If you were given the task of designing the perfect location for year-round golf, you would do well to use Palm Beach County as a model. With the soothing ocean breezes wafting in from the Atlantic and an average annual temperature of 75 degrees, the area has enchanted golfers and their families for decades.
Florida has more golf courses than any other state in the country, and The Palm Beaches has more golf courses than any other county in the country. The sheer number of golf options and the undisputed quality of the courses, thanks to famous designers, have made Palm Beach Florida's Golf Capital®.
From the ultra-exclusive Breakers Resort and Hotel to the renowned PGA National Golf Resort to the municipal course designed by none other than resident Jack Nicklaus, there is something here for every level of golfer.
For example, PGA National Resort & Spa can give even the top PGA Tour pros a run for their money on the Champion course. Its cutthroat "Bear Trap" has been called the toughest three-hole stretch in golf. The resort hosts the popular and increasingly prestigious Honda Classic, which annually attracts the top international golf stars.
At the same time, average hackers, from mid- to high-handicappers can play any of the resort's whopping five courses and not be overwhelmed – if they choose their tees wisely.
If you're looking for elegant, Old Florida charm, the Breakers Resort and Hotel is famous around the world. All those reviews, using adjectives like "palatial, stunning, remarkable and opulent" don't really do the place justice until you actually see it for yourself. The Breakers has the oldest 18-hole golf course in Florida, the Ocean course, as well as the swank Rees Jones layout, ritually recognized as one of the best designs in the country.
The resort options here are amazing. The Boca Raton Resort and Club, a Waldorf Astoria resort, has two superb courses and a Dave Pelz Scoring Game School, while guests staying at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach can play the ritzy and private Atlantis Golf Club, which has a relaxing, "no tee time" policy. Take your pick of other resorts with access to scenic area courses.
Golf resorts aren't the only options, of course. The county has close to 200 tracks, from the North Palm Beach Country Club, the municipal layout designed by Nicklaus, to the highly acclaimed and private Broken Sound Golf Club, where the Allianz Championship in the popular PGA Champions Tour is held.
With so much golf being played here, you'd think there would be places to both learn the game and to bone up on what you have. You'd be right; some of the top instructors in the world are here. Aside from the Pelz scoring school, you have the Breakers Golf Academy and the PGA National Golf Academy, with famed golfers David Leadbetter as well as Pelz leading the way.
Check with any of the golf academies, or the pro shop staff at any of the golf courses, for personal golf club fittings. Also, be aware that the PGA of America, which has its headquarters in Palm Beach, has regular free fitting and trade-up events.
If you go:
- The Breakers Resort and Hotel: One South County Road, Palm Beach; 561-655-6611; www.thebreakers.com
- The Breakers Golf Academy: Two South County Road, Palm Beach; 561-659-8474; www.thebreakers.com/golf/academy
- PGA National Golf Resort: 400 Avenue of the Champions, Palm Beach Gardens; 561-627-2000; www.pgaresort.com
- PGA National Golf Academy: 400 Avenue of the Champions, Palm Beach Gardens; 561-627-2000; www.pgaresort.com/golf/pga_golf_academy.com
- Boca Raton Resort and Club: 501 East Camino Real, Boca Raton; 561-447-3000; www.bocaresort.com
- Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach: 2800 South Ocean Blvd, Palm Beach; 561-582-2800; www.fourseasons.com/palmbeach
- Atlantis Golf Club: 301 Orange Tree Drive, Atlantis; 561-966-7600; www.atlantisgolf.org
- North Palm Beach Country Club: 951 US 1, North Palm Beach; 561-626-9570; www.village-npb.org
- Broken Sound Golf Club: 2401 Willow Springs Drive, Boca Raton; 561-241-6820; www.brokensoundclub.org
- Dave Pelz Scoring Game School: 501 Eat Real Camino Road, Boca Raton; 561-447-3419; www.bocaresort.com/resort_activities/dave_pelz_scoring.cfm
- PGA of America: 100 Avenue of the Champions, Palm Beach Gardens; 561-624-8400; www.pga.com/home
To plan your trip, visit Discover the Palm Beaches.