Florida is famous for a lot of different things, but for most, it’s thought of as a vacation destination or a place to move if you want to live in a state that offers something for everyone. Great weather, plenty of dining and shopping, and an abundance of activities all mean that Florida is perfect for anyone who wants to experience and enjoy life.
One of the key things that many people head to Florida for is golf. There are hundreds of golf courses throughout the state, offering challenging course design with stunning views and perfect weather. As such, it can be hard to locate the courses that are the best for you. After all, you only have so much time for golf, and making sure that you spend that time on courses that actually deserve your time and attention is important.
A great golf course means something different for each golfer, but there are various elements that all combine to help ensure that you’ll be able to really enjoy your time on the links. Of course, some of the best courses are in private clubs and as such, they’re not included on the following list. Instead, we’re taking a look at the top 6 Florida golf courses any golfer will love and that any golfer can actually play on – from resorts to public courses, these are the ones that you will want to plan your golfing experience around.
With that in mind, here’s a look at those six Florida golf courses, presented to you in no particular order. Any of these are worth your attention, and you could find more than one perfect golfing day by scheduling a visit to some of them.
1.LaPlaya Beach And Resort – Located in Naples, this is one of the most popular resorts in the state since it provides not only amazing golf, but plenty of other amenities like a spa, great dining, frontage on the amazing Gulf Coast Beach, and more. This lets golfers bring their families along with them since the family can spend time engaged in other activities while you have fun on the course. And what a course it is. Designed by Robert Cupp, the course is widely regarded as one of the most scenic in Florida. You’ll find rolling dunes, open fairways, and challenging bunkers that force you to plan and think about your shots before you take them. Greens can be small at times, and it’s important to remember that you need to think before you shoot. If you can do that, you’ll find that golf at LaPlaya is among the most rewarding in the entire country, let alone the state.
1. Marriott Sawgrass Resort at Ponte Vedra Beach – For many, Sawgrass is the pinnacle of Florida golfing. It’s not hard to see why. Located at the Marriott Sawgrass Resort and Spa, it combines amazing views of the beach and ocean with wonderful weather and a golfing experience you’ll fall in love with. The ambiance here is what makes the course amazing. From the large magnolia trees to the moss-covered oaks to the wildlife that frequently is spotted on the course, it’s like golfing in a paradise on earth. There are actually two courses found here – Dye’s Valley and TPC Sawgrass, so planning extra days on your stay is something worth considering. It’s easy to do, too, since the resort offers everything from children based activities to volleyball to some of the best dining in the area, all without ever leaving the confines of the resort. And the spa offers amazing massages and Zen treatments, creating hours of relaxation for anyone who needs to wind down and escape from it all for a bit. It’s well worth checking out this experience if you want the best of what Florida golfing has to offer.
1. PGA National Resort and Spa – Florida is filled with resorts that offer numerous activities and experiences, but when it comes to a true golfing vacation it really can’t be beaten. The resort offers a total of 5 amazing courses, not the least of which is the Champion – used on the Honda Classic of the PGA Tour. You’ll find beautiful greens, lush fairways, and plenty of water features that combine beauty with a bit of wariness – you’ll want to plan your shots to make sure that you hit them right no matter which course you’re on. Each course offers its own unique experience, and planning a multi-day trip is a good idea to ensure you get the best possible experience. And of course, the resort offers a wide range of other activities for those who want something different – dining, a spa experience, and even a golf academy are located here.
1. Ritz Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes – Located in Orlando and surrounded by theme parks and tourist destinations, this resort offers wonderful golf and challenging holes that you’ll talk about for years. Its primary course is designed by Greg Norman, and is a perfect place to start your Florida golfing adventure thanks to the fact that the resort offers a wide range of other amenities for guests to enjoy. And the proximity to Sea World, Disney, and Universal Studios means that it’s perfect for families. The course here offers everything that you would expect from Florida golf – beautiful greens, picturesque scenery, and a variety of fairway types. And the 18th hole lets you feel like a pro – plenty of hotel guests watch golfers from their balconies, situated around the final hole of the course. It’s a perfect chance to experience that pro level feeling – especially if you nail your drive and sink your put. The course has won numerous awards from golfing magazines and organizations, each which is well deserved.
1. World Golf Village – With a name like the World Golf Village, you would expect it to be a golfer’s paradise and this resort certainly doesn’t disappoint. Located in St. Augustine and home to the World Golf Hall of Fame, this is one of the most visited golf destinations in the entire world, not just the state. If you’re looking for a true golfing experience, look no further. The World Golf Village offers guests two different golf courses designed by legends of the sport – the Slammer and Squire Course and the King and Bear Course. Each one offers great views, unique challenges, and a feeling that you’re playing on a course you’ll never forget. Add in things like the PGA Tour Golf Academy where you can improve your skills, and it’s not hard to see why so many people consider this one of the best-golfing destinations. There are several resort accommodations located at the Village, and each one offers you the chance to set up tee times on the links. There is also a full spa and numerous dining activities to enjoy, plus kid-friendly activities.
1. Saddlebrook Resort – Saddlebrook is one of those names that regularly gets mentioned when the topic of Florida golfing comes up, and with good reason. Located in Tampa, the course has a long history of action and is a perfect example of what a Florida golfing resort should be. There are two Arnold Palmer designed courses here, surrounded by cypress and oak trees and dotted with water. Golfers regularly encounter wildlife ranging from blue herons to large alligators, creating a unique experience that is decidedly “Florida”. The lush fairways of the course provide you with great views, while each hole presents interesting challenges and shots to consider. As with other courses here, you’ll be able to take advantage of the resort amenities including a full spa, numerous restaurants, tennis courts, and a super pool. But it’s the golf that shines here, and along with the two courses, you’ll also be able to access the Arnold Palmer Golf Academy and hone your techniques before you take them out onto the courses. It’s no wonder that this course has been one of the top courses in the minds of golfers everywhere who are thinking of Florida golf.
These are just six of the wonderful golf courses that Florida offers visitors, and it’s easy to lose yourself for days at each of them. When planning a trip, be sure to consider everything from the course to the location to the extra amenities to ensure that you have the kind of experience you deserve. Also be sure to plan enough days to really enjoy yourself – a one or two day trip can let you squeeze in some golf, but setting aside several days is a much better way to ensure that you get the full experience Florida golf has to offer.
Start with one or two of the courses above when you’re heading to Florida for golf, but don’t be afraid to look even deeper into the courses located around the state. You will find excellent golf everywhere you turn, and each course holds its own charm and its own challenges. Florida truly is a paradise for golf lovers, and it’s likely you’ll be visiting multiple times throughout the year.