PALM HARBOR - Tarpon Woods Golf Club was once one of the top draws in the area, said Tom McKone, and it's on its way back up.After numerous name changes and a slow decline of the course's maintenance, Tarpon Woods' new leadership group has begun turning things around at the facility set back off of East Lake Road.The course is now owned by Bobby Jacobsen, CEO of Safety Harbor-based Jacobsen Homes, and managed by Hampton Golf Management, the Jacksonville-based operator of 18 facilities around the country."Our job is to restore its name," said McKone, the club's general manager and director of golf over the past year and half. "Back in the '90s this was one of the courses to play. We just have to keep letting people know it's not Brooker Creek [Golf Club] anymore."One of the latest - and most sorely needed - renovations to Tarpon Woods focused on its greens. With 100 percent coverage on all 18, McKone said their collective consistency provides golfers a confidence on and around the greens that hasn't existed in years.Along with the putting surface makeover, management and grounds crews are now in the midst of redoing all 18 tee boxes. A new irrigation system being installed will help maintain the course's play throughout the year.Since Hampton Golf assumed control, McKone said, area residents familiar Tarpon Woods over the years are pleased with the new direction. The course initially opened in 1971 as Tarpon Woods Country Club."The response has been phenomenal," he said. "They know the history of the course and they're excited about what we're doing here."Adding to the attraction of Tarpon Woods is an atypical feature, a national restaurant chain connected to its clubhouse."We're the only course we know of with a major chain restaurant on site," McKone said of the course's partnership with Beef 'O' Brady's, which sets up especially well for larger golf outings.More information on Tarpon Woods Golf Club and seasonal rates can be found by going to www.tarponwoodsgc.com or calling (727) 784-7606.
Tarpon Woods Golf Club continuing with renovations