The Five Best Golf Courses in Florida
Looking to vacation to Florida and play some golf? Thinking about retiring in Florida and want to locate yourself near one of the top golf courses in Florida?
Don’t worry, we got you covered in today’s review of the 5 best Florida golf courses. The famous TPC Sawgrass is what we start the review off with as I’m sure you’ve seen it countless times on TV watching the PGA Tour players attempt to land the famous 17th green.
But we’ve included a few other golf courses on our “best of” list for Florida that you should also make an attempt to play next time you visit the sunshine state!
Top 5 Golf Courses to Play in Florida:
- TPC Sawgrass
- Camp Creek
- World Woods
- Hammock Beach
- Trump Doral
TPC Sawgrass – Stadium Course
Our first choice today is the TPC Sawgrass in Ponta Verda Beach, FL. Currently this course is headquarters to the PGA Tour and also home of The Players Champ-ionship. The course plays just over 7,200 yards long at Par 72. You’ll quickly recognize the 17th Island Hole; is an icon for those of us that watch tournaments, and this course was rated number 2 in several poles as one of the best golf courses in Florida. Opened in1981 as a public course, TPC Sawgrass allows golfers access to a course usually reserved for the PGA Tour players.
TPC Sawgrass has three excellent finishing holes. The 16th is a par 5; fairly short, but with water on the right and a big oak guarding the green on the left. The 17th green is surrounded by water; it is said to claim over 100,000 golf balls a year. If you get through the 17 relatively unscathed, don’t relax too much. The 18th tee requires a good shot; Go right and you’re in the woods; left, and there’s more water.
While you’re in town, Ponta Verda has some great places to stay. Just across the street from TPC in The Ponta Verda Inn Resort, including the Ocean Course for another round if you have time. During the week, a group for four can reserve tee times starting around $500. Probably worth it at least once with a few friends; one thing’s for sure, you’ll never forget it. For more information on this outstanding course, visit https://tpc.com/sawgrass/.
Camp Creek Golf Course
Next up is Camp Creek Golf Course in Panama City Beach, FL. The 18-hole, par 72, 7,159-yard course was design by golfer Tom Fazio and opened for play in 2001. A blend of various length holes with wide fairways will reward your long drives.
As a public course, I have found Camp Creek ranked in with the best of Florida’s 100 courses, public or private. Ranked in the state anywhere from #5 to #36, this Panama City Beach course should be a pleasure to play.
Camp Creek is made up of wetlands, sand dunes, and rolling fairways. With five different tees, Camp Creek is a playable course for all levels of golfers. The fairways here are generous, but your approach shots will be tough to large, protected greens.
Water comes into play on 11 different holes and the rough is very heavy in most places. Camp Creek features some nice par 3’s; the 14th is one of the most beautiful in the area.
The two most challenging holes seem to the 9th and 18th.
Both are lakeside par fours; if you finish well, count on being congratulated by your friends!! Visit www.campcreekgolf.com for tee times and rates; reading all the reviews, you’ll be glad you did.
World Woods Golf Course – Pine Barrens
Our next selection is Pine Barrens in Brooksville, FL. World Woods is another design by Tom Fazio, a par 71, 6,458-yard course, named for the multitude of pine trees throughout the course.
This course has been compared to Pine Valley in New Jersey, the #1 ranked course in the world. My research found Pine Barrens ranked from 12th to 27th in Florida; now I understand why it was picked as one of Florida’s best public courses.
Yukihisa Inoue, the president of World Woods is accomplishing a major goal; providing world-class golf for players of all levels. His current plans have been revised to make Pine Barrens one of best courses in the USA, not just Florida.
In Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Courses You Can Play by Brian McCallen, he writes, “the course looks far more intimidating than it actually plays. There’s a lot of room to drive the ball, but greens are well protected from approach shots.”
“The first hole is a straightaway par 4 with long stretches of sand protecting both sides. The small, crowned green slopes away on all sides. The back nine at Pine Barrens builds drama and interest.
The long par four 12th is rated the toughest hole on the course, but the short par four 15th sticks in the memory of most players.”
Pine Barrens is Florida’s only 5-star Public Golf Course. It is also ranked as one of America’s Best Modern Courses. Find out more information about the course at
Hammock Beach Resort – Ocean Course
Another outstanding course to play in Florida is the Hammock Beach Resort Ocean Course, located in Palm Coast, FL. This course a is 7,200 par 72 designed by Jack Nicklaus. Nicklaus designed Ocean Course with six holes directly bordered by the Atlantic Ocean; more than any course in Florida. Ocean Course has also hosted two PGA Tour events and a Ladies Championship as well.
Hammock Beach is one of the courses “you can truly play” without having to obtain a membership, as many great courses today require. This course has increased in popularity since Bernhard Langer won here in 2008.
As it relates to Nicklaus’ nickname, the last four holes, known as the “Bear Claw” is the start of the Ocean Breese course’s final climax. In a refreshing breeze, the course finishes with a daunting challenge to finish strong to save your scorecard. Nicklaus has commented, “as it relates to the east coast in the United States, you are not going to get any better than you have right here.”
If this course sounds like something that interests you, head over to their website at www.hammockbeachgolf.com. You won’t be disappointed with what you find here.
Trump National Doral Resort Golf Course
Our final choice for today’s review is the Doral Golf Resort in Miami, FL. The course was designed by Dick Wilson, a par 72 playing at 7,288 yards. This famous course hosted the Doral Open from 1962 to 2006. In 2013, a major renovation was conducted, after which 318 golf balls were lost in one tournament; the reason the course is now known as the “Blue Monster”.
After the facility went into bank-ruptcy in 2014, Donald Trump purchased the complex for $150 million. He then proceeded to invest $220 million in renovations. Since then, Tiger Woods, Patrick Reed, Dustin Johnson and Adam Scott have all won championships here at Doral.
Most reviews I have read seem to like the course, but some say it isn’t what it was back in its prime with the PGA Tour. Donald Trump did quite a bit to improve the course with his renovations, so it remains in Florida’s top choices to visit for a round or two. If you want to learn more about this historic course and schedule a tee time, visit them at https://trumpgolfdoral.com.
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