Waterlefe Golf & River Club - no. 4
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Waterlefe Golf & River Club - no. 4
Carrying or playing around water, as you must on the par-3 fourth, is a common theme at Waterlefe Golf & River Club in Bradenton, Florida. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Waterlefe Golf & River Club - no. 1
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Waterlefe Golf & River Club - no. 1
The opening hole at Waterlefe Golf & River Club is a par 5 with a tee shot that plays over wetlands. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Waterlefe Golf & River Club - no. 2
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Waterlefe Golf & River Club - no. 2
The 406-yard, par-4 second at Waterlefe Golf & River Club has an approach that plays over a hazard. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Waterlefe Golf & River Club - no. 8
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Waterlefe Golf & River Club - no. 8
The eighth at Waterlefe Golf & River Club is a short par 4 with plenty of trouble. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Waterlefe Golf & River Club - no. 9
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Waterlefe Golf & River Club - no. 9
More wetlands await on the long par-3 ninth at Waterlefe Golf & River Club in Bradenton, Florida. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Waterlefe Golf & River Club - no. 12
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Waterlefe Golf & River Club - no. 12
Players must carry water off the tee of the par-4 12th at Waterlefe Golf & River Club in Bradenton, Fla. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Waterlefe Golf & River Club - no. 14
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Waterlefe Golf & River Club - no. 14
The short par-5 14th at represents one of Waterlefe's best birdie opportunities. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Waterlefe Golf & River Club - no. 15
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Waterlefe Golf & River Club - no. 15
There's really nowhere to miss on the par-3 15th at Waterlefe Golf & River Club in Bradenton, Fla. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Waterlefe Golf & River Club - no. 18
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Waterlefe Golf & River Club - no. 18
The difficult par-4 finishing hole at Waterlefe Golf & River Club plays into a green perched on a peninsula. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
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Waterlefe Golf & River Club in Bradenton, Florida certainly lives up to its name

BRADENTON, Fla. -- With water on nearly every hole, Waterlefe Golf & River Club is a course that requires precision and solid ball striking.

This well conditioned golf course also plays through a subdivision, which means often there is water or marshes on one side and out of bounds on the other. Still, architect Ted McAnlis figured out how to preserve the natural environment with a collection of memorable holes that run along a scenic section of the Manatee River.

There are five tee choices, which can play from 4,700 to nearly 7,000 yards long. The golf course opens with a rather difficult par 5 that plays out of a chute over a marsh. The par-3 ninth is 230 yards from the back tees, all carry over a marsh. And the 18th ends with a green on a peninsula backed up to an area of boat launches.

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.
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Waterlefe Golf & River Club in Bradenton, Florida certainly lives up to its name