All posts by Sherel Purcell

PGA Golf Club at PGA Village Verano

With the perfect address for a golf club, PGA Golf Club, at 1916 Perfect Drive in Port St Lucie, is a golfer’s dream destination. Play three championship 18-hole golf courses, The Wanamaker, The Ryder and the Pete Dye, all owned and operated by The PGA of America.  And stay like a resident in a beautiful home on property at PGA Village Verano, minutes from the three golf courses in a resort-style golf community with a Stay & Play package.

Kolter Homes PGA Village Verano
Kolter Homes PGA Village Verano photo credit: Kolter Homes

The Wanamaker Course is one of two Tom Fazio designs on the property and does its namesake – PGA founder Rodman Wanamaker proud. Fazio designed both the Wanamaker and Ryder in 1999, but the twins are definitely fraternal and reveal different personalities.

Hole 18 on the Wanamaker Course PGA Village
Hole 18 on the Wanamaker Course PGA Village photo credit: John Cameron

Department store magnate Rodman Wanamaker helped establish the PGA of America, funded the first PGA Championship in 1916 and has his name attached to the champion’s prized trophy, The Wanamaker. Fazio’s Ryder Course honors Samuel Ryder, the namesake and founder of the Ryder Cup matches, which began in 1927. All 36 tees have plaques that unveil the storied lore of both the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup.

On the Ryder Course, Fazio transports you to North Carolina, with his holes winding among majestic pines, rolling hills and elevation changes, and recurrent red-staked hazards.

 

Pete Dye Course PGA Village
Pete Dye Course PGA Village photo credit: Sherel Purcell

Pete Dye’s eponymous course at PGA Village opened for play in 2007. Highlighting the native environment, especially the wetlands, Dye fashioned a links-style course reminiscent of the British Isles, like playing in Scotland or Ireland without the airfare.

The three courses have their own driving range and putting and chipping areas as well as the “Short Course,” six holes between 35-60 yards where you can work on your finesse shots. However, the nearby 35-acre PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance is a golf instruction, practice, technology and fitness park all in one. Named a “2013 Golf Range Association of America Top 50 Range,” the center includes more than 100 hitting stations (many weather-protected), short-game practice areas, putting greens, three practice holes and nine separate bunkers that simulate play worldwide.

Grab lunch at the Taplow Pub in the clubhouse – the street tacos are delicious.  After your round, enjoy a drink and dinner with PGA members at the 19th hole and watch golfers approach the 18th green on the Wanamaker course.

Museum at PGA Village Golf Club
Museum at PGA Village Golf Club photo credit: John Cameron

While not a comprehensive museum on the history of golf ( for that check out the excellent World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine) PGA Village does have  the on-site PGA Museum of Golf. There’s plenty here to impress the golf fan if you love the game. Open to the public, it traces the history of the PGA of America through its major championship and the Ryder Cup. Check out the Wanamaker trophy. Golf fans can see more great golf memorabilia at Sam Snead’s Grill & Tavern at the nearby Holiday Garden Inn.

Kolter Homes PGA Village Verano
Kolter Homes PGA Village Verano photo credit: Kolter Homes

During a Kolter Homes Stay & Play, visitors have access to award-winning golf on the Ryder and Pete Dye courses in addition to the Wanamaker course. 

Pool at Club Talavera
Pool at Club Talavera photo credit: Sherel Purcell

A-three day, two-night stay includes access to the new 27,000 square ft. Club Talavera Social Center with full use of all amenities including the13,000 square ft. Fitness Center, with yoga, tennis, indoor/outdoor pools, bocce ball, basketball, Har-Tru tennis courts and one round of golf for two at the adjacent PGA Golf Club.

PGA Golf Club is just off I-95 at Exit 121, 45 minutes north of Palm Beach and a two-hour drive from both Orlando and Miami.

 

 

LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort Naples

LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort, located on the beautiful Naples beachfront on the Gulf of Mexico, has just completed an extensive eight million dollar renovation. Kudos to the interior design team of waldrop+nichols studio. The re-imagined La Playa lobby, guest rooms, and in-house restaurant Baleen, have a fresh, contemporary beach vibe.

LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort Lobby photo credit: John Cameron
LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort Lobby photo credit: John Cameron

Guests have great views of the sugar-white sand beaches on the Gulf of Mexico from their private balcony in each guest room. New features include four-poster beds with beach themed luxury textiles and large backlit vanity mirrors in the guest bathrooms. While you luxuriate in your jetted circular bathtub, open the shuttered window for a view of the Gulf of Mexico.

Interior Baleen photo credit: LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort
Interior Baleen photo credit: LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort

Popular with both guests and locals, in-house signature restaurant Baleen has a creative chef-driven menu using locally sourced ingredients. Enjoyed a perfectly cooked pan seared salmon with succotash and puffed rice and the delicious braised short rib. On warm Florida evenings, dine alfresco with your toes in the sand and watch the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico. Wine Spectator awarded Baleen the 2017 Award of Excellence.

LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort pools photo credit: John Cameron
LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort pools photo credit: John Cameron

Try beach-combing along miles of beautiful white powder sand, just steps away from the hotel and after enjoy a craft cocktail from the full service Tiki Bar next to one of LaPlaya’s three outdoor pools with cabanas.

Hole 12 LaPlaya Golf Course photo credit: John Cameron
Hole 12 LaPlaya Golf Course photo credit: John Cameron

LaPlaya guests who want to play a round of golf have access to the private LaPlaya Golf Club, a Bob Cupp designed 6,900, par 72 18-hole championship course, just 10 minutes away.  Before starting his own company Cupp worked for Jack Nicklaus Design and it shows. The first hole at LaPlaya features a sweeping right to left dogleg with a water hazard on the left, one of Jack Nicklaus’  signature holes.  All 18 greens were completely replaced in 2015 with Tif-Eagle and roll smooth and true.

In 2017, Condé Nast’s Reader’s Choice Awards named LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort #16 Top Resort in Florida. (highest-ranked resort in Naples)