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Contact: Sarah Revell

Bartow Golf Course Featured as Florida Historic Golf Trail Course of the Month


Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced today that the Bartow Golf Course, located in the city of Bartow in Polk County, has been chosen as the featured course on the Florida Historic Golf Trail for the month of May.

“We are pleased to feature the Bartow Golf Course as a partner on the Florida Historic Golf Trail,” said Secretary Detzner. “This course, popularly known the ‘TOW’, has been a fixture for golfers and visitors to Bartow and Polk County since its opening in 1919.”


 Image Courtesy of Bartow Golf Course


In 1919, Tampa engineer Harry Knight, was awarded the contract to build a 9-hole golf course on land that had been a dairy farm. In 1925, the citizens of Bartow approved a bond of $50,000 to purchase the holdings of the Bartow Golf Club and 100 adjoining acres on which to construct an additional 9-holes.

 That same year, the course hosted an exhibition golf match that included the reigning U.S. Open champion Cyril Walker, who was wintering in Winter Haven. The new 18-hole links-style golf course was officially opened on the morning of December 4, 1926 when Bartow’s city manager struck his tee shot nearly 200 yards off the first tee.

The 18-hole, par-72 Bartow Golf Course features five sets of tees playing from 4,500 to 6,600 yards. The course is not extremely long, but locals say it is harder than it looks. The 9th hole, a par-5, is the longest on the course and plays to 595 yards.

“Bartow Golf Course is very honored to be selected as the featured course for May 2017 for the Florida Department of State’s Florida Historic Golf Trail,” said Lynn Zemba, General Manager. “Bartow Golf Course, better known as the ‘TOW’, provides a friendly staff and a wonderful experience for the entire family with the beauty of its oaks and peaceful wildlife. This diamond in the rough is affordable to all golfers and a life experience for all our visitors.”

For more information about the Bartow Golf Course, please visit Bartow Golf Course. To learn more about the Florida Historic Golf Trail, visit or find us on Facebook at


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About The Florida Historic Golf Trail

Florida's golf history, recognized as one of the oldest in the nation, dates back to the late 1800s when a number of early courses were created along with the development of railroads and hotels in the state. The Florida Historic Golf Trail is a collection of more than 50 historic, publicly accessible golf courses throughout the state that can still be played on today. Through the Florida Historic Golf Trail, golfers can play on courses designed by world-class architects and played by famous golfers such as Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Babe Zaharias, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. Information about the history and current day contact information for each partner course can be found at Find the historic course near you and Come Play on History!

About the Division of Historical Resources

The Florida Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources (DHR) is responsible for preserving and promoting Florida’s historical, archaeological and folk culture resources. The Division Director’s office oversees a grants-in-aid program to help preserve and maintain Florida’s historic buildings and archaeological sites; coordinates outreach programs such as the State Historic Markers program and the Florida Folklife program which identifies and promotes the state's traditional culture. DHR directs historic preservation efforts throughout the state in cooperation with state and federal agencies, local governments, private organizations and individuals. The Division Director serves as the State Historic Preservation Officer, acting as the liaison with the national historic preservation program conducted by the National Park Service. The Division is comprised of two Bureaus, archaeological research and historic preservation. For more information, visit