Lakewood Ranch, FL (February 8 ,2017) - Lakewood Ranch Golf and Country Club’s newest addition, The Lodge at Country Club East, was recognized in the 2017 Golden Fork awards “Top of the Class” feature in Golf Inc. magazine’s January/February issue.

Golf Inc.’s second annual Golden Fork awards recognized 12 golf facilities for either new or most improved dining options. Editors assessed entries based on improvements in revenue, traffic, guest satisfaction, aesthetics, service, menus and capital improvements. Nominees were divided into four categories: The Lodge at Country Club East was awarded second place in the “New, Private” category.

Most of the honorees, the article said, created casual elegance in a lively atmosphere. “Casual, rustic, local and beloved: This year’s best … food and beverage facilities are pulling in golfers and non-golfers alike for experiential dining,” said Jack Crittenden, editor-in-chief of the magazine and the article’s author.

Whether at a private club or a public course, he said, diners today want casual settings, defined by high-quality décor, rustic ambiance, local food offerings, and outdoor seating. The Lodge’s winning entry read as follows:

“Lakewood Ranch Golf & Country Club opened its Lodge at Country Club East in April 2016 to rave reviews from members, and the new facility has provided a boost to membership sales. The club sought to create a casual restaurant and bar atmosphere while providing outdoor amenities that take inspiration from the history and natural setting of Lakewood Ranch.

The main dining room was designed with exposed heavy timbers to create a rustic theme, and with panoramic views of the surrounding golf course. A covered outdoor patio uses natural stone and heavy timber.

An open kitchen allows interaction between diners and chefs as meals are prepared in full view.”

The Lodge, a $10 million project, overlooks the ninth and 18th holes of the Royal Lakes golf course in Country Club East. It features seating for nearly 250 in multiple indoor and outdoor dining areas. Within the 30,000-square-foot, facility there is a pro shop, golf cart storage, private and terrace dining and brilliant views of the golf course. The clubhouse area also features a putting course, event lawn, practice range and golf academy.

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