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The Clutch at South Seas Resort: Golf With An Island Vibe

By Tim Cotroneo

The Clutch Golf Course at South Seas Resort is the perfect escape for the golfer seeking a Caribbean vibe but wishing to keep his or her passport at home. Located one hour west of Fort Myers, FL, on Captiva Island, the 12-hole Clutch is the resort’s newest amenity during their ongoing beachfront transformation along the Gulf of Mexico.

The 1,187-yard Clutch is named to honor the nest of eggs produced by the island’s sea turtles. In fact, the course’s ninth hole is named Loggerhead, after the bulbous-headed creatures that call Captiva home. Golfers will discover that each of The Clutch’s 12 golf holes feature a name that captures the essence of what has made Captiva a warm weather vacation favorite for over a century.

When walking up to The Clutch’s starter shack what instantly grabs you is the high-octane green color of the course’s Zoysia fairways coexisting with the turquoise ocean surrounding the course on three sides. You’ll realize that no Clutch golf hole is longer than 139 yards. The resulting golf experience is one focusing on fun, honing your short game, and reveling in eye-popping ocean views.

Golf on The Gulf

Vacationers have been crossing the Sanibel Causeway Bridge to luxuriate at South Seas Resort since 1954. Upon entering dreamy Captiva Island, travelers are met by spectacular oceanfront mansions, quaint pastel-colored businesses, and miles of white sand beach that are a reminder to leave your worries back home.

As you arrive at the 330-acre South Seas Resort, you’ll discover that three of the resort’s pillars are family, nature, and comfort. In May of 2024, the owners of South Seas added a new golf course as a fourth pillar. The Clutch is a beautiful symbol of South Seas’ resilience following the wreckage of Hurricane Ian in 2022. “We had already started construction of The Clutch prior to Ian, so Architect Beau Welling and our team just picked up where we left off,” Director of Horticulture and Golf David Foster shared.

As Captiva’s one and only golf course, the Par 3 Clutch is a great option for families, recreational golfers, and diehards seeking to sharpen their short game. The contours of the putting greens add a bit of zest to your Clutch experience. The green undulations will test your fortitude, regardless of your handicap.

An Ace by the Sea

A dividend to playing The Clutch are the sensory encounters beyond golf. Captiva is known throughout Florida as a dolphin mecca. Holes 6 and 7 are the best lookouts for dolphins making guest appearances, as well as leaping manta rays seeking not to be outdone.

On any given day, it’s 50-50 you’ll look skyward and see parasailers soaring overhead. Know that the South Seas Resort is a renowned fishing haven, and you’ll find boaters clinging closely to the shoreline behind the greens on holes five through eight.

There’s a boardwalk framing the exterior of The Clutch, so you’ll see bicyclists, as well as beachcombers keeping an eye out for golfers lucky to score a hole-in-one on a Clutch Par 3. A member of The Clutch team will issue a Seven Seas medallion to anyone recording an ace.

What’s in a Name?

South Seas Resort has long been known for customizing your vacation. This personal touch tradition is evident when reviewing the Clutch scorecard. You’ll see names alongside each golf hole that showcase local history, insights into Captiva’s natural surroundings, and hints of what makes this island special.

The 83-yard 2nd hole is dubbed Key Lime, for the pie originating in the neighboring Florida Keys, as well as the award-winning restaurant located a mile away in the historic Captiva Village. The 88-yard 5th hole is called The Vow, after the beautiful outdoor ocean setting that’s perfect for couples who are ready to say, “I do.” 

There’s also a hole christened Junonia after the oh so rare seashell found on Captiva. Seashell enthusiasts will tell golfers that discovering a Junonia ranks right up there with scoring a hole in one.

Best Foursome Ever

There is always an interesting story on what draws someone to South Seas Resort and Captiva. There’s the majority of vacationers who arrived the traditional way, by flying into Fort Myers Southwest Florida International Airport. There’s also those individuals who arrived by sea at South Seas Yacht Harbour and Bayside Marinas. 

You’ll find a third group of folks who couldn’t resist staying on Captiva a bit longer. These are people you’ll find spinning a yarn at the Mucky Ducky Pub, tending to their business at the Village Square, or looking to set sail at McCarthy’s Marina. They are part of Captiva’s charming population of 151 residents who found bliss on this five-mile island featuring world-class beaches.

Ultimately, the people you meet at the South Seas Resort are what makes it a wonderful destination to vacation, boat, fish, shell, dine, and golf. If you are fortunate to round out a foursome and discover golfers who have flown to Captiva, sailed to Captiva, and now call Captiva home, this Clutch company may be even better than scoring an ace, finding a Junonia shell, or enjoying a slice of Keylime pie.


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