for the roughly ¾-acre spot directly behind Main Street along the waterfront was finalized mid-December.
Spooner retrieved the new 55,000-pound, 18-hole, adventure-golf course from Ocean City, Md., this past weekend, and now is waiting for county approval to move forward. Once that happens, course installation will take about three months, he said.
“We’ll break ground as soon as permitting goes through the county,” Spooner said. “We’d like to (do it) as soon as possible.
“I’m really excited about coming out to Lakewood Ranch,” he said. “I spent a long time trying to find another location after the success (of my course) on Bridge Street (on Anna Maria Island). I’m really feel confident in the location (in Lakewood Ranch).”
Additionally, Spooner will open a golf and novelty store called Main Street Bazaar on the end of Main Street, just a short walk away from the course. The shop will offer toys, shell necklace and other jewelry, gag gifts, funny T-shirts and other novelty items.
Spooner said he expects to have the store opened in late February or early March.
Spooner and his mother also own several novelty-type shops on Anna Maria, including Bridge Street Bazaar and Island Bazaar.
For information about the adventure golf course, visit www.thefishhole.com.
Contact Pam Eubanks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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