FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Join in the Popular Pastime at The Concession Golf Club

by Francis X. Gallagher

Mar 14, 2021


March 2021

The Concession Golf Club is the preeminent private course and club in Western Florida and often ranks among the top courses in the entire state. Anyone familiar with Florida golf knows this is quite a competitive list; Florida boasts some of the best courses in the country. Add the positive effects of the pandemic on the golf industry — the latest numbers show a massive uptick in play — and you have a dynamite mix for success. Membership director Hunter Talcott spoke with me at length when we played the course last month. He confirmed the great growth of golf during COVID and felt this was a sustainable level that will continue well after the crisis is behind us. “Everyone is moving to Florida, and golf is benefiting,” Hunter said. This is evidently true, as we were joined for the round by Frank Wood, a recent Connecticut transplant and digital learning executive, and Wayne Tallman of Global Traveler’s Advisory Board, who was spending the winter months in Sarasota. The overall openness of the state and the great ability to be outdoors make Florida attractive.

The Concession name comes from the 1969 Ryder Cup when Jack Nicklaus famously conceded the final putt on the 18th hole at Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England, to Tony Jacklin, resulting in the first tie in the cup’s history. Nicklaus’ concession was in many ways an olive branch offered due to previous unsportsmanlike conduct of both teams during the three-day match. Many years later, the two came together to create and design this course in the Lakewood Ranch section of Manatee County. Opened in 2006 as a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, Concession matured into a must-play venue with a friendly and family-oriented atmosphere. Hunter is proud of the new par-3 course which offers a great way to introduce young players to the game.

366 yards, par 4

We decided to play from the blue tees, which is a total of 6,440 yards — a little on the short side for Hunter and maybe a little beyond our handicaps. Nonetheless, the first hole is always a great place to show off your nerves as you begin a round in a challenging course design. I took the first honors and hit a decent ball, landing just right of the first sand trap on the left. Wayne followed suit, landing in the trap, and Frank followed right behind me, short of my ball on the side of the trap. Hunter killed a ball, which traveled strong but too far left and hit a provisional. Our caddie, Jack, found Hunter’s ball, which bounced out of the trees and lay in a great position to the pin. Hunter landed on the green for a one-putt birdie, Wayne picked his ball out of the trap to the green for par, and Frank and I duffed extra shots for bogey.

527 yards, par 5

A challenging par 5 which doglegs left around a slew of traps presents an interesting driving decision. Off the tee, I planned to stay far away from the traps — a good idea, as catch- ing them can put you in a relentless bad shot position. I drove over the traps, not cutting the hole too much, and landed squarely on the fairway. My second was a clean 3-wood shot that I thought might be too far right, but Hunter assured me it was in a great position. Wayne and Frank overcompensated too far right and played catch-up to the green. Frank “Chili” dipped a couple of balls in the marshy final 130 yards to the green. Hunter caught the line of traps on the drive and had a real beauty to get back in play. Unfortunately, the best score was a bogey by me and Hunter, and we are still calculating Frank’s score — it remains under review!

495 yards, par 5

This is a beautiful hole, and it holds something basic in the design important to note. Nicklaus sloped the fairways so you must shoot more to the right than the eye would ever consider. This was a killer for me. I hit a great drive, but Hunter said, “Not sure” as it was in flight. The ball bounced and continued straight and then started rolling left, ending up in the water. Hunter hit a powerful shot to the center of the fairway, and the “left roll” had no effect on him. Wayne and Frank hit great balls, learning from my error and aiming farther right. The fairway curves left around a large lake and then straightens out to the hole. A large, deep bunker caught Frank’s ball, making for a challenging out to the green. Hunter played the hole in textbook fashion, scoring yet another birdie, and I had a bogey.

166 yards, par 3

This hole appears picturesque from the tee box, with water and a small bridge. Don’t let this serene setting put you at ease, as this turns out to be a challenging hole. We were about 172 yards away, so I decided to use one of my new rescue clubs. Unfortunately, although the distance was just a little long, the ball shot left but landed safely on a nice patch of grass behind the green; up and down, I was able to score a par. Others in the group had equal issues finding the green, some left and some right, making this hole more difficult than it seemed from the tee box.

416 yards, par 4

From the tee box there is a magnificent view of the clubhouse through the narrow shoot to the fairway, which is quite large. Trying to make the best of the last hole, I swung away, sending my ball in play but a little farther left than I would have liked. Hunter killed a ball straight, followed by equally decent drives from Frank and Wayne. The hole is well- bunkered on either side, and any one of these traps can capture a player’s hope for birdie or par. I took the rescue club again, not learning a lesson from my previous use, and sent the ball a little too far left in a planting area just left of the green. I had to take an un- playable penalty which dashed my hopes for par. Hunter landed on the green and secured his par while Wayne missed the green, chipping and two-putting for bogey.

What an enjoyable day and an honor to have Hunter join us to offer some club and course insights. Nicklaus really created a challenging and beautiful course. Afterward, we enjoyed drinks at the grill overlooking the 18th green.


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.


Insta Feed
eFlyer Reviews
Oct 27, 2021

AMERON Zürich Bellerive au Lac Review

The Hotel AMERON Zurich Bellerive au Lac, forged from the collaborative efforts of interior design firm Monoplan AG and other cutting-edge design firms, bills itself as a celebration of the 1920s and ‘30s aesthetic. The story behind it is compelling as the building dates to 1928 and has connections with the early days of Switzerland's movie industry. However, there are several fun Mid-Century Modern and late 20th-century design touches in the public and private areas. Clearly, it's going for the "modern luxury" vibe Millennial and Gen-X business and leisure travelers look for when seeking a quality smaller property with a great location.

The Future of Hamad International Airport

Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.

eFlyer Deals
Oct 27, 2021

The 1946 Offer from InterContinental New York Barclay

InterContinental New York Barclay is the perfect spot for luxury in the heart of Manhattan. With the 1946 Package, enjoy a two-night stay in the Penthouse Suite, an exclusive InterContinental75 cocktail lesson with a mixologist, 75-minute couples massage with Zeel, a movie screening on the Penthouse Suite terrace with classic films from the year of InterContinental’s birth with a premium 1946 vintage wine to enjoy.

eFlyer Deals
Oct 27, 2021

Buy One, Get One 50 Percent Off with Uniworld

On Black Friday, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is offering a one-of-a-kind chance to score two luxury river cruise sailings by the end of 2021, with the second cruise at 50 percent off.

Greece: Destination Luxury

Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.

eFlyer Deals
Oct 27, 2021

Kennebunkport Resort Collection Debuts Hotel Week

Kennebunkport Resort Collection created its inaugural Hotel Week offering irresistible savings. Nov. 12–21, five hotels will offer promotional room rates, as low as $99; special dining offers; and unique classes, such as oyster shucking and more. Daily resort fees are waived, resulting in up to 50 percent off the standard daily rate.

Oct 26, 2021

6 Reasons to Put Ayutthaya, Thailand, on Your Travel List

It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Ayutthaya, Thailand, with us.

‘Tis the Season for a Luxurious Retreat

This holiday season, escape to the Caribbean with Celebrity Cruises and reconnect with family and friends in luxurious accommodations that make you feel right at home. Savor globally inspired cuisine designed by our Michelin-starred chef, paired with the most awarded wine collection at sea. Elevate “me time” with a soothing spa treatment sure to renew. With both long and short cruises to celebrate in December, and even three special Ultimate Holiday Cruises that sail over Christmas and into the New Year, the time to gift an experience and create unforgettable memories is now. Celebrity Cruises’ Always IncludedSM pricing — drinks, WiFi and tips — ensures a seamless, carefree vacation with the ones you love.

Oct 26, 2021

MSG Sphere Construction Continues

Las Vegas reinvents itself once again to remain one of the world’s top entertainment capitals. The Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp., in collaboration with Las Vegas Sands Corp., is elevating sensory experiences to build the world’s largest dome and LED screens that will reshape the entertainment industry.