Insider's Tour

By: Eric Vician

The details you really want to know about the golf courses in Martin County.

Editor's Note: What you are about to read is not just another golf review about some golf courses in places you likely will never play. We promise not to bore you with course rating figures and slope data that will never help you save a par with a perfectly lofted bunker shot anyway. We understand you really can't tell the difference between a course that's 6,882 yards long and one that is 6,900. So instead of stats we offer this insider's view on some of the courses of Martin County, Florida.

Welcome to the Sailfish Capital of the World, where casting for a sport fish off the Treasure Coast might just land you some booty from the many shipwrecked Spanish galleons circa 1700. Southeast Florida's Martin County, with its "Old Florida" flair, was borne out of a need to be independent. The same holds true for its dozens of golf courses, carved from Mother Nature with a nod to diversity.

The links here have one major thing in common - marshlands and wetlands abound as the signature sight. That, and the fact that renowned golf course architect Tom Fazio seemingly had a hand in many of the designs, sets each of these courses apart like an island green on the back nine of your dream country club. But Fazio isn't alone in Martin County - other local course designers include Jack Nicklaus, Ron Garl and Dick Gray.

Want more "wild" life? Play the 15th hole at The Florida Club, where an adjacent farmer gained national acclaim in 2000 by constantly playing loud music to entertain his hogs. A judge later ruled the hogs can stay, but the music needed to be turned down. True story.

Check out the dual 18-hole courses at the Martin County Golf & Country Club. While the more popular of the two is the Gold & Blue course (designed by Ron Garl), the history is in the Red & White course that dates to 1920, when a fairway wood was actually made of wood.

Staying at the Hutchinson Island Marriott? Then you can play the resort's executive course, the Ocean Club, which is open only to hotel guests and members.

For some practice before hitting the links, check out 76 Golf World, which features a driving range and two 18-hole mini-golf courses.

Hobe Sound, a neighboring city minutes south of Stuart, offers another Fazio-blueprinted gem called Lost Lake Golf Club. According to our tipster, John in the pro shop, this course is best known for its hardy condition. The greens are always green and the fairways are always aerated, no matter the season.

"It's the same all year long," he says.

The course is tight and there's no water to carry since it's all lateral, but what makes Lost Lake challenging is the different wind patterns coming off the Atlantic that affect your game. You could play every day (including Mondays in the summer) and face a new challenge each time. That's not even considering playing from all four men's tees.

Golf options seem omnipresent in this picturesque part of Florida. No matter what part of the county you choose to play, you can bank on a good course and a great view.

Sponsored listings by VISIT FLORIDA Partners


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