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My husband and I had an opportunity to play golf at the Vinoy Golf Club, which was certified as Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, in mid-March. The golf course was well maintained and very pleasant to play due to its nature-conserved peaceful environment. We saw, among other wildlife, Snowy Egrets, Blue Herons, White Ibises, Ospreys, Limpkins, Common Gallinule (I made these identifications after coming back home through the online site “Central Florida Backyard Bird Identification”). Though we did not have time to play full 18 holes due to time constraint we could play 15 holes.

After arriving at Tampa the night before we got up really early (6am – 3amPST) to catch the first tee time at the club. Since my husband had a convention registration at 1pm we had only that morning to play golf. We did not bother to have breakfast because we really wanted to play golf together. When we arrived at the club house to rent the golf clubs and a golf cart we were probably the first people to arrive there. However, after getting equipment and getting out to the practice range we were rather surprised to see many people at the practice range already hitting balls. We practiced about 5 minutes and then we were guided to start from the 10th hole. Unlike our club golf course, which is hilly and “blessed” with natural hazards, such as ravines and ledges, the Vinoy golf course was flat but had many water hazards (impossible to retrieve balls from many of the murky greenish ponds). We lost about 4 balls by the time we finished playing 15 holes. Nevertheless, it was a very enjoyable golf course.