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Exclusive golf course breaks ground in Myakka City

This rendering shows the club's golf course running alongside the Myakka River.
This rendering shows the club's golf course running alongside the Myakka River.
Courtesy image
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Paul Azinger isn’t just a celebrity endorser who flew into town for a day to promote the up-and-coming Miakka Golf Club.

Azinger is part of the design team and a local. 

“I was here before the interstate,” he said with a laugh.

The 1993 PGA champion grew up in Sarasota and now lives in west Bradenton. He was part of an architect panel held at the TerraNova Equestrian Center on April 25 to discuss plans for the new golf course being built next door. A groundbreaking ceremony was held afterward. 

The 18-hole championship course is expected to be completed in late 2025. 

Steve Herrig owns TerraNova. The golf club will be built adjacent to the equestrian center on 1,100 acres.

“Most golf courses are on 200 acres,” designer Dana Fry said.

But the Miakka Golf Club will not be like most golf courses. A tee time won’t be required because the club will be so exclusive that they’re not necessary. Membership is invite only, and every prospective member must meet with Herrig first.

The idea is to create an intimate atmosphere that feels like home. Local memberships are available, but most players will be traveling to play. Cabins will provide overnight accommodations for members and guests.

The architectural theme of the club is Florida Cracker style with large porches and weathered wood. The structures are being built to fit the landscape, and the landscaping is being designed to fit Florida. About 350 acres of the property are being preserved as native areas. 

Invasive species are being replaced with native species surrounding the wetlands. Oak trees that need to be removed for the course are being transplanted. The grass will require about a third less water to maintain, and the drainage will lead to hidden filtration areas. 

The 7,700-yard golf course will run along two miles of the Myakka River, one of the reasons Azinger wanted to be involved with the project and is looking forward to using his membership. 

Owner Steve Herrig and Major winner Paul Azinger celebrate the groundbreaking of the Miakka Golf Club on April 25.
Photo by Lesley Dwyer

Azinger said the team is being mindful of the river in everything they do. The golfer is also a fisherman. He was visibly excited as he listed the variety of fish that can be caught from the river’s bank, including snook, bass, gar and bluegills. 

“Lots of environmental aspects and characteristics are going in,” designer Jason Straka said. “It certainly will be a very celebrated project in our industry in that regard. It is an environmental pinnacle for the state of Florida and golf.” 

On the other side of environmentally conscious and rustic, the facilities will be state-of-the-art. The practice facility will feature a 360-degree driving range with tees hitting from all directions, and the performance center will integrate the latest swing-analysis technology. 

Even the grass is above par. Grass on the tees and fairways will be Stadium Zoysia grass. Herrig bought another 1,600 acres adjacent to the course that has since been established as a sod farm. 

Stadium Zoysia is a fine-textured grass that Azinger said makes the ball sit up and “feels like you’re touching the top of Ian Poulter’s head back in his prime when he had all that gel in there.” 

“I’m 100% positive that every tour player is going to know about this golf course, and they’re going to want to see it,” Azinger said. “I imagine some of them will settle in here and want to prepare and practice here.” 



Lesley Dwyer

Lesley Dwyer is a staff writer for East County and a graduate of the University of South Florida. After earning a bachelor’s degree in professional and technical writing, she freelanced for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. Lesley has lived in the Sarasota area for over 25 years.

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