Golf courses

9 Fantastic Public Golf Courses to Play in Florida

When winter chill hits the northern United States, many golfers seeking warmth are ready to fly south. Winter snowbirding in the Sunshine State usually translates to warm days filled with beach visits and amazing golf. Whether you’re heading to Palm Beaches, Miami, Orlando, Naples, or anywhere in between, there are incredible golf courses to show off your swing and swagger. These Florida golf courses are not only accessible; they are legendary. We have included a few private courses that offer their guests stay and play packages making these exclusive golf enclaves accessible to the general public.

Prices for a round of golf vary depending on the day of the week, the time of day and the season of the year.

We have featured amazing courses with a range of prices based on greens and cart fees. The cost of the score does not include club rental.

  • $: $75 or less
  • $$: $75 to $150
  • $$$: $150 to $250
  • $$$$: $250 or more

Note: Some information in this article was obtained through a sponsored press trip, but all recommendations are my own. The courses below are listed in no particular order.

Sandi Barrette

1. TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach

Every golfer’s dream is to land a ball smoothly on the island green from the 17th hole to TPC Sawgrass. There is no change in elevation on this hole, just a challenging little green completely surrounded by water. One of the finest golf courses on Florida’s east coast, TPC Sawgrass is home to the Players Stadium course and the Dyes Valley course.

When you’ve finished tackling one of these two amazing courses, enjoy a libation at the Nineteen at TPC Sawgrass where you can revisit your game while taking in the great views. If you don’t have time for a game, enjoy lunch on the terrace and dream of playing another day.

Cost: $$$ and more

Pro Tip: You can take a free tour of the 17th hole with a club guide. It’s a golfer’s fantasy to drive off the tee to the island green on this hole and you can live vicariously through the experiences of your guide.

2nd hole, Riverwood Golf Club.
Michael Burton

2. Riverwood Golf Club, Port Charlotte

If you find your getaway takes you to the southwest corner of Florida, the Riverwood Golf Club should be on your must-read list. Many holes at Riverwood will test your ability to hit straight as many of the fairways are hemmed in to the right or left by a ribbon of water stealing the ball. The abundance of strategically placed traps adds a required measure of precision to your chip shots.

The 551 yard par 5 hole 17 is a monster with an intimidating green lulled by dense vegetation. Scoring a par on this hole is truly a feather in any golfer’s cap.

Cost: $$ and more

Pro Tip: Lunch and bar service are available for guest golfers. Dinner service is for members only.

Golf green surrounded by large bunkers on a course in Florida.
ESB Basic / Shutterstock.com

3. Lakewood National Golf Club, Lakewood Ranch

Located in West Central Florida, Lakewood National Golf Club is home to Commander Course and Piper Course. Both are beautiful courses that criss-cross a luxurious golf community. The 36-hole course was designed by the legendary Arnold Palmer and showcases Florida’s beautiful natural surroundings.

As you navigate this challenging course, you can explore its hidden intricacies and your way to the flag. The 7,291 meter long Piper course gently persuades you to give it your all. Every swing, every chip, every putt brings you closer to that elusive perfect round.

Cost: $$ and more

Pro Tip: If you are looking for life in a beautiful golf enclave, buying a home on Lakewood National in the Lakewood Ranch community may be an ideal retreat or snowbird retreat.

4. Streamsong Resort, Bowling Green

Located in the heart of Central Florida, Streamsong Resort has three courses, Streamsong Red, Streamsong Blue and Streamsong Black. Whichever course you choose, you’ll love working on your game at this beautiful resort.

The Streamsong Red Course designed by golf icons Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw is consistently ranked among Florida’s top golf courses. The red course meanders through the local natural habitat, creating challenging shots, enticing golfers to play a single-ball game. The par-3 16th hole requires a perfect shot over water to land on the small green; this may be the hole where you lose one or more golf balls. Gentle undulations, unobstructed views, plenty of sand traps and challenging roughs make this course a winner and a dream golf destination.

Cost: $$ and more

Pro Tip: Streamsong offers a customizable golf package that will satisfy even the most accomplished golfer.

Trump National Doral Miami is a golf resort located in Doral, South Florida, United States.
D-VISIONS / Shutterstock.com

5. Trump National Doral Miami, Doral

The luxurious Trump Doral National Miami is home to four magnificent golf courses, including the Blue Monster Course. The 7,590 meter long course is dotted with deep bunkers that impede your approach shots and undulating greens that challenge your line towards the cup.

The other three outstanding games are the Red Tiger Course, the Silver Fox Course and the Golden Palm Course. Known for its beautiful landscaping, Doral is one of those clubs every golfer wants to tackle. Following in the footsteps of PGA Champion Woods, multiple PGA Tour winners Nicklaus and Norman, you can be sure that a game at Doral will be something you will remember for a lifetime.

Cost: $$$$

Pro Tip: There are mandatory Forecaddie fees to play.

6. World Woods Golf Club, Brooksville

Designed by Tom Fazio, World Woods Golf Club is home to two magnificent courses, Pine Barrens and Rolling Oaks. The Pine Barrens course is perfect for the golfer who is not a fan of water. Only a few holes are hampered by a water obstacle on this course dug in a dense pine forest. However, other golf challenges await the unsuspecting golfer of World Woods.

Natural beauty gives way to delicate bunkers, undulating greens and tree-lined fairways. You will love the layout and play on these two top courses.

Cost: $ and more

Pro Tip: The club also offers a short course designed by Fazio. A 9-hole par 3 and 4 executive-style course for a quick game in sunny Florida.

PGA National Resort, Palm Beach Gardens.
Sandi Barrette

7. PGA National Resort, Palm Beach Gardens

PGA National Resort classes include The Champion, The Palmer, The Fazio, The Estate, The Match and The Staple.

Home to the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic, the Champion Course has been redesigned by Jack Nicklaus and is now home to The Bear Trap, the legendary 15th, 16th and 17th holes where water and wind combine to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting golfer. . Precision shots are the name of the game when playing The Champion course in general and The Bear Trap in particular.

It’s one of those courses that looks like it could be tackled when you watch the game on TV. It’s so different when you go green in person.

Cost: $$$$

Pro Tip: Playing PGA National’s luxury resort is open to guests in a variety of stay-and-play vacation packages, perfect for your next game of golf.

Turnberry Isle Country Club.
Sandi Barrette

8. Turnberry Isle Country Club, Aventura

The luxurious Turnberry Isle Country Club offers two courses, the Miller course and the Stoffer course. A world away from the hustle and bustle of South Beach, but accessible to Miami visitors, the courses are a welcome oasis of green space. Wide, open fairways mask tricky holes that require precision shooting and thoughtful approaches.

You can perfect your game and enjoy the beautiful flora and fauna of Florida’s east coast at Turnberry. You will like the opening of the courses.

Cost: $$$$

Pro Tip: Turnberry Isle Country Club is private, but you can play the course with a stay and play package at JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort and Spa.

9. Innisbrook Golf Resort, Palm Harbor

Innisbrook Golf hosts the Valspar PGA Tour Championship. The exceptional Copperhead course is associated with three sister courses: the north course, the south course and the island course. With typical Florida Gulf Coast terrain, you’ll love the beautiful scenery and welcome the challenging playing field.

Each course features its own unique style, but all four are suitable for golfers who like to play a precision game. With four challenging courses, you can golf a new course every day when you come for a getaway.

Cost: $$$$

Pro Tip: Innisbrook Golf Resort is the perfect resort for your next golf getaway. Grab your favorite golf buddies and head to the Tampa Bay area for some amazing golf and fun in the sun.

Colorful artwork on display along popular Calle Ocho in historic Little Havana.
Little Havana (Photo credit: Fotoluminate LLC / Shutterstock.com)

The 19th hole

Florida is synonymous with golf. Whether you’re visiting for a quick golf-focused vacation or just want to hit a round or two while you’re there, you’ll love the expertly designed courses across the Sunshine State. When you’re in the Palm Beach area, we’ve got you covered with a golf planning guide to the area to get your game started. If Miami is your vacation destination, be sure to check out Little Havana and our authentic Cuban food recommendations.

You don’t have to belong to an expensive club to play golf in Florida. There are fabulous designer courses open to the public just waiting for you to grab your poles and play a round.

Florida’s golf courses are legendary, but the state has other options for travelers: