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Tee up at one of the best golf courses in Florida

There's a reason Florida is a hot spot for golf

Palm trees by the ocean at Hammock Beach
Hammock Beach Golf Resort & Spa Hammock Beach Golf Resort & Spa

As a devoted golfer, you want to play as much as possible. You spend weekends hitting the links and refining your swing while elevating your game and enjoying your passion. But that isn’t always possible. When seasons change or rain arrives, you’re stuck on the couch watching the PGA Tour. Also, to play the world’s best courses, you’ll need to hop on a plane and go exploring.

With its agreeable climate and assortment of top clubs, Florida is a golfing destination that’s hard to beat. Any time of year, you can fly in, grab your bag, and enjoy world-class links. To help you decide on one (or more), we’ve compiled some of the best golf courses in Florida, each accessible to the public. Let’s dive in.

TPC Sawgrass: Dye Stadium Course

Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass
TPC Network

Besides golf, what’s your favorite sport? Basketball? Football? In that case, it’s unlikely you’ll step onto an NBA court or an NFL field for a game of pick-up. But the PGA’s series of TPC courses let you do just that, playing the same fairways and greens as the sport’s best. TPC Sawgrass is one of the most notable designs.

Home of The Player’s Championship — the Tour’s signature event — and designed by industry legend Pete Dye, the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course challenges you at every turn. By combining smaller greens and long fairways, the course demands skill and strength for a balanced layout. The signature hole — the par-3 17th — features an island-like green that requires steady aim and calm nerves to make par. 

Streamsong Resort: Black

Black Course at Streamsong Resort
Streamsong Resort

Built atop an old phosphate strip mine, this Gil Hanse design uses rolling topography and tricky greens to push your skills. Its ridges and dunes are reminiscent of Melbourne, Australia’s Sand Belt region, and signature elements set it apart. On the ninth hole, there’s a hidden punchbowl, and on the 18th, a lagoon cove guarding the green. 

If you like to work on your game for hours, try The Roundabout practice area and The Gauntlet putting course. The former includes three double green complexes, while the latter has a 1.2-acre putting course. Talk about a golfing playground. 

Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge: Challenger/Champion

Champion Challenger Course at Bay Hill at Bay Hill Club and Lodge
Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge

Arnold Palmer personified the best golf has to offer — good times with friends and challenging yourself on the links. Though he won 62 tournaments — including seven majors — it was his bright personality that captured fans’ hearts. His spirit lives on at his home course at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge

Especially notable is the Champion/Challenger course’s par-5 sixth hole, with a 555-yard distance (from the Palmer tees) and a dogleg left bordered by a pond. You’ll need your A-game and a measured strategy to make par. Though Bay Hill Club & Lodge is a members-only facility, when you stay at the resort, you enjoy the same privileges. Not to mention world-class links right outside your door. 

Hammock Beach Golf Resort & Spa: Ocean Course

Ocean Course at Hammock Beach
Hammock Beach Golf Resort & Spa

While it’s fun to test your golfing skills, doing so in beautiful settings makes it even better. In that way, Hammock Beach Golf Resort & Spa’s Ocean Course delivers, with six holes beside the Atlantic Ocean. The Jack Nicklaus-designed course includes his signature elements, like open fairways and protected greens. So, while you’ll be able to let it rip from the tee box, it’ll take skilled pitch shots to break par. That’s especially true on the final four-hole stretch — dubbed “The Bear Claw” — with an uphill par-4 on the 15th and an over-the-water par-3 on the 17th. 

Tiburón Golf Club: Black

The Black Course at Tiburon
Tiburon Naples

This Greg Norman-designed course has everything — natural beauty, an on-site luxury hotel, and PGA Tour-worthy links. Towering pines and pristine fairways greet you at the tees, and a 27,00 square-foot Mediterranean-style clubhouse lets you unwind after a round. Since the Black Course hosts the Chubb Classic annually, you get to play the same greens as the pros. 

A few miles away, stay at the Ritz-Carlton Naples, and live it up when you’re not on the course. Set amongst native wetlands and home to an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, the hotel’s surroundings provide a perfect place to relax and recharge. 

Florida golf courses are perfect for any season

Bunkers and greens at TPC Sawgrass
TPC Sawgrass TPC Network

As a golfer, you’re subject to the whims of Mother Nature. When winter arrives, you’re stuck inside or off skiing or snowboarding. Besides that, you want to play noted courses, build your repertoire, and experience the best. Florida’s golf courses are ideal when you want to play year-round and elevate your game.  

First on our list would be the Hammock Beach Golf Resort, with its palm tree-lined greens and ocean views. Every day on the links is like a mini-vacation, and the final four holes are an exciting way to finish a round. But no matter your preference, any of these courses offer a next-level golf experience. 

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Reif
Mark Reif is a writer from Stowe, Vermont. During the winter, he works as a snowboard coach and rides more than 100 days. The…
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