Top 10 Courses: Florida

Top 10 Courses: Florida
Seminole (Photo by L.C. Lambrecht)

 

Golf is a year-round game in the Sunshine State, where masses migrate during the winter months and there are more courses (over 1,200) than any other U.S. state. Inherently, great variety exists, from waterside courses on the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico, to inland tracks built around lakes and on top of phosphate mines. Here are our Top 10 courses in Florida.

1. Seminole, Juno Beach

Donald Ross’s 1929 gem, after a major update by Coore & Crenshaw, has solidified its position at the top and will host the 2021 Walker Cup.

2. TPC Sawgrass (Stadium Course)Ponte Vedra Beach

The first of the PGA Tour’s network of 32 TPC courses is still the best, a comprehensive examination in shotmaking highlighted by a nerve-jangling final three holes.

3. Streamsong (Red), Bowling Green

The leader of a great triumvirate of links-like resort courses built on a phosphate mine in the center of the state, this Coore & Crenshaw design narrowly edges the other two with the rich variety of its holes.

4. Calusa Pines, Naples

On dead-flat land, Mike Hurdzan and Dana Fry created mini-mountains, excavated 72 acres of water hazards, and planted thousands of mature trees to create a course that is unlike anything in the Sunshine State.

5. Streamsong (Blue), Bowling Green

Tom Doak’s design, which opened alongside the Red, is set on the same sandy terrain but features wider fairways, more cavernous bunkers, and more fiercely contoured greens.

6. Jupiter Hills, Tequesta

Near-constant—and marked—elevation change literally raises this George Fazio design above its south Florida neighbors; a renovation by nephew Tom has kept it at the top.

7. Streamsong (Black), Bowling Green

The newest addition to the resort (2017) lies a mile from the other two on a 300-acre site where Gil Hanse created a course with 18 greens that are among the largest—and most vexing—in the world.

8. The Concession, Bradenton

Co-designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin, in commemoration of their epic Ryder Cup battle of 1969, this course—rated 76.7 and sloped at 153 from the tips—concedes nothing even to the best of players.

9. Mountain Lake, Lake Wales

A hidden gem set in a sleepy little community in central Florida, this century-old Seth Raynor classic is replete with the Macdonald/Raynor template holes as well as Raynor’s exquisitely contoured greens.

10. Black Diamond (Quarry), Lecanto

One of Tom Fazio’s early designs and still among his best, highlighted by a spectacular stretch of holes (13–17) that plays around and through an 80-foot-deep canyon.