PGA General Manager – Christopher Brandt

Christopher Brandt joins Stoneybrook Golf Club as the General Manager.  With over 27 years of experience in the golf industry and having started two successful management companies, most recently Redwire Sports, Christopher brings a history and background of success to Stoneybrook.

 Working with premier clubs around the country and spending 9 years working for the PGA Tour and the Tournament Players Club Network, Christopher and Redwire Sports have been involved in the management, administration and/or consulting of over 2400 events, including some of the most high profile events in the world.  From the PGA TOUR’s Player’s Championship, Kemper Insurance Open and President’s Cup to the American Express Invitational and Chrysler Cup on the Champions Tour, Christopher’s experience is rooted in exceptional golf and high profile events viewed on a world stage. 

 Christopher has also worked closely with charity events and corporate outings.  Managing events for clients from Major League Baseball to Collegiate Conferences and the First Tee has created an opportunity to build lasting relationships.

 As an accomplished player and a PGA member, Christopher was the captain of his collegiate golf team, played in the Regional Professional National Championship, made it to the finals of the North Florida Match Play Championship and in a three year stretch finished in the top 15 on the North Florida PGA player of the year points.

New PGA Head Golf Professional – Todd PyleStoneybrook Golf Club

Todd Pyle comes to Stoneybrook with 19 years as a Class A PGA professional. As a professional at a number of this country’s most prestigious clubs; The Honors Course in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Castle Pines Golf Club in Castle Rock, Colorado and The Coral Creek Club in Placida, Florida, Todd brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Stoneybrook Golf Club.

 Todd was involved in organizing the 1991 U.S. Amateur at The Honors Course and the 2005 & 2006 International, PGA Tour Event at Castle Pines Golf Club.

 An accomplished instructor, Todd was the Academy Director for the David Leadbetter Golf Academies for 4 ½ years and ran the Jim Flick corporate outing business and ESPN Golf Schools for 6 years.  He setup and ran academies in Ireland and Atlanta and has taught around the country and the world. 

 In addition to his professional accomplishments, Todd has an extensive playing resume.  Todd was the Colorado State Jr. & Collegiate Match Play Champion, Collegiate District Champion, and a past U.S. Amateur Participant.

 Todd is a native of Colorado.  He and his wife Susan (Delta Airlines Flight Attendant) enjoy all of the outdoor activities the west coast of Florida has to offer.

Hello everyone and Happy 2011!

Last July, Play Golf Sarasota (PGS) published Bill Tompkins’ annual restaurant reviews for Sarasota. The reader response was both enormous and positive. Although there were some disagreements on some ratings and some questions on why certain restaurants were omitted, all responses expressed appreciation for the information. Many stated that they had just tried one (or more) of the listed restarants for the first time and enjoyed their dining experience. Several suggested and expanded review to include more casual and specialty restaurants and one that includes Manatee County and Siesta Key.

PGS was happy to oblige . It formed an informal panel of area frequent and informed diners who contributed ratings on numerous area restaurants from all over Manatee and sarasota counties, except areas south of Osprey, which were not included.

PGS whole-heartedly congratulates every restaurant that finished in the top 100. Manatee and Sarasota counties combined contain over 1000 restaurants, so all listed are in the top ten percent. Please stop by your nearest golf retail store or most courses and pick up our latest issue of Play Golf Sarasota to see who made the top 100.

Maybe it will get you out of the house to try one of Bill’s favorites!

Happy dining and happy golfing in 2011!

Hi Mark,

We were down in Florida looking for a golf community to move to.  While there, we picked up your PlayGolfSarasota.com magazine.  What a great publication, it is the best I have seen yet!  You have a very smooth mix of golf course information, advertisements and course locator maps. Whoever does the layout is very talented.  I am looking forward to the publication of PlayGolfTampa.com.  We are looking for a community that has 27 or more holes of premiere golf.  The challenge we have found is finding a club that offers a trail fee.  Both my husband and I play 5 to 6 times a week.  I compete in local, state, regional and national competition and would love to belong to a club that has depth in player ability. We currently belong to Belfair Golf Club in Bluffton, SC, just outside of Hilton Head Island.  We love the club and golf courses, but want to be near to our children and grandchildren who live in Clearwater and Palmetto, Florida.

 If you have any suggestions or ideas, please let me know.


 Jennifer Adams

Hole-In-One news

06 Feb 2011, Posted by Play Golf Sarasota in Area Golf, Contests, Golf Courses, Hole-in-Ones, News

 HOLE-IN-ONE   – February 3, 2011 

Congratulations to Dave Thelen of  The Venice Golf and Country Club. His ace was made with his 26 degree Hybrid club from 137 yards away on hole #14. 

Witnesses:    Richard Gupta

                      Steve Barczy

                      Marlow Severin           

Congratulations to Dave.

Way to go ace!

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Par 5 Club adds to winter play day schedule

02 Dec 2010, Posted by Play Golf Sarasota in Area Golf, Golf Courses, Private Clubs

The Par 5 Club is proud to annouce the addition of many new play days throughout the upcoming winter months. Please take a peek at the Winter Prime Time calendar of events. We are traveling to The Founders Club on December 13th to experience one of the premier private clubs in Sarasota. For more information, please contact Par 5 Club at 941-375-6400 to speak one of our PGA Professionals or visit our website and look around. It’s going to be an exciting winter and we are going to play a lot of great golf…

See you down the middle!

Venice Golf & Country Club member Terry Green got his round off to a fast start Monday. Green aced the Par 3 second hole.  That’s right, a hole in one! Measuring 137 yards, Green hit a smooth seven iron and the ball never left the flagstick from the time it left his club.  Witnesses included Andrew Issacs, Leo Smith and Russ Duffey.

The Venice Golf & Country Club is one of Venice’s nicest private golf club communities. This gated community features a wide range of housing options for residents and club membership is a great part of the community experience. 18 holes of golf are the center-piece for the Club that has a great social climate for non-golfers alike.

Palm Aire’s greens running fast and true

18 Nov 2010, Posted by Play Golf Sarasota in Golf Courses, Private Clubs

Isn’t it great when you arrive to the course, pay your fees and then step out on to the practice putting green and all you see is an absolute pure putting surface. All I can compare it to is like a being a kid walking into a candy store with a few dollars to spend. Pure happiness…

Palm Aire C.C. has 2 wonderful golf courses that are in great shape. If you have the chance to play a round there do all you can to make the tee time. You will not be disappointed as the conditions are second to none. 

for more information abou Palm Aire or if you are interested in playing, please contact Tony Panico @ www.playgolfsarasota.com

Tony Panico

Stoneybrook Golf Club is a wonderful Arthur Hills design located off of State Road 64 just minutes East of I-75. This golf course is a true challenge for all skill levels. From the higher handicap player to the scratch player, it has it all. Generous room off of the tee provides the golfer a chance to let the driver go but accuracy around the greens must be on the player’s mind as water comes in to play on several holes. I have a special feeling about Stoneybrook as I watched it come to life and had a chance to play it quite a bit when she first opened. In fact one shot stands out in my mind and it was made while playing a round with a good friend and fellow Golf Professional, John Wolfe. We were playing early one morning and started on the back nine. I was playing ok but was telling John that from the back tees this golf course will test anybody’s “A” game. We came to hole #17 a spectacular Par 3 stretching 224 from the back tees and I said to John, wow this is quite a hole. Water guards the front lefts side and the right side is protected by a drop off and some bunkering. Either miss and Par becomes are real test. The green is most narrow at the front and widens towards the back so a front pin is by far the hardest position to attack. I stood over a 4 iron and made a shoulder turn that Jack Nicklaus would have been proud of. The ball came off the face like a buttery 8 iron. I looked up only to be blinded by the sun but managed to catch the ball in mid-flight as she sailed towards the pin which was tucked on the front left side of the green.  From there all we heard was a tink of the flag. My purely struck 4 iron sailed right into the hole for a beautiful hole in one. A thing of beauty on one tough hole. It doesn’t get much better than that. 

Stoneybrook is a must play and you will not be disappointed when you do…

Tony Panico