Top 10 Florida Golf Courses

Golfers vacationing in Florida have a cornucopia of public golf courses to choose from. The Sunshine State is home to some of the finest courses in the country that are sure to please golfers of all stripes. Try to plan a multiple-day trip if you can, because a number of the top 10 Florida golf courses are so challenging that they demand several rounds for the optimistic golfer to see a progressive decrease in strokes.

TCP Sawgrass, Players Stadium Course, Ponte Vedra Beach

  • tiger woods pga ponta vedra beachSkill Level: Expert
  • Views: Fairway landscapes familiar from televised tournaments
  • Where to Book a Rental: Ponte Vedra Beach

Of all the top 10 Florida Golf courses, the Players Stadium Course at Sawgrass is the best known worldwide. As you play this course you will tee off on fairways and struggle with greens that you have seen PGA players tackle on TV during The Players Championship. Look forward to getting your chance to play the heartbreaking 17th, the par-three with the island green that has stumped many a pro. The Dye's Valley Course, another one of Florida's best Florida golf courses, is also on site, presenting some interesting challenges for the seasoned golfer. Golf rentals in Ponte Vedra Beach provide easy access to the course.

Mill Cove Golf Club Mill Cove Course, Jacksonville

  • Skill Level: Beginner to expert
  • Views: Wetlands, marsh and tree-lined fairways
  • Where to Book a Rental: Jacksonville Beach

Designed by Arnold Palmer, the par-71 Mill Cove Golf Course is a favorite among visitors to the Jacksonville Beach area. With 41 bunkers, this 6,671-yard course has enough challenges for the expert but can still be forgiving to the intermediate and novice golfer. Mill Cove is one of the best Florida golf courses in terms of value for greens fees and is considered one of the nicest courses in the Jacksonville area.

World Woods Golf Club, Brooksville

  • Skill Level: Intermediate to expert
  • Views: Pine forest
  • Where to Book a Rental: Tampa

Designed by Tom Fazio, the Pine Barrens Course at World Woods in Tampa is ranked #26 in the best modern course category by Golf Week. It's laid out in a forest of native pines, and it has some huge natural bunkers that are not only unique, but unusually intimidating. If you want to have less bunker action, the traditional Rolling Oaks course, World Woods' second course, offers tricky fairways and undulating greens that are perfect for the intermediate golfer.

Mangrove Bay, St. Petersburg

  • golf lessonsView: Florida wilderness scenery
  • Skill Level: All levels
  • Where to Book a Rental: St. Petersburg area

This 18-hole municipal course, recognized as one of America's top women-friendly golf courses, is very well-maintained and an excellent value. The scenery of St Petersburg you will enjoy while leisurely walking the relatively flat course consists of a variety of indigenous trees. If an errant shot sends you among them in the rough, you will be greeted by an abundance of local wildlife.

To improve your score on the course, consider taking lessons from the PGA pros on hand, and if you have kids they will certainly benefit from taking part in the highly regarded Junior Golf Program.

Waldorf Astoria Golf Club, Orlando

  • View: Cypress lined waterways
  • Skill Level: Intermediate to expert
  • Where to Book a Rental: Orlando

Among the public courses in the Orlando region, the Waldorf Astoria Course stands out for its spectacular setting. Designed by Rees Jones this championship course takes you through a wetland preserve along fairways lined with pine and cypress trees. While its challenging layout will make you carefully plot your strategy for each hole and make precise shots when approaching the greens, during your round you must be sure to take a break from the deep concentration of play to take in the scenery – it is truly unforgettable.

Victoria Hills Golf Club, Deland

  • View: Native Florida forest
  • Skill Level: Intermediate to expert
  • Where to Book a Rental: Deland

Set in gently rolling hills, the Victoria Hills Golf Club takes a serious stance towards protecting the natural environment. It participates in the Cooperative Sanctuary Program created by Audubon International to make sure the course preserves wildlife habitats and local ecosystems.

As is expected from one of the top 10 Florida golf courses, the maintenance and layout are excellent. The fairways are lined with oaks and Augusta pines in such a way that the enclosing foliage gives the course a tranquil feel, but the healthy number of design changes encountered along the course put serious demands on the golfer. Strategic play is required to avoid the difficult bunkers and lakes that pepper the course. Book a Deland golf vacation rental for great views and access to the course.

Camp Creek Golf Club

  • View: Dunes and lagoons
  • Skill Level: Intermediate to expert
  • Where to Book a Rental: Panama City

This Tom Fazio-designed course takes full advantage of its setting on the ocean. Dunes and pine forest are incorporated into the design so that you are always aware of the course’s unique Florida surroundings. The 36 holes on the level beachside terrain offer a variety of challenges, not the least of which is the water that is seemingly everywhere. The par-four 13th hole, which is about 300 yards, involves a dog-leg around a lake, a small green and more than enough threatening bunkers. This hole is almost guaranteed to shake every player’s confidence.

North Palm Beach Country Club

  • golf cart oceanView: Intracoastal waterway
  • Skill Level: All levels
  • W here to Book a Rental: Palm Beach area

One of just two Jack Nicklaus Signature Municipal courses in the United States, North Palm Beach Country Club must be included in any list of the top 10 Florida golf courses. The holes offer five different tee locations to satisfy all levels of golfers. The real shot makers can flex their muscles and accuracy here, and for the less serious golfer the views of the water and passing boats make this course a special treat. The fairways are broad on this links style course, so everyone in your golfing party will come away with a feeling of accomplishment. Fortunately, there are many vacation rentals located near the golf course in Palm Beach.

Shingle Creek Golf Club, Orlando

  • View: Tropical Florida landscape
  • Skill Level: Novice to expert
  • Where to Book a Rental: Orlando

As the name implies, this course is built around beautiful Shingle Creek. But watch out; the water that makes it beautiful is also used as an elegant but treacherous natural hazard. The designer, David Harman, has succeeded in making a course that is both a pleasure and a challenge for players of all levels.

The five tees at each hole, variable terrain, and state-of-the-art GPS system on this championship quality course encourage players to practice strategic golf. Set in the headwaters of the Everglades, the scenery alone makes this one of the Florida’s best golf courses.

Orange County National Golf Centre, Orlando

  • View: Florida wilderness
  • Skill Level: All levels
  • Where to Book a Rental: Orlando

This is the place to go if you are on an extended vacation in Orlando, as you will want to try all three courses, The Panther Lake Course is a rolling meadow with native pines and wetlands set in a wilderness, so you are sure to spot native Florida birds flitting about the forest. Each hole has particular challenges that will make your round memorable.

For fewer trees and a more open course, you will want to try the Crooked Cat Course, where driving errors are forgiven – as long as you manage to miss the bunkers and water. The 9-hole Tooth Course is perfect for the less ambitious golfer or for the expert whose goal is to work on some game-polishing strokes.


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