Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Time for Tampa!

After three wonderful weeks in Gulfport, Mississippi indulging in my hobby, hunter/jumper horse shows, it’s time to get back to golf. I enjoyed success in the arena, riding to Champion of my division two out of three weeks, while Jimmy and the rest of the Honda field battled the wind and the Bear Trap in West Palm Beach.

My mare, Sahalee, and me.

We are enjoying being back together as a family this week in Tampa at the Transitions Championship at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club. The famed Copperhead Course at Innisbrook is a player favorite and one of the hardest non-major courses of the year. It has enough tough holes to keep things interesting, but with four par-5’s, there are also plenty of scoring opportunities if one’s putter is hot.


Located about 40 minutes from Innisbrook is a truly can’t miss experience, Berns Steakhouse. Don’t let the quirky décor reminiscent of the Haunted House ride at Disney World fool you. Berns has been rated as one of America’s Top Restaurants time and time again and boasts the largest private wine collection in the world. Much of the food is organically grown especially for the restaurant; and for dessert lovers the private Harry Waugh Dessert Room is it’s own epic encounter in and of itself. For a special occasion and truly unique night, make a reservation, dress up (Yes! There is a strict dress code!) and head to Berns.

At the opposite end of the spectrum from Berns is the Wing House, located not far outside the gates of Innisbrook, on US 19. In typical wing restaurant “fashion,” spandex hot pants are a plenty, but the wings are tasty and sweet tea refreshing. After a hot day on the course, golfers are frequent patrons of the Wing House to enjoy the food, sports bar atmosphere and perhaps the hot pants too.


Upon entering the gates of Innisbrook Resort, the hectic north Tampa traffic and pace melt away. As you wind your way past lush courses dotted with massive Spanish moss covered oaks and accommodations named after the most famous golf courses in the world, you can’t help but feel a little bit like you have escaped to Kellerman’s from the movie Dirty Dancing.

After Dr Sheila Johnson, CEO of Salamander Hospitality, bought Innisbrook Resort in 2007, the true grace and glory of the property has become the main focus. Major renovations have taken place to help make Innisbrook Resort a premier golf destination and according many TOUR players, the Copperhead course has never looked and played better.


For sports fanatics and even the casual observer, spring is a great time of year to visit the Tampa area. For five weeks a year the worlds best baseball players head south for spring training. Nothing beats a day on the golf course, an evening at the ballpark and beautiful mid-70’s weather.

Tampa is the perfect spring break spot for adults and by making the Transitions Championship and Innisbrook Resort part of your travels plans I guarantee you will not be disappointed!


1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the successful weeks of competition Erin! Very cool that you get your weeks away from golf to compete yourself. Loved how you dropped a Dirty Dancing reference in this post! Still haven't made it to Tampa (hopefully next year), but am excited to see your recommendations for Bay Hill, Hilton Head and THE PLAYERS stops coming up!