Clearwater's Historic Cove Cay Keeping Up with the Times

By: Tim McDonald


Quite a few Florida golf courses continue to spend money on improvements, bucking the nationwide trend.

Like Cove Cay Country Club in Clearwater. The course had the same greens it had when it opened in 1974 until recently, when it borrowed $500,000 and used $150,000 raised by members to install all new greens and improve the tee boxes.

"We were at a point where, if we didn't fix the course, we might be in danger of losing it," Director of Golf Bill Armstrong told the St. Petersburg Times.
Golfers should definitely notice the new, modern grass used on the greens, called MiniVerde and the Champions grass on the tee boxes. The refurbished tee boxes added about 300 yards to the rather short, by modern standards, layout. Officials also added target greens on the driving range, and the facility re-opened full time early last month.

Cove Cay has a long history in the St. Petersburg area. Once a private club, it opened to the public as a semi-private course in 2000.

It's a David Stewart design with water in play on 13 holes that feature views of Tampa Bay, particularly No. 17, a par-5.

Once labeled one of the "best kept secrets" in Tampa Bay, Cove Cay now does around 40,000 rounds a year.

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