The famous sunshine state is an extremely popular choice for UK golfers searching for tropical conditions and lush surroundings whilst having their game. Players will be spoilt for choice; Florida has some of the best golf courses in the world, offering a challenge for players of all abilities.
Seminole Golf Club, Juno Beach
Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach (just north of Palm Beach) is rated Florida’s best by Golf Digest, and has plenty of admirers including Rory McIlroy… so keep your eyes peeled. It dates back to 1929 and is one of the most exclusive clubs in the world, so you usually need to know someone just to get in the door. But, if you are fortunate enough to play a full round, beware of the deadly green bunkers, they are some of the most brutal in the business making it an interesting challenge even for the most seasoned golfer.
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TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra
Also in the same rarefied air is TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach (just south of Jacksonville), the home of The Players Championship, the unofficial ‘fifth Major’ and a wonderfully brilliant course. The island green 17th hole is one of the most photogenic in world golf, so don’t forget to bring your camera. If nothing else, you should check out the Mediterranean-style clubhouse and soak up the atmosphere for lunch or dinner. It’s also worth joining one of the free guided tours of the clubhouse, which highlights all the great moments and the courses historic milestones.
Calusa Pines Golf Club, Naples
Another top golf course in Florida is the Calusa Pines Golf Club in Naples, in Florida’s south-west. The fairways of the course are lightning fast thanks to the considerably long length of the course – 7,203-yards – giving it an unusual character compared to other courses. The 10-hole course is surrounded by lush vegetation found in many parts of Calusa Pines, also giving it a botanical garden feel whilst playing. Calusa Pines also advocates a strong caddie program; guests are encouraged to walk this beautiful course and explore the surroundings.
Streamsong Resort in Bowling Green, Tampa
Florida is full of surprises and you’ll also find some golf courses in unexpected places, like the immaculate Streamsong Resort in Bowling Green, just south-east of Tampa. This reclaimed former mining site is a must-see. It has been extensively rebuilt and re-shaped to include two brilliant courses. There are two places to dine, the lodge and the clubhouse, both great to unwind in and enjoy some stunning views. The resort is modern and sophisticated and also offers other great activities, including archery, fishing, and its own spa to relax in after a long day on the fairway.
Innisbrook Resort, Clearwater
Mind you, Innisbrook Resort, on the Gulf Coast north of Clearwater, gives the other courses a run for their money. Guests have the choice of four courses, including the top-rated Copperhead course which hosts the world’s finest players each March when the PGA tour visits for the Valspar Championship. As well as teeing off with champions, the course is surrounded by lakes, ponds and wildlife to admire whilst playing. The resort also has an outside pool to cool down in after a day of golf, as well as yoga classes, a spa, and six fabulous restaurants to choose from.
If you’re teeing off for your next holiday, talk to our team on 0800 669 6409 or email us and we will be happy to help plan the perfect golf holiday for you.