Peridia Golf & Country Club: An Executive Course with a Country Club Setting

By Joe Bruno, Contributor

BRADENTON, FL - It's almost time for the end of baseball's spring training in sunny Florida, and if you're one of those duffers who likes to combine golfing with a little Grapefruit League baseball, now is the time to make your reservations to the Suncoast of Florida, which is the area from Tampa to Fort Myers, on the west coast of Florida. That area is home to the New York Yankees in Tampa, the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, the Cincinnati Reds in Sarasota, the Texas Rangers in Port Charlotte, the Devil Rays in St. Pete, the Phillies in Clearwater and the Boston Red Sox in Fort Myers. If Bradenton is your destination, and you rather play an executive course in three hours rather than a regular par-72 course, which might take upwards of five hours, be sure to try the Peridia Golf and Country Club. You can golf in the morning and still have time to catch a ball game in the afternoon.

The Peridia Golf & Country Club is located on State Road 70 (53rd Avenue East), three miles west of I-75 and one mile east of Route 301. It is bordered by State Road 70 (53rd Avenue East) on the south, the Fairfax development on the north, 45th Street on the east, and 37th Street on the west. The best way to get there is to take I-75 to Exit 41 A. Then head west and the Peridia Golf & Countries clubs's entrance is three miles down on the right hand side of the road. But hurry. The golf course will be closed for renovations in April and won¹t reopened until September.

The first thing you notice when you get to the Peridia Golf & Country Club is that it is as luxurious as the most tony country clubs in the area. The only difference is that the course is a par-60 Executive Course and not one of the bigger par-72 courses. There is no bag drop, so when you get there, park your car in the lot and go immediately to the pro shop.

While you're in the pro shop take a look at the fine set of golfing goodies on display. They have hats with the Peridia logo; straw hats, baseball caps, and even the old-fashioned pea caps. There is also a small snack bar in the pro shop where you can get soft drinks, and a jumbo hot dog for only $1.95. After you settle up the fees, the attendant there will give you the keys to your cart. Pick up the cart around the back, motor to your car, load your clubs, and you¹re all set for a fine day of golf.

The first thing you¹ll notice when you view the scorecard at Peridia is that there are very few gimme par-3 holes. Most of the par-3¹s run 150 yards or better, and with the winds, they can sometimes play two clubs longer.So if you're expecting to play anywhere near par, because this is an executive course, think again. Most of the par 3¹s are difficult enough so that double and triples bogies are not out of the realm of possibility.

The first hole at Peridia is a 270-yard, Par 4 cutie. There is a sand trap 150 yards from the tee on the right side of the fairly narrow fairway, and a small lake that runs down the left side of the fairway for the first 100 yards. Plus, there is another small lake that cuts across the fairway 75 yards short of the green. The best way to play this hole is to ditch your driver and hit whatever you hit 175 yards or so to the left of the trap, giving you a short iron approach to the green.

Some big hitters might want to hitch up their pants and go for the green on one. This is not a wise move since there are swirling winds at Peridia that will knock your ball every which-way but loose. That is certainly a prescription for a very lost and possibly wet ball.

The hardest ranked hole on the course is the Par-4, 305-yard hole number 3. There are out of bounds stakes on both sides of the tight fairway and water hazards on both sides of the green. The water hazard on the left hand side of the green, which is a slight dogleg left, cuts half way in front of the green. The best way to play this hole is to hit a long iron, or a fairway wood to the right hand side of the fairway, that you you have an unimpeded approach to the green. Even a pitch and run, if you choose. Go too far left on your drive and you'll have to carry the narrow creek.

The hardest ranked hole on the course is the finishing par-4, 323-yard, hole number 18. There is out of bounds all the way down the left side of the fairly wide, for Peridia that is, fairway. A large lake runs down the entire length of the right side of the fairway, which doglegs slightly right about 200 yards from the tee. Also, there a fairway bunker on the left hand side about 170 yards from the tee. The green is protected by two sand traps on the right side and one on the left side. This is a hole where you can finally take out your driver, but it¹s better to go right on your drive, only not too far right, your ball will the doing the backstroke in the lake.

After your round of golf, be sure to stop in at the Peridia Golf & Country Club's Terrace on the Green. They have a separate lunch menu, and amazingly, they have a different food menu almost every night. If you are a beef lover, take especial note of the Steak Zingara, which is a 10-ounce New Yore Strip steak grilled to perfection and covered with marinated bell peppers and crispy onion straws. For the fish freak, you can¹t go wrong with the Snapper Almondine, which is a gulf fresh red snapper fillet, sauteed to golden brown and finished with white wine, lemon and brown almond butter. It is served with the vegetable of the day and rice pilaf.

If you're lucky enough to be there on the night when they serve Italian specialties, you have your choice of Italian goodies like, Chicken Saltimboca, Langostino and Shrimp Pasta, Pasta Primavera and Veal Parmesan.

The bottom line on the Peridia Golf & Country Club is that is is a full luxurious country club, and all that entails, with an Executive Golf Course second to none. Highly recommended.

The Peridia Golf & Country Club
4950 Peridia Blvd.
Bradenton, Florida
Pro Shop (941) 753-9097
Clubhouse (941) 758-2582
Rates: 7am to 2pm-Ride-$26, Walk-$19
After 2pm-Ride-$21, walk-$14 All prices plus tax
Head Pro-Gary Rehfeld
Food and Beverage Manager-Ju

Joe Bruno, Contributor

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