Bobby Jones Golf Course blends nature with recreation in Sarasota

Hidden near downtown Sarasota, the Bobby Jones Golf Course opened its gates for the public to enjoy. 

"It's really more of a get out of the house, shake off the lockdown and enjoy being outside in gorgeous weather," said Sue Martin, the general manager of parks and recreation for the city of Sarasota. 

She said the natural setting will surprise you, with gators, turtles, and more than 40 types of birds that call the course home. 

"We have ponds, creeks, old trees with Spanish moss, palm trees, it’s unbelievable that it’s in the middle of the city, but when you’re out on the golf course and the nature trails you’re far away from the city as possible as you can get," said Martin. 

The golf course shut down amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It is scheduled for a renovation at the end of April 2021. 

Half of the property will be transformed into a nature trail. You could call the long Memorial Day weekend a test run. 

"We will still have 18 regulations holes but we will have about 115 acres of nature out there, that will be open to the public at no cost," said Martin. 

It's a way to enjoy a slice of life, at no cost, away from the stress of daily life. 

"We have to see how we do this weekend, I’m very positive it will be okay and we will be open every day," said Martin.