Where are the best places to play golf at Florida? We pick our Top 5 Golf Courses in the Sunshine State that ooze Scotland golfing vibes.
Set along beautiful south Florida landscape, Seminole is designed by renowned golf architect Donald Ross, who also designed Pinehurst No.2, which hosts the US Open.
Seminole is consistently ranked as one of the Top 100 golf courses in the United States and they’re known for turning down “The Golden Bear” Jack Nicklaus for membership (that sure says something about exclusivity).
Ben Hogan on the other hand had better luck with Seminole and used to practice there to prepare for the Masters. He once said, “If I were a young man going on the pro tour, I’d try to make arrangements to get on Seminole. If you can play Seminole, you can play any course in the world“.
Besides having one of the best Bermuda greens, one of the charms of Seminole is the elevation. You wouldn’t expect a golf course next to the ocean to have some serious elevation changes but Seminole has it and Donald Ross expertly utilizes it, making it a longer course.
On top of that, the layout is designed in a way that wind from the ocean will impact your game in multiple ways. You will not be able to get comfortable in one wind direction as you will be changing direction every couple of holes.
Seminole Golf Club
Holes: 18 | Par: 72 | Length: 6836 yards | Slope 145
901 Seminole Blvs, North Palm Beach,
Florida 33408, Palm Beach County
(561) 626-0280, (561) 626-202
Located in North Naples, the Calusa Pines Golf Club was named one of the top modern courses in the United States by Golfweek Magazine and is the highest rated course in Southwest Florida.
Calusa Pines is literally an absolute blast. To build this course, they had to blast through tons of rocks to create huge, deep ponds and the fill was then used to create elevation changes. The dynamite bill itself cost $1 million dollars.
What makes Calusa Pines really unique is the incredible variety of holes, with not one hole looking or feeling similar. The elevation changes are quite remarkable for an area that sits at sea level and while the design has great continuity and flow, making the course very walk-able.
It can be a little tricky if you want to play at the Calusa Pines. The club doesn’t release any membership information and has no tee time. It is said that the club keeps their number of members below 300 and charges a joining fee of around $150,000. To get a game here, your best bet is to befriend a member of the club.
Calusa Pines Golf Club
Holes: 18 | Par: 72 | Length: 7203 yards | Slope 148
2000 Calusa Pines Dr, Naples,
Florida 34120, Collier County
Built in 1981, the TPC Sawgrass is one the very first Tournaments Players Club to be built. It is home to the PGA Tour headquarters and annually hosts The Players Championship.
The Stadium Course is known as one of the most challenging golf courses in the world thanks to their signature hole – the notorious and infamous 17th (or known simply as the Island Green). It is the most well-known and most photographed hole in America!
The 17th is the course’s shortest hole but also the most dramatic hole. Technically, it’s a peninsular completely surrounded by water that measures 121m from tee to green. It consists of nothing but a 24m long green with a tiny bunker in front of it.
This is where players make plenty of birdies and it currently holds a record of 50 balls landed in the water in one round. You will definitely remember your shot on the 17 for the rest of your life.
TPC Sawgrass (The Players Stadium Course)
Holes: 18 | Par: 72 | Length: 7215 yards | Slope 155
110 Championship Way, Ponte Vedra Beach,
Florida 32082, Saint Johns County
(904) 273 323
In the late 1960s, real estate developer Donald Soffer had a vision to turn a swamp in North Miami Beach into an upmarket residential estate with golf as it’s sporting centrepiece.
He hired celebrated golf course architect, Robert Trent Jones Sr. to craft two 18-hole championship courses – Soffer and Miler. The two courses were then reimagined and given new life by golf icon Raymond Floyd in 2006.
They changed the overall character of the golf course by cleaning out existing lakes and importing fill dirt to create elevations and contour. The amount of bunkers were also reduced and changed locations, completely changing the strategy of the game.
The Soffer Course is 600 yards longer than the Miller and has played host to numerous PGA and LPGA championships in recent years. On top of that, the course is also surrounded by beautiful large ponds with ducks, swan and pink flamingos. That sure sounds like a deal!
Turnberry Isle Resort & Club (Soffer Course)
Holes: 18 | Par: 71 | Length: 7047 yards | Slope 149
1999 W Country Club Dr, Aventura,
Florida 33180, Dade County
(305) 933 6929, (305) 932 6200, (800) 327 7028
Streamsong might be in the middle of nowhere of Florida but their Red Course is totally worth the trip. From the breath-taking opening tee shot, you’ll know that you are in for a treat.
Designed by the legendary team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshow, the Red Course boast striking dune landforms, expansive lakes, rolling terrains and stretches of open savannah.
That sure sounds spectacular but don’t get too absorbed with the stunning view. If you’re not driving the ball well, Streamsong Red can make your scorecard bleed, especially at the beginning of the game.
The Red course is more demanding off the tee. The first hole is a par 5 disguised as par 4 and the second hole… you might end up feeding golf balls to alligators (don’t worry, there are no alligators in the lake).
The key challenge of this course is to land your shots at the right location. The greens at Streamsong are quick and undulating. It’s one of the few courses where the ground game demands full attention.
Streamsong Resort (Red Course)
Holes: 18 | Par: 72 | Length: 7148 yards | Slope 130
Old Hwy 37, Fort Meade,
(863) 428 1000