Life After Golf

Hit the links, the spa, or the open water, then tuck into a gourmet meal. These resorts do golf, and so much more.

Who was it who said, “Man does not live by golf alone?”

I guess it was me. But the sentiment, which comes from the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, holds true whether the subject is bread – or the royal and ancient sport. As much as golfers love the game, we have to admit that others may not love it as much (or at the very least, may want to do something with their time off besides chasing a little white ball through fairway and rough).

Luckily, Florida’s golf resorts offer a lot more than that. And it’s a good thing, or my wife, who’s crazy for the sport, would never get off the course. Over the years, I’ve managed to convince her to try other activities on vacation that prove there is life after golf. Just tell me with whom you’re traveling, and I’ll give you my recommendations.


Children on break are generally looking for entertainment and activity 24/7. That can be exhausting for mom and dad (and limiting to their on-course endeavors), so many resorts offer programs to keep kids gleefully occupied. Ritz Kids programs at select Florida Ritz-Carlton resorts supervise activities such as arts and crafts, sports and games along with visits to the pool or beach for kids aged 5-12. Kids’ Crew at the Reunion Resort & Club in Orlando and KidZone at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort offer similar activities. It’s like sending the kids to camp while you play a round of golf. Warning: your kids may be disappointed to see you return for them at the end of the day.


By the time your companion finishes getting "loofahed," wrapped and spoiled within an inch of his or her life, you can easily fit in 18 holes. At Boca Raton Resort & Club’s exotic Spa Palazzo, the pampered emerge glowing from Sevruga Caviar facials and tropical sugar scrubs. Guests of the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club can schedule services at the Ponte Vedra Spa. And since the Turnberry Isle Miami Resort & Club in Aventura has re-opened after a $100-million facelift, its spa once again offers a full menu. It’s no secret that men love spas too, and have been known to choose an afternoon on the massage table over another afternoon on the green. No tough decisions here – combine both pursuits at the PGA TOUR Spa LaTerra at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, where a three-day “mindful golf” package combines instruction at the PGA TOUR golf school with massages to soothe active muscles.


Many vacationers prefer taking things out of the water (fish) to putting things in (golf balls). Board a light tackle charter from the marina at the Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach. Redfish, sea trout, flounder, snook and tarpon stock the Atlantic and the many inlets and bays along the Intracoastal Waterway. Captains working out of the Burnt Store Marina in Punta Gorda (near the Burnt Store Marina Golf Club) know where the big Gulf snook and tarpon hide, and there are plenty of charter boats along the waterfront in Panama City (near the 36-hole Wyndham Bay Point Resort). In the Florida Keys, stay at the Cheeca Lodge & Spa and hire a guide to experience bonefishing on fly tackle.


We’ve established that man doesn’t live by bread alone, so have some fun watching your nourishment being fried, fricasseed and filleted. Exhibition kitchens, where you can land a table near the chefs (or take a seat with a view into the kitchen) are heating up at Florida’s resorts. Get a front-row seat at Fish Out of Water, the restaurant at Santa Rosa Beach’s elegant WaterColor Inn, and a preferred rate at Camp Creek Golf Club nearby. Or, after playing Crandon Golf Course, watch your food expertly prepared and plated at Cioppino at The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne.

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