Golf in Florida Football Towns

By: Tim McDonald

Replace the pre-game barbecue? Florida football towns loaded with golf options.

Florida is blessed with both world-class golf, as well as world-class football programs. So it's only natural for sports fans to mix the two for a world-class, sports cocktail.

From the Dolphins and Hurricanes in Miami to the Gators in Gainesville to the Jaguars in Jacksonville and more, it is possible to spend fall weekends enjoying the excitement of college and pro football while sampling some of the best golf in the country.

We take you to Florida's football towns and suggest some terrific golf options before or after the big game.


Doral Golf Resort and Spa: Doral is home of the renowned Blue Monster, but it's only one of five courses. The South Florida resort is a truly international destination.

Donald Ross Golf Course, Biltmore Hotel: The course on the grounds of the Biltmore Hotel combines old-world elegance with a beautifully renovated layout. Donald Ross, the dean of modern architecture, designed the original course layout.

Crandon Park: Located on scenic Key Biscayne, this island course ranks as one of the best municipal tracks in the state, maybe the country, yet is playable and affordable.

Others: Shula's Hotel and Golf Club, Turnberry Isle Miami Resort and Club, Miami Beach Golf Club.


Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club: A short drive from Tampa, the resort has what many consider to be the best course in Florida, the Copperhead, as well as three other very scenic and playable tracks, especially the Island course.

Saddlebrook Resort: This popular resort sports two very pretty and playable courses, both designed by Arnold Palmer.

TPC Tampa Bay: This Bobby Weed design plays beautifully through the wetlands and cypress trees north of the city.


Villas of Grand Cypress: All Jack, all the time. Grand Cypress has 45 holes of Jack Nicklaus Signature-designed golf.

The Reunion Resort: Reunion’s three courses all boast superb designs by three masters: Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Arnold Palmer.

Orange County National: This is where the serious golfers like to go: an homage to golf as much as a resort.

Others: Bay Hill Club and Lodge, Mystic Dunes

Ironwood Golf Club: A short but interesting municipal course, Ironwood is a pleasant walk through an Audubon-certified golf setting.

Meadowbrook Golf Club: Built on the rolling Santa Fe hills on the outskirts of the city, Meadowbrook is the first design of noted architect Steve Smyers.


TPC Sawgrass: THE PLAYERS Stadium Course will tear you up, like it does the PGA Tour pros, but you'll love every minute of the whipping.

Golf Club at North Hampton: Not nearly as famous as TPC Sawgrass. Still, this is a superb, interesting course with very reasonable green fees.

Ocean Course at Ponte Vedra Inn and Club: This elegant, little course has gorgeous views and lovely landscaping.


Southwood Golf Club: Fred Couples and Gene Bates produced a work of art in the gentle hills of Tallahassee.

The Golf Club at Summerbrooke: One of the more challenging, engaging courses in the area, with its tight fairways and hilly terrain, it’s also a thinking man's course, especially the back nine.

Even if you’re in Florida to watch some of the best football in the country (with Super Bowl wins and college national championships to the state’s credit), you should still bring your clubs to the game. Florida's football towns, especially Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa, can give you the best of both worlds.

Sponsored listings by VISIT FLORIDA Partners

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