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.
I'M TRAVELING WITH A SPA HOUND
I'M TRAVELING WITH SOMEONE WHO'D RATHER BE FISHING
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.
I'M TRAVELING WITH FOODIES
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.