Love Golf? Love the Outdoors? Here's Your Paradise!


If you're a golfer, chances are you love the outdoors as well. There's a healthy connection there, the lure of getting fresh air and exercise while doing something fun.
Florida, obviously, has tons of places where the golfer/outdoorsman can do both and have a blast. Charlotte County and the Gulf Islands are one of the better places.
It all centers around Charlotte Harbor, one of the biggest estuaries in the country, and then there's the Gulf of Mexico of course. Fishing, snorkeling, diving, kayaking, biking, hiking, birding, boating – I got a workout now just from writing all this stuff.
Combine that with a place that Golf Digest ranked as one of the best places in the country to live and play golf and you have something special. The area has more than 20 courses now. I've spent a lot of time playing them, and here are just a few of my favorites:
- Riverwood Golf Club is the class of the area, a Gene Bates design and a rare combination of high quality and low green fees.
- Twin Isles Country Club is a private track, beautifully laid out with an interesting mix of holes.
- St. Andrews South has ponds and lakes connected to canals that lead to the harbor, and all sorts of sportfish swim in them: redfish, snook and even tarpon.
- Lemon Bay has a very Florida, tropical feel with water and wading birds.
- Deep Creek is short, fun and cheap.
- Rotonda Golf and Country Club has a whopping 99 holes of golf on the Cape Haze peninsula, including my favorites Long Marsh, more than 7,000 yards from the back tees, and the Palms course, which is a little more demanding.
Those are just a few. There are plenty more.

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