The Concession Golf Club is set in a 1,200-acre private community on Florida’s Gulf Coast south of Tampa. The Jack Nicklaus “Signature” course was designed in collaboration with Tony Jacklin and was inspired by the moment that has been referred to as the “greatest single sporting gesture ever”.
On the 18th hole of the final match of the 1969 Ryder Cup at Royal Birkdale, Jack Nicklaus holed his four-foot putt for par. With the matches tied, Nicklaus stunned the world of golf by conceding a tricky two-footer to Tony Jacklin. It resulted in the first tie in the history of the Ryder Cup and the act has been known simply as “The Concession” ever since.
The Concession Golf Club is a monument to that exemplary act. “I want the clubhouse full of memorabilia and pictures and reports of the great Ryder Cup games and epics. We want to epitomize the game and the values we love.” Said Tony Jacklin.
Naturally you’ll need to befriend a member to experience the Concession, or perhaps you might want to buy one of the up-market properties on the estate. Ah well, we can all dream.
A question remains: Would you have given Tony Jacklin that putt?
Bryson DeChambeau won the 2015 NCAA Championship at The Concession, while the COVID-19 pandemic forced the WGC-Mexico Championship (due to be staged at Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City) to change venue and name for the 2021 event, which returned to Florida for the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession. Collin Morikawa won the tournament, claiming his fourth PGA Tour title, the most by any player under the age of 25.
The Concession Club gets its name from the famous concession Jack Nicklaus offered Tony Jacklin on the 18th hole of the heated 1969 Ryder Cup. The course is largely regarded as a very difficult golf course (Tips out at over 7,500 yards, max 155 slope, plenty of water, undulating greens, and lots of force carries). However playing the appropriate tees is crucial to enjoying your round. Difficulty aside, there is a lot to like at Concession from the well designed holes (particularly the par 5s), to the fabulous conditions, to the stellar service staff members and forecaddies provide. In a state chuck full of golf courses, Concession stands among the elite in Florida and is arguably Nicklaus' finest work in the Sunshine State.
The seed of what would become The Concession Golf Club was planted in 1969, with Jack Nicklaus’ famous gesture of conceding the final putt in the Ryder Cup to Tony Jacklin, clinching the first tie in the competition’s history. Decades later, the two golf legends paired up to design and create The Concession Golf Club in the Lakewood Ranch section of Manatee County, Florida.
From the beginning in 2006, The Concession was designed to be different — a championship, privately-owned golf facility with no houses lining the course. The goal was to create a course where tournament conditions were the norm and the natural setting is the star. More than a decade later, the course has evolved, but the setting remains unchanged in its natural splendor, which has been the setting for prestigious events such as the NCAA Division I championships and the biennial Concession Cup.
The newest addition to the Concession Golf Club, The Gimme short course and Snake Acre putting course, opened in November 2019. This 9-hole par-3 short course was designed by Chris Cochran and the team at Nicklaus Design. Tucked into a beautiful natural setting amidst the championship course and within walking distance of the club’s on-site lodging, construction of the $2 million expansion commenced on the 8-acre space in March 2019 and was opened to Concession members in November 2019. Routing is below.
This exclusive Florida par-3 golf course has templates of some of the game’s most famous holes– #3 has a deep-stacked sod bunker and green similar to St. Andrews’ famous “Road Hole”; #5, the course’s signature hole, has an island green representative of #17 at TPC Sawgrass; and #9 is designed after the challenging #6 hole at California’s Riviera Country Club, which features a surprise bunker in the middle of the green. Below is the course record holders with David Leadbetter's son at the top.
The name ‘The Gimme’ acknowledges the famous moment of sportsmanship during the 1969 Ryder Cup between U.S. team’s Jack Nicklaus and Great Britain’s Tony Jacklin. On the course, flagsticks are marked to signify the 2-foot “gimme” distance, adding to the atmosphere of fun and playability.
The 18-hole putting course, Snake Acre, is one of the largest putting courses in the state and is equipped with high-tech LED lighting for nighttime play. This highly anticipated facility is maintained to the same exacting standards as The Concession’s championship course, made to be both fun and challenging for golfers of all skill levels to enjoy.
The Concession has a reputation for (1) being extremely difficult, and (2) having wild, undulating, greens. While the course does tip out at 7,500 yard and a 155 slope, playing the appropriate tees makes this a less difficult challenge. In the last few years, the Club has worked to remove palmettos & brush from woods to make errant shots more playable. The greens are certainly wild, with severe contouring that demands precision on the approach.
All that said, it is still an enjoyable course and the conditions are among the top in the state. Service and hospitality is warm and welcoming. Amenities are top notch including the new Par 3 short course and putting course. If you can keep your tee shots dry you'll enjoy the round. While it was an enjoyable round, I think I would need to be a lower handicap to truly enjoy this course more as an everyday play.
Full review at: nomore3putts.net
Really one of the best conditioned and hardest golf courses one could ever play. From the clubhouse to the course, everything is top notch. As many have said, this is a difficult course and there are really no "breather" holes of consequence. Many green complexes have more than 5 "plateaus" which means a difficult putting day if you are on the wrong plane/plateau. The course also has almost hole you could want, short, drivable par 4, a couple of risk/reward Par 5s and an extremely fair, memorable and difficult finishing hole. They also just opened a Par 3 course (holes modeled after famous courses like Riviera and TPC Sawgrass) and putting complex similar to Ballyneal.