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Florida Golf Guide: 5 Top Courses to Play, Plan and Pine For 

By Royal Bank of Canada

Published April 26, 2024 • 4 Min Read

Florida is often called the golf capital of the world, with 1,250+ courses across the state and a robust roster of pro golfers who call it home. While Florida has clearly covered quantity when it comes to golf, can it boast quality? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” – these five courses top many worldwide lists.

To the untrained eye, the Florida golf scene can appear somewhat predictable. Courses are beautiful and palm-tree-lined, with sparkling ponds and pristine fairways. Throw in steady warmth and sunshine, and it can feel almost too perfect. While there are plenty of glossy, magazine-cover-worthy courses to be found, there’s also another key factor – variety. With diverse topography across the state (from swampland to rolling hills to ancient sand dunes) and inventive course architects that have made their stamp, Florida offers raw beauty, intensely challenging holes and courses that are anything but predictable.

These five courses are testaments to the originality, excitement and creativity that characterize the very best golf in Florida.

1. Seminole Golf Club

On the east coast of Florida, between Jupiter and West Palm Beach, sits Juno Beach, home to arguably the best golf course in the state – Seminole Golf Club.

Designed by Donald Ross in 1929, Seminole consistently ranks among the top 100 in the country and is considered by critics to be one of the finest examples of golf course routing. A prestigious, challenging and must-play course, it’s one that demands you bring your A game.

2. TPC Sawgrass: Stadium

Built with the intention of being home to The Players Championship – an annual tournament on the PGA Tour since 1974 – the Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass was made for spectators. But don’t let that fool you – it’s also a golfer’s paradise. With hundreds of oaks, pines and palms throughout the course and one of the most infamous holes in golf (#17, known for its treacherous island green), TPC Sawgrass has tested the best in the world. 

The great news is that everyday golfers can also experience the magic of the PGA with stay-and-play packages that give you access to this bucket-list course.

3. Streamsong

Streamsong is home to three top-rated courses: Streamsong Red, Streamsong Blue and Streamsong Black. The Red course typically ranks highest for design and difficulty, as golfers contend with towering dunes, lakes aplenty and considerable elevation changes—quite unlike the terrain at most Florida courses.

Far from the crowds and chaos of nearby Tampa, Streamsong is a one-of-a-kind haven. When you book a stay at the resort, you can choose from a combination of rounds from the three courses – so you can discover your favourite firsthand.

4. Calusa Pines

This intensely private course in Naples was the brainchild of a venture capitalist who challenged internationally renowned course architects Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry to build the most unique course in Florida. To do so, they allegedly spent over $1 million in dynamite, blasting into coral rock to create ponds, dramatic elevation changes and a course perched on the highest land point in South Florida. 

Consistently ranked as one of the top courses in the U.S., Calusa Pines doesn’t release membership information, has no tee times and features a serious caddie program to encourage walking the course. Membership is by invitation only, so to play here, it’s best to befriend a member. Start networking! 

5. Innisbrook (Copperhead)

The Copperhead course at Innisbrook Resort is the host of the PGA Tour’s annual Valspar Championship – a favourite among golf professionals. Ranked as the Tour’s 7th toughest course, the 7,200-yard Copperhead is famous for the Snake Pit – a three-hole stretch of narrow fairways, water, bunkers and trees, plus a giant statue of a snake – where tournaments have been won and lost.

If you stay at the resort, you can book a tee time here, or at any of the other three championship courses. 

Golf More, Stress Less

Bring your U.S. credit card on your next golf trip to the U.S. and say goodbye to foreign transaction fees.

Golfing at Florida’s top resorts can be immensely challenging – but traveling to and around the state doesn’t have to be. With the right cross-border banking solution, you get access to no-fee ATMs in Florida and all other 49 states. Plus, you’ll save on foreign exchange fees for purchases made in U.S. dollars. So, whether you want to play at a top course or you’re content to watch the pros in action, banking during your cross-border golf trip can be simple and straightforward – unlike the greens you’re sure to face.

This article is intended as general information only and is not to be relied upon as constituting legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. Information presented is believed to be factual and up-to-date but we do not guarantee its accuracy and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or any of its affiliates.

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