It's a mild winter's day in Central Florida, and sunset is approaching. Golf carts are heading home to the clubhouse at the DeBary Golf & Country Club as the last rays of sunlight stream through Spanish moss that's draped like lace over a grove of century-old oak trees.
The semi-private course southwest of Daytona Beach – one of 18 in the Daytona Beach Area Convention & Visitors Bureau's Golf Daytona Beach program – has been certified a bird sanctuary by the National Audubon Society. And a pair of sandhill cranes step across the putting green as if considering joining the foursome that's headed for a celebratory drink at the 19th hole.
Daytona Beach may be famous for louder pursuits – namely NASCAR at the Daytona International Speedway – but there's no denying the region's appeal to golfers in search of an entirely different type of excitement and escapism.
Blessed with 23 miles of beautiful seashore and a near-idyllic year-round climate that's the envy of neighbors to the north, Daytona Beach has made a name for itself as a premier golf destination.
Professional and Amateur Appeal
Courses designed by the likes of Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Ron Garl and Rees Jones up the ante for challenging links in a state rife with world-class courses. And the Ladies Professional Golf Association, headquartered in Daytona Beach, keeps local interest in the sport high. Golfing greats arrive regularly to compete in LPGA events and qualifying events at Champions at LPGA International and Legends at LPGA International courses, thrilling spectators and inspiring local members.
Dedicated amateurs descend on the private Oceanside Country Club in nearby Ormond Beach for the annual South Atlantic Amateur Championship for Women, better known as the SALLY.
And when it comes to action off the fairways, Daytona Beach's man new and top-notch hotels, shopping and restaurants are icing on the cake.
Customize Your Golf Vacation
Being able to choose from small, family-run establishments and larger luxury resorts means golfers can custom-design their vacations. And course offerings are just as diverse when it comes to challenge and character. With Golf Daytona Beach doing the logistical legwork of finding the perfect accommodations for your budget and tee times, your only task is choosing a course that suits your personal style.
Feel like a classic round in Old Florida surroundings of pine groves and majestic oak trees? Tee up at the Daytona Beach Golf Club, where two courses allow you to opt for ample water hazards or drier environs.
Threaded among canals and lakes, the Pelican Bay Golf Club has two challenging and scenic courses. And Indigo Lakes Golf Club, a semi-private championship course, was named among the top 10 in the state by Golfweek.
A short drive south of Daytona in Port Orange, set your sights on The Golf Club at Cypress Head, where cypress trees and preserved Florida wetlands back most of the 18 holes – a whopping 14 of which involve water hazards. Other top Port Orange picks in the Golf Daytona Beach collection include Crane Lakes Golf & Country Club and Spruce Creek Golf Club, in the fly-in community of Spruce Creek.
Road-tripping farther south along the coast, clubs in tow, you'll reach New Smyrna Beach, an quaint and artsy community with a golf-crazed populace and beach and greens appeal in equal measure.
Hidden Lakes Golf Club, adjacent to the New Smyrna Beach Golf Club, has long been a local secret. You may spot eagles and hawks circling over the tree-shrouded fairways.
North of Daytona Beach in the friendly beachside burg of Ormond Beach, you'll find River Bend Golf Club, set along the Tomoka River, and the stately Halifax Plantation Golf Club. Just west, in DeLand, is the Victoria Hills Golf Club, renowned for its elevation changes and walker-friendly terrain. And farther north still, in Palm Coast, challenge your group to Arnold Palmer's signature Pine Course at the Grand Club and Gary Player's Cypress Course at the Grand Club, surrounded by stunning marshlands and lakes.
To plan your golf getaway to the Daytona Beach area, call 800-981-5475 or visit daytonabeach.golf.