Heading to Miami for a golf vacation? In low and shoulder seasons take advantage of stay-and play deals offered by the large resorts whose beautifully manicured greens and fairways and challenging designs make Miami golf world-famous.
Miami Beach Golf Club
Located between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, minutes from the hotels and restaurants of South Beach, Miami Beach Golf Club was created from the under utilized old Bayshore Golf Course.
Rather than sell the land to developers, the City of Miami Beach invested ten million dollars and hired one of America’s foremost golf course designers, Arthur Hills, to renovate the former Bayshore Golf Course, which originally opened in 1923.
Hills reshaped and strategically reconfigured many of the lakes, not only to improve the storm-water drainage, but also to add beauty and challenge, notably on finishing holes 16 and 17.
Hills also chose to re-grass the course with Paspalum, which doesn’t turn brown in winter and can be irrigated with water with a higher salt content. Paspalum requires reduced quantities of herbicides, better for the environment as well as the maintenance budget.
The result is a par 72 championship layout with 5 sets of tee boxes that all skill levels can enjoy. The course plays from 5093 yards to 6813 from the tips.
Open to the public, the popular Miami Beach Golf Club has a private members-only club feel with a fully stocked pro shop, a friendly clubhouse restaurant with a great menu ( I enjoyed my Sriracha BBQ Chicken Sandwich) and a Jim McLean Golf School with teaching professionals who work with beginners and TOUR players alike.
Hills said “In keeping with the original design, the new course is very traditional and looks like it’s been there a long time. It’s an exciting course in a vibrant, urban location.”
Turnberry Isle Golf Course
Thirty minutes from Miami Beach, the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa in Aventura offers the public and guests of two Audubon certified, 18-hole championship courses, the Soffer and the Miller.
Both were designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and later reworked by Raymond Floyd in 2007, who retained the best characteristics of the original layouts.
At more than 7,000 yards from the back tees, the Soffer Course is the longer and more difficult of the two golf courses at Turnberry. If you’re staying at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry, you can walk to the first tee.
The JW Marriott Miami Turnberry is perfect for families and après golf activities. Highlights include a scenic jogging trail, clay tennis courts, three pools, a lazy river and a water slide. Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak restaurant is here as well as a free shuttle to a private beach club.
When choosing Miami courses, consider that the basic landscape remains unchanged from course to course. Flat terrain, bright green open fairways, Bermuda greens, swaying palms and fragrant foliage abound. Golfers on a budget can skip the US $200 a round semi-private tracks for some of the great munis that look and play the same.
Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne
The best of these, 10 minutes from downtown Miami, Crandon Golf Key Biscayne hides among the Key’s pink and green tropical plants. Any course that begins and ends with par fives surrounded by water and mangroves deserves the “toughest par 72 course in the state” nomination. Fortunately,it’s also the most beautiful.
The only public course on the Bay, Crandon hosted the Senior PGA Tour. Lee Trevino, Chi Chi Rodriguez and Gary Player have all played here.
Not to be outdone, the public Country Club of Miami course has hosted Jackie Gleason, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby on its 36-hole, Robert Trent Jones layout. Arnold Palmer was the club’s first professional in 1961.
- Miami Beach Golf Club: https://www.miamibeachgolfclub.com/
- Turnberry Isle Resort: turnberryislemiami.com
- Crandon Golf Key Biscayne: www.golfcrandon.com
- Country Club of Miami:
For more Florida golf see WWW.VISITFLORIDA.com
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