Contact us Email
Water hazards on a florida golf course

Swing in the Sunshine State: The 15 Best Florida Golf Courses

December 14, 2023

The Sunshine State is home to some of the world’s best golfing destinations. Its diverse landscape makes each course a unique gem in the golfing crown of the southeastern United States.

Here we’ll run through the must-play courses in Florida, including those with the most unique settings to the most challenging layouts.

1. The Players Stadium Course – TPC Sawgrass

Home of the Players Championship – dubbed the unofficial fifth major – the world top 100 rated Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass is one of the most iconic layouts in golf.

Designed by legendary golf architects Pete & Alice Dye, the entire 18 holes are a tough challenge for golfers of every standard, and the iconic closing stretch of 16 through 18, including the famed Island Green 17th, plays on your mind long before you arrive on the tee box.

Read our guide on The Players for tips on playing the course and more information on the Marriott Sawgrass Resort.

Sawgrass Marriott Resort
Stadium Course, TPC Sawgrass

Course Details

Opened: 1980
Par: 72
Length: 7,245 yards
Designers include: Pete Dye, Tommy Cushnahan, Alice Dye

2. The Champion Course – PGA National

Although the PGA of America Headquarters has moved to Friso, Texas, PGA National was the home of the organization for over 60 years.

Design input from Fazio & Nicklaus created ‘The Bear Trap’ known as one of the most difficult stretches of golf in the world. Host of the 1983 Ryder Cup and the Honda Classic on the PGA tour, this layout certainly lives up to its name with Championship pedigree.

Course Details

Opened: 1981
Par: 72
Length: 7,045 yards
Designers include: Tom and George Fazio (original), renovated by Jack Nicklaus.

3. Red Course – Streamsong Golf Resort

The highest ranking of Streamsong’s three courses to make the list, the Red is famed for the unique and un-Floridian landscape. 

Towering dunes, more akin to links for the British Isles, combine with extensive water and open plains to create a spectacular 18. This Coore and Crenshaw masterpiece is more strategic than Blue or Black, requiring a little more precision off the tee and a few forced carries.

Course Details

Opened: 2012
Par: 72
Length: 7,148 yards
Designers include: Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw

4. The Fazio (Originally The Haig Course) – PGA National

Technically PGA National’s second course, The Fazio, renovated by Tom Fazio in 2012 is a match for its more famed sister course. Accuracy is the name of the game here, with water featuring on 15 of the holes. 

Designed to be a test for all skill levels, this course is often the most enjoyable round at the resort for Premier Golf clients.

PGA National Resort Florida
PGA National Resort & Spa

Course Details

Opened: 1980 (renovated 2012)
Par: 72
Length: 6,806 yards
Designers include: Tom and George Fazio (original), renovated by Tom Fazio.

5. Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill (Champion/Challenger)

‘Arnie’s place’ as it is affectionately known, is the spiritual home of the King. The leading resort in the Orlando area, Bay Hill is recognizable to golf fans around the world as the annual host of the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. 

This course is famed for extensive water, including the 555-yard Par 5 6th over a lake, which Bryson DeChambeau famously drove over to leave a 50-yard second shot.

After your round enjoy a refreshing Arnold Palmer drink, and experience the Lodge, which includes a host of great man’s memorabilia.

Clubhouse and putting green at Arnold Palmers Bay Hill Club & Lodge
The Clubhouse at Arnold Palmers Bay Hill Club & Lodge

Course Details

Opened: 1961
Par: 71
Length: 7,196 yards
Designers include: Dick Wilson, Arnold Palmer

6. Blue Monster at Trump National Doral

Despite the political associations that caused this venue to be removed from the PGA Tour, the Blue Monster is still one of the best tracks in Florida. Originally named the Blue course, it earned the moniker ‘Blue Monster’ due to the severity of its challenge. 

As with many Florida courses, water is viable or in play on every hole, and the layout can be stretched out to an eye-watering 7,608 yards. A must-play when in Miami or Southeast Florida.

Course Details

Opened: 1962
Par: 72
Length: 7,590 yards
Designers include: Raymond Floyd, Jerry Pate, Greg Norman, and Gil Hanse

7. Dye’s Valley Course – TPC Sawgrass

The second course at TPC Sawgrass, Dye’s Valley, is a worthy partner to the Stadium Course. 

A more forgiving layout than the Stadium, but still filled with signature Dye challenges, water comes into play, without requiring the same carries as the Stadium, and playing around 6,800 yards makes it a more palatable challenge for the amateur golfer.
Enjoy this course and The Players from the luxury of the Marriott Sawgrass Resort.

Course Details

Opened: 1987
Par: 72
Length: 6,847 yards
Designers include: Pete Dye​

8. The Palmer – PGA National

The Palmer, named after course designer Arnold Palmer, is laid out in the vision of the King’s aggressive style of play. 

Wider fairways and large greens provide generous targets, however extensive water and sand hazards punish those who stray too far offline. 

A fun stretch of finishing holes concludes with a Par 5, 18th, which includes water on both sides and a forced carry into the green for the more aggressive player.

Opened: 1984
Par: 72
Length: 7,079 yards
Designers include: Arnold Palmer

9. Tiburón – Ritz-Carlton Naples Beach

Host of two shoulder season tournaments in 2023 – the CME Group Tour Championship on the LPGA and the innovative Grant Thornton Invitational, including mixed male and female teams, the Tiburón is a layout deserving of such stature. 

Compromising two 18-hole Greg Norman designs, the Black is the layout that ranks most highly. Surrounded by pine forests, water hazards, and large bunkers, the design makes the most of its southwest Florida landscape. 

Backed by the luxurious Ritz-Carlton, you can relax in 5* service after your round.

Sunset lighting on the grand hotel at Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort Naples
Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort Naples

Course Details

Opened: 1998
Par: 72
Length: 7,113 yards
Designers include: Greg Norman

10. Blue Course – Streamsong Golf Resort

From the moment you tee off atop a 75ft dune, you can sense the drama that will unfold through your round. 

Tom Doak’s Blue Course, built among the dunes, wild grasses, and lagoons, weaves within the Red Course, resulting in some tighter play. 

Dramatic green complexes are the primary feature of this course – make sure your approach play is dialed in and you’re feeling good over the short-stick.

Course Details

Opened: 2011
Par: 72
Length: 7,276 yards
Designers include: Tom Doak

11. Black Course – Streamsong Golf Resort

Sitting separately from the Red and Blue courses geographically, the Black course is also a departure in style and layout. 

Offering a refreshing alternative, complete with its own clubhouse, the Black course is built in an old strip mine, presenting a vast, open expanse, and lacking in the large dunes Streamsong is famed for. 

Instead, large green complexes and rapid runoffs create the most iconic feature of the golf course. A fun test, if you’re in the right mindset!

Course Details

Year Opened: 2011
Par: 73
Length: 7,331 yards
Designers include: Gil Hanse

12. Copperhead Course – Innisbrook Golf Resort

Home to the annual Valspar tournament on the PGA Tour, the Copperhead Course is the flagship layout of the four courses at Innisbrook Golf Resort. 

Located only a short transfer north of Tampa, this ideal warm weather retreat offers some bite in the form of the ‘Snake Pit’, a testing run of 3 holes to complete the round. 

Navigating through tight pine trees and bunkering, the course resembles the Georgia Sandbelt, complete with pine straw underfoot.

Island green on the edge of a lake at Innisbrook Golf Resort in Florida
Innisbrook, Florida

Course Details

Opened: 1974
Par: 71
Length: 7,209 yards
Designers include: Larry Packard

13. Island Course – Innisbrook Golf Resort

The Island Course is regarded by some as more challenging than its tour hosting partner. As the name suggests, water is a far greater factor here, combined with elevation change rarely found in the flat Florida landscape. 

Add in the North (closed for refurbishment at the time of writing) and the South, and you have an exceptional 72-hole resort on Florida’s gulf coast.

Course Details

Opening Year: 1970
Par: 72
Length: 7,310 yards
Designers include: Larry Packard

14. Oak Marsh

Located at the Omni Amelia Island Resort, on Florida’s Atlantic coastline, north of Jacksonville, Oak Marsh has the feel of a low country coastal course found at Kiawah Island or Hilton Head. 

This 1972 Pete Dye design has tight fairways, and small green complexes surrounded by atmospheric marshlands, framed by moss-draped old oaks. A great addition to a golf tour of the Jacksonville area.

Course Details

Opened: 1972
Par: 70
Length: 6,607 yards
Designers include: Pete Dye

15. Old Corkscrew

Granted Audubon Sanctuary status, Old Corkscrew truly is at one with nature. With no resort properties located around the course, you feel like you’re taking a trip through the deep Floridian hinterlands during your 18.

Located inland from the Fort Myers coastline, there’s certainly no lack of space, and designer Jack Nicklaus maximized it with this 7,400-yard monster. Weaving through the natural Oak and Pine forest, an ideal addition to a Southwest Florida golf tour.

Course Details

Opened: 2007
Par: 72
Length: 7,440 yards
Designers include: Jack Nicklaus

Book Your Florida Golfing Adventure

For the ultimate Florida golfing experience, Premier Golf’s Orlando Golf Tour is not to be missed! Covering 5 rounds of golf at Bay Hill Golf Course, Orange County National, Shingle Creek, and Hawk’s Landing, and 5 nights at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club and Lodge, this tour combines iconic courses with everything else Orlando has to offer.

Discover more about our Florida Golf Packages or contact us on 866 260 4409 to find out how we can help.

Florida Golf FAQs

Florida hosts several prestigious tournaments, including The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass and the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

TPC Sawgrass allows public access to its Stadium and Dye’s Valley golf courses.

Golfing in Florida during the summer is common. However, it can be hot and humid, so golfers often prefer morning tee times to avoid the heat.