Wildlife and golf may seem to be unlikely partners, but a well-managed golf course can be the perfect custodian of Florida’s natural habitat. This is clearly illustrated by the Dunes Golf and Tennis Club, a championship golf course set within a stunning wildlife preserve on Sand Castle Road, Sanibel Island.
Founded in 1973, the Dunes Golf and Tennis Club is considered one of the best golf courses in Lee County. The 18-hole par-70 championship course, designed by 10-times PGA Tour winner Mark McCumber, is 5,578 yards in length with a 129 slope and 68/8 rating. Overall, the course has a challenging layout with water obstacles and peninsulas on 17 of the 18 holes. Strategically placed bunkers, crosswinds, slopes and elevations add to the challenging play for all skill levels. The Bermuda grass fairways and Tifdwarf greens ensure that the course is open and playable all year round.
Additional facilities for golfers include club rentals, a driving range, putting green and pro shop. Those wanting to further improve their game can have lessons with the resident PGA pro.
“Birdies” and “Eagles” at Dunes Golf and Tennis Club
It goes without saying that the Dunes Golf Course is set in a stunning natural landscape on what is considered one of America’s most beautiful islands. Much of Sanibel Island is a wildlife preserve for migrating birds and native Florida wildlife. Golfers can expect to see all types of interesting wildlife such as resident alligators sunning themselves on the banks of the lakes. Left alone, they present no danger but they are a protected species and should not be approached or fed. Golfers are asked to keep a respectful distance at all times.
If you’re hoping for a “birdie” or an “eagle”, you may just strike lucky. The golf course has many established trees and lakes that attract wading birds, herons, egrets and rare species such as pink roseate spoonbills, night herons and limpkins. Overhead you may be fortunate enough to see ospreys or bald eagles circling and looking for a fishy meal.
Tennis at Dunes Golf Club on Sanibel
In addition to having a top golf course, Dunes also offers excellent tennis facilities. There are 13 Har-Tru tennis courts and a USTA professional offers first class instruction in the latest techniques. Golf and tennis couples have even been known to get married in the open-air pavilion at Dunes Golf and Tennis Club, and where better to host a wedding reception or event than at the award-winning restaurant!
The newly remodeled Dunes Clubhouse has a friendly dining room and bar overlooking the 18th green. It’s the perfect place to enjoy sunset cocktails through the westerly facing windows. The chef-prepared lunch menu includes favorites such as nachos, coconut shrimp and chicken wings, hot dogs, soups, BLT, fish tacos, steak sandwiches and more along with daily specials. Drinks include a good selection of wine, beer, cocktails and sodas.
The bar is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner is served on event nights only, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.