The ‘Sunshine State’ is one of the most popular places on the PGA Tour and is home to a number of the world’s best golf courses. With a minimum of 3 tournaments a year played in Florida, there is no shortage of championship golf on offer and for those looking to test themselves on some of the game’s hardest courses then Florida is the place for you. Arguably the most famous of all these is TPC Sawgrass whose island green on the 17th is one of the most recognisable sights in golf.
As one of the few states in America which sees year round sun, Florida is great place to play golf throughout the year. With players like the late great Arnold Palmer claiming the state has one of the best courses in the country (Bay Hill), be sure to make Florida your next golfing destination.
Read on to discover the courses our experts have played and consider the best in Florida or check out some of the best golf holiday deals in Florida >>.
The Pete Dye designed Stadium Course is one of the world’s most iconic places to play golf. Home to the tour’s unofficial 5th Major, the Players Championship the course is best known for producing some of the most exciting golf of the year culminating on the 17th. The short par 3 is one of the most recognisable holes in the game with its island green ruining the round of many a great golfer. In true American resort fashion, the rest of the courses is in immaculate condition with many of its perfectly manicured fairways skirting well placed water hazards. Despite testing the best players in the world, the course is also one of the more manageable for the more social golfer and is must play for any golf fanatic.
|Location:||Jacksonville, North-east Florida|
|Designed by:||Pete Dye and Deane Beman|
In 1965, Arnold Palmer proclaimed the course at Bay Hill Country Club to be “the best course in Florida” and in 1974 he brought the place. Each year the course plays host to the prestigious Arnold Palmer Invitational and is one of the strongest fields of the year. As one of Tiger Woods’s favourite hunting grounds any golfing fanatic is sure to have this course on their bucket list. The course itself runs alongside the beautiful Butler Chain of Lakes and winds its way through towering trees to create a truly beautiful setting to play golf in. Following what is sure to be a truly unforgettable round of golf, the clubhouse is a great place to unwind and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
|Designed by:||Dick Wilson and Arnold Palmer|
The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook is ranked firmly inside the top 100 golf courses worldwide and for good reason. The layout is comprised of subtle undulations and tree lined fairways which place a great emphasis on driving the ball long and straight off the tee. The toughest part of the course is also what makes it so beautiful as players must exhibit pinpoint precision in their approach play as the greens are guarded by water and or feature significant changes in elevation. It is not just the course you need to watch out for as the surrounding swamps are home to a number of wildlife including snakes and alligators which have been known to bask on the sun soaked fairways.
|Designed by:||Lary Packard|
The Black Course is the main event at Tiburon Golf Club and is a great test of golf. Unlike many of the other courses in Florida, the course only measures in at 7,000 yards from the tips and tests a players course management skills rather than sheer power. The tight fairways of the Black Course are lined by trees and water hazards meaning that any errant shot will not go unpunished. The greens are renowned for being lightening quick all year round and for those looking to score well round here then club selection is key when playing your approach shot as the severe runoff areas on the greens leave no room for error.
|Designed by:||Greg Norman|
Any course designed by an 8 time major winning championship is sure to be spectacular place to play and Tom Watson’s course at Reunion Resort is no exception to this. In true Watson fashion, the course is designed to make you use every club in the bag throughout your round as the clever layout means that its relatively short nature is still challenging to low handicappers. The course is renowned for being in immaculate condition with the pristine fairways being lined with long wispy rough that gives it a rugged links feel. Tom’s love affair with Links golf is reflected in the way the course has been laid out and the 5 time Open Championship winner has masterminded one of the world’s best courses.
|Designed by:||Tom Watson|
Aptly named the “Blue Monster”, the course measures in at an enormous 7,590 yards and features an array of water hazards which are sure to have a few golf balls in them. In 2014, the course underwent a re-vamp which saw every hole resculpted and designed into the modern day masterpieces they are now. The deep bunkers, thick rough and undulating greens requires golfers to drive the ball long but also have a razor sharp short game in order to score. The course has hosted numerous world golf championships and has a closing hole that is viewed as one of the toughest holes on the PGA Tour. Florida’s year round sun makes it a great play championship golf courses and escape the dark winters of the U.K.
|Designed by:||Gil Hanse|
Originally designed by Tom Fazio, the course has been more recently reworked by golf’s most celebrated player - Jack Nicklaus. Featuring some of the most daunting closing holes on the PGA Tour, the so called ‘Bear Trap’ has ruined the round of the many of the game’s greats. PGA National like it’s refurbisher, is one of the most acclaimed courses in the States having hosted both the Ryder Cup and the PGA Championship - to this day it also hosts the annual Honda Classic which in recent years has been won by Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott.
|Designed by:||Tom and George Fazio - later reworked by Jack Nicklaus|
Surrounded by nothing but nature as far as the eye can see, Streamsong offers a golf experience like no other resort in Florida. Renowned architects Tom Doak of Renaissance Golf Design and Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw of Coore & Crenshaw collaborated to create Streamsong Blue and Streamsong Red—considered two of the top 100 golf courses in the US by GOLF Magazine. Also, in September 2017, the Streamsong Black opened offering a third championship course option at the stunning resort.
|Designed by:||Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw|
The King and Bear course is constantly ranked as one of the world’s best courses and is testament to impeccable condition of both the course and its layout. Measuring in at just over 7,200 yards, the course is designed to test every facet of your game with both power and precision being required. The pristine fairways meander their way through towering pines that are planted in such a way that any errant shot is punished. The highlights of the course are the long par 5s which allow you to open up the shoulders and let rip.
|Designed by:||Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus|
Panther Lake is one of the country’s most favourable courses as it provides a challenge for golfer’s of all abilities. As the home to the PGA Tour’s final qualifier, the course has the ability to test the game’s best players but with its variety of tee boxes it can also be made accessible to high handicappers. Among the most notable characteristics of the course are the rolling undulations of the fairways and large changes in elevation which gift players with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding scenery.
|Designed by:||Phil Ritson, Isao Aoki and David Harman|