Florida has about 1,287 golf courses, which makes the state among the most golf course-rich in the country. Among these golf courses is the ultra-private Seminole Golf Club. Its members include Jon Rahm and NBC Sports’s president, Pete Bevacqua, among other notables.
You may be wondering why Florida is so concentrated on golf courses. One of the ‘easy’ conclusions is that a lot of rich old white people live in the “sunshine state.” But it doesn’t end there. It’s a matter of demand and ease.
Unfortunately, while Florida has more golf courses than any other state (of which many are open to the green fee-paying public), it still requires effort and skillful networking to play the best golf courses in the state.
In the rest of this article, I have compiled relevant information about golf courses in Florida, sampling the best budget golf courses in the state, the most popular ones, public ones, and everything in between. Read on to find out more.
Why are there so many golf courses in Florida?
Unlike most other places in the United States, Florida is flat and wet, and it is easy for gated communities to have their golf courses. This balances the supply and demand for all the people moving from New York, such as those who retire and want to play golf all day.
However, more particularly, many professional golfers take up residence in the Jupiter area (north of West Palm Beach), including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and now Fat Perez from Bob Does Sports.
The weather during the winter is palatable for year-round play. Although the summers are miserably hot and humid with daily afternoon storms, the golf courses are always in fantastic shape when you go.
As someone who has grown up in this area, I see professional golfers in public. I’ve even bumped into Tiger at a restaurant or Michael Jordan in his boat pulling into the inlet.
So, it’s safe to say that South Florida is the world’s golf capital.
How many public golf courses are in Florida?
Florida has about 626 public golf courses. This is approximately 75 percent of the total 1250 golf courses recorded in the Sunshine State. There are about 123 municipal and 538 private courses in the state.
These public golf courses are open and available for visitors to play.
Examples include the popular TPC Sawgrass (Players Stadium) in Ponte Vedra Beach, Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando, and PGA National Resort (Champion) at Palm Beach Gardens.
What’s the Best Golf Course in Florida?
The Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach is currently considered the best golf course in Florida. In addition to how beautiful and vast it is, many players adore the golf course for its rolling greens that mimic the waters of the nearby ocean.
Still, it’s tricky to pinpoint the best golf course in the Sunshine State, as it all boils down to preference. There are so many options to choose from.
However, according to Golf Digest, a monthly golf magazine published by Warner Bros., the Seminole G.C., Juno Beach; TPC Sawgrass; Ponte Vedra Beach; and the Calusa Pines G.Caples were ranked as the top three golf courses in Florida in 2021–2022.
What are the best budget-friendly golf courses in Florida?
The J.W. Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes, is Florida’s best budget-friendly golf course. It is a 27-hole golf course designed by Greg Norman for around $195.
However, other options like the Palm Harbor Golf Club, an 18-hole public golf course, and The Villages, featuring the Belvedere and Carolina courses, also have reasonable rates. They are well-designed and maintained.
Still, looking for other affordable golf course options in Florida? Here’s a list of the most recommended ones and why they are the most talked about:
|Budget-friendly golf courses in Florida
|The Legacy Golf & Tennis Club
|Port St. Lucie
|The public golf course offers 18 holes.
|Innisbrook, Palm Harbor
|It’s a 9-hole golf course with reasonable rates and works for all skill levels.
|The Golf Club at South Hampton
|It’s a public golf course offering 18 holes.
There are still many options. I personally like the Victoria Hills. It has better layouts in Florida and has made it to the top 50 public-access courses in the country on many ranking systems. It is cheap, too—a student pays between $35 and $50 to access the course.
Number of Golf Courses in Other States of the U.S.
According to The R&A’s Golf Around the World 2019 study, the United States houses close to 17,000 golf courses. Technically speaking, a new golf course awaits you no matter what state you’re in.
Aside from Florida, here is the total number of golf courses in some other states of the U.S.:
|Estimated number of golf courses
If you’re looking to choose a golf course, consider factors like location, course difficulty, amenities, and membership options.
It’s not enough to know the total number of options you have. It would also help to research online reviews (Yelp, for example), visit the courses, and talk to local golfers for recommendations.
Enjoy your golfing experience in the Sunshine State!