Bradenton Golf Courses: Enjoy Public and Private Options

Bradenton sits south of Tampa along the Manatee River. While this location lends itself to water recreation, the area also offers a prime spot for golf. In fact, there are more than 40 courses within 15 miles of the city. To narrow down the list, start with these top Bradenton golf courses.

Test Your Game at the Top Bradenton Golf Courses

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Photo: iTrip Bradenton-Sarasota

Waterlefe Golf and River Club

One of the best Bradenton golf courses is Waterlefe Golf and River Club, which has hosted the U.S. Open Qualifier six times. This club offers an 18-hole course designed by Ted McAnlis, who designed the layout for all players. Several holes sit near the Manatee River, allowing for more challenges. For the best game, many players recommend bringing extra balls.

The course is part of a community that also has boating and residential living. While visiting, players may see manatees in the water, marsh environments and other wildlife.

Timber Creek Golf Course

New players, families and pros who want to perfect their short game enjoy Timber Creek Golf Course. This nine-hole par 3 provides a scenic place to play a round while admiring natural beauty.

While the course does welcome the public, it operates as a 55-plus community. This community also owns the course and provides an affordable option for players. Other perks include plenty of shade, carts and wildlife-watching options.

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Pinebrook Ironwood Golf Course

This 18-hole executive style course opens to the public and has daily and annual fees. Many players consider this a hidden gem – along with its maintained greens.

Golfers at Pinebrook Ironwood will find this more difficult than other courses in the area and should prepare to putt. Narrow fairways and water hazards make this a fun yet challenging game.

Bradenton Country Club

Those searching for a private club should play Bradenton Country Club. For more than 100 years, this club has provided a gathering spot and stunning course for players of all abilities. This 18-hole course was designed by Donald Ross and features a walk-friendly layout with lots of water and sand.

In addition to golf, members have access to tennis, pickleball, fitness center, swimming facility, pro shop and clubhouse.

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River Strand Golf and Country Club

Designed by Arthur Hills, the course at River Strand Golf and Country Club has a layout that can play as three 9-holes or a 27-hole game. Courses include sanctuary, estuary and tributary. Each range in difficulty and include natural water hazards. Public and resident member rates available.

When not on the greens, guests enjoy playing tennis and pickleball, swimming, fitness classes and dining.

IMG Academy Golf Club

IMG Academy Golf Club provides a place for students and recreational players. The course offers 18 holes and multiple practice areas, so all ages can improve their skills. Players find this course fair and challenging. Mature trees, lakes and foliage complete the experience.

Those who prefer to practice have access to a driving range and putting greens. Then visit the pro shop and restaurant to recharge.

Links at Greenfield Plantation

Links at Greenfield Plantation ranks among the best Bradenton golf courses for affordability and championship greens. It’s 18-hole layout is a favorite for all and combines well with Florida’s natural beauty. Golfers will play around marshes, lakes, bunkers and mature trees.

In addition to the course, players enjoy the water range and floating targets to hone skills. Afterwards, visit the pro shop and casual restaurant.

University Park Country Club

This Ron Garl public course is located in nearby University Park. It ranks among the best Bradenton golf courses and best places to play in greater Sarasota. Its semi-private option provides a challenging pro-level game for all players. In addition, players will find 18 holes of championship greens open to the public. Due to popularity, book tee times three days in advance.

Members also enjoy perks such as tennis courts, a fitness center and restaurant.

After reading about the best Bradenton golf courses, find more fun things to do in Bradenton. Then book a spacious vacation rental in Bradenton or Sarasota.