The Stuff of Legends

By: Bob Harig

ADD TO FAVORITES
Golf is king in Florida's Flagler County, one of the state's premier golf destinations.

The man Flagler County is named for was a major force in developing the East Coast of Florida. Having made his fortune with Standard Oil, Henry Flagler found his way to the Sunshine State and came to know the beauty of what is now a thriving destination, especially for golf. It all stemmed from his vision to build a railroad that could bring visitors from the north and put Florida on the map.

Of course Flagler, who died in 1913, would not recognize the place today, but his legacy is secure. And he would be proud to know that golf has been – and remains – such a big part of the tourist mecca he envisioned.

Almost 20 miles of Atlantic Ocean beaches line Flagler County (www.visitflagler.org), making it a natural lure in itself. But this Northeast Florida county, which includes the cities of Palm Coast and Flagler Beach, is also a golf hotspot that perks up for the world's best players when the Champions Tour visits in March.


Ginn's Ocean Course

The Ocean Course is spectacular. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, it was cut out of the Atlantic Ocean coastline and is a true oceanfront course. Six holes overlook the Atlantic Ocean. The entire 18th hole, all 468 yards of it, stretches along the water.

Opened in 2000, the course has already received many honors, including "The Top 10 New Courses You Can Play" as judged by GOLF magazine. "This is a gorgeous golf course... Jack did a heck of a job," said Champions Tour player Dana Quigley. She called the course's condition "magnificent."


More Courses on Florida's First Coast


When it comes to great golf, the game doesn't end at the Ocean Course. The area has its own marketing organization called Florida's First Coast of Golf, which offers information on Northeast Florida golf courses, lodging, tee times and reservations. Its searchable listings include course locations and amenities. (For more information, visit www.florida-golf.org).

Area courses worth checking out include The Cypress Course at the Grand Club in Palm Coast, a semi-private course that offers excellent rates to visitors. The Pine Course at the Grand Club is an Arnold Palmer design that offers a fun, forgiving layout for all skill levels. Two courses at LPGA Tour headquarters, the Legends and the Champions, are within a short drive and are home to the grueling LPGA Tour Qualifying Tournament each year.

A golf vacation in Flagler County also puts you in close proximity to St. Augustine's World Golf Village, which includes the World Golf Hall of Fame and two famous courses, the King & Bear and the Slammer & Squire. And just up the road in Jacksonville is another legendary course: TPC Sawgrass, home of THE PLAYERS Championship. In all, some 30 courses make up the Florida's First Coast of Golf lineup.

For more information on planning your own golf getaway to Flagler County, contact Florida's First Coast of Golf at 800-766-8039 or visit www.florida-golf.org. This not-for-profit organization is Northeast Florida's trusted source for golf vacation packages, golf course information and accommodations.

Sponsored listings by VISIT FLORIDA Partners

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