The Gasparilla Inn and Club is a testament to mankind’s willingness to build a golf course if there is land available. The Inn itself sits upon one of the barrier islands in the Gulf of Mexico off of the Florida coast, and the resort acquired a smaller island immediately behind it for the construction of a golf course. Although Pete and Alice Dye were already famous for their island hole at TPC Sawgrass when they came to Gasparilla, this location can claim to be the Dyes’ first island course.
Water hazards abound at this course as well, although Gasparilla offers both the freshwater and saltwater variety. Holes toward the inside of the island will tangle with the necessary irrigation ponds, while the final stretch of holes will play along inlets from Charlotte Bay, as well as several holes that border immediately on the Gulf. The line between the course’s white sand bunkers and its white sand beaches can be ambiguous.
Tiebreakers can be settled on the two par threes back on “mainland” Boca Grande (itself a very slight island off the coast).