Miakka Golf Club Groundbreaking

Your paragraph text (9)

Today I attended a groundbreaking ceremony at Miakka Golf Club

The site is about 30 miles east of Sarasota or the Sarasota Bradenton airport.  The golf course is scheduled to open in late 2025. The space is expansive. The property is enormous, with 1100 acres Dedicated to golf, with two miles of river frontage on the Myakka River.   

We started the day with an overview of the property and the overall scope of the project, we talked about the grass and then visited a few spots on what will be the golf course.  

Jason Straka led the tour with color commentary from his partner Dana Fry.  Together they are Fry Straka Global Golf Course Design and have a long list of projects completed over their 20+ years together. 

Owner Steve Herrig joined parts of the tour.  And then Paul Azinger joined a hosted Q & A session. 

In this post, I’m gonna talk about the grass which was fascinating and might be a game changer. I’ll cover the overall project and then touch on the golf course a little bit.  There is a lot to this project, and I intend this post to be an overview.  I will post additional, more specific details later 


Zoysia Grass Variants

Yes, I’m gonna start with the grass because it was enlightening to me, someone not versed in agronomy. If you want to skip ahead to the project overview, see the table of contents in the description.

The entire golf course will be sodded and sand capped. That is over 140 acres.  That is not typical, which translates to expensive.  The plan is to cut the grass at two levels, putting greens and Fairways.   Miakka Golf Club will have no rough with native areas beyond the fairways.  

For the tees and fairways Miakka Golf Club will be using a new strain of Zoysia, Stadium Zoysia developed by BladeRunner Farms in Texas.  The greens will be Lazer Zoysia also from BladeRunner.

These advanced grasses use a third less water, less fertilizer and less pesticides. The grass grows well in the shade so you can expect it to be consistent under trees.  Overall, this is an environmentally superior grass that is only a few years from inception

Fry Straka Global Golf Course Design

Fry and Straka are known for their environmental sensitivities and are genuinely excited about using this grass.  So much so, they suggested to  owner Steve Herrig to start a sod farm.  And he did, on 200 acres across the street from the golf course which has since grown to 500 acres.  This is just one example of the approach Herrig has set for the project. The absolute best, what do you need for this to be the absolute best 

Miakka Golf Club will showcase these innovative grasses and the entire golf industry will be watching. 

The Laser Zoysia requires minimal watering and grows strong and laterally. So well, they will be able to cut bunkers right into the greens as they do in the famed Australian Sandbelt

The model for this project, and one of the most spectacular golf regions in the world. Nothing like what Miakka Golf Club is planning currently exists in the United States.  

I’ll say again, the Lazer Zoysia and Stadium Zoysia could be game changing grasses, especially for any golf course trying to use less water, less chemicals and look better all year round.

TerraNova Equestrian Center

Miakka Golf Club is a sister project to the TerraNova Equestrian Center. Owner Herrig has created in less than five years a world class equestrian center rivaling any equestrian center in the country. I can only speak to the exquisite barns, arenas and outbuildings.

Herrig has the same ambition for his golf course.

The project will include a massive clubhouse, along with cabins built on the property to accommodate guests and owners. The entire project will have a rustic theme that will be authentic. 

That means that the cabins will be real cabins, built using reclaimed and recycled timbers.  Rather than making the golf course look old, the idea is for the project to become a comfortable authentic golf experience.

There is a difference and Herrig is investing to make Miakka Golf Club world renown.

Miakka Golf Club

The golf course will be firm and fast with expert shapers, 6 employed at the moment, taking advantage of elevation changes and the expensive view. 

The clubhouse will be viewed from nearly everywhere on the golf course and I will hold off on talking too much about the golf course or the clubhouse until it’s closer to completion. 

The inspiration is Shinnecock Hills Golf Club and the iconic Stanford White clubhouse on the shores of the Hamptons on Long Island.  

This is a picture I snapped of Steve Herrig, perhaps in a moment of reflection. He is standing at the level the clubhouse will be built, a perfect perch to take in the Miakka Golf Club and the surroundings.

The setting at Miakka Golf Club is equally spectacular and all involved are aware of the native areas and sensitive to the pristine Myakka River Valley

Also planned is a 12 hole par 3 course, a lighted putting green and a massive driving range with a performance center that will have every conceivable, and maybe some not yet conceived, tools available to improve the member’s golf game. Cutting edge, bleeding edge. State of the art, pick Your superlative. 

Miakka Golf Club Amenities

The membership will be exclusive and expensive.  Azinger suggested all PGA tour players will be interested in seeing this place and some, no doubt will stay and make this their home.  

The golf course expects to be open towards the end of 2025 along with some of the cabins, comfort stations and the distillery or The Still on a 40 acre lake.  The Still is a relaxed, communal meeting place close to cabins for members and guests can relax.

If it sounds idyllic, I actually think it will be even better if the TerraNova Equestrian Center is any indication. Miakka Golf Club will be the talk of 2026 and probably beyond. 

I’m especially encouraged that two local people are at the heart of this project.  

Oftentimes developers come into a property, create a golf course and then exit. Jack Nicklaus and his Memorial Village in Ohio comes to mind. Nicklaus built a golf course on land where he grew up, that has evolved into a community.

Local Leadership

The same can be said for Azinger. And while it may not be his club, you can sense his pride in Sarasota.  Azinger grew up camping, fishing, and swimming in the Myakka River.  The project is in great hands and I can’t wait to see it completed.

This project is a little different than the Bobby Jones Golf Club, the City of Sarasota Municipal course that opened in December. I may never play the finished Miakka Golf Club, but it was a thrill to see the property in the early stages of development. 

Please like, comment, and share this post.  

Thank you to Erik Whitehead and everybody at Miakka Golf Club and TerraNova Equestrian Center, especially Therese and Ruby. And of course thank you to Steve Herrig. 

Thank you Dana Fry and Jason Straka for the deep dive on the project details. 

Thanks to Jerry Rose and Mike Petty at CommLinks, and finally to our fearless (and fearful) pilot, and my buddy Wayne Mills for driving in the backcountry.  


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *