Who says golf and romance can’t snuggle up together? Studies have shown that women are among the fastest-growing groups of new golfers, and “couples golf getaways” are becoming as popular as the long-standing buddy golf trips.
In Florida, a variety of resorts beckon you to share both your love of golf and your love of each other. From the WaterColor Inn in the northwest part of the state to the edge of the Ten Thousand Islands, you can exchange vows, spend a Valentine’s weekend or just take off on a romantic, spur-of-the-moment escape at scenic resorts that combine warm days on the golf course and cool, cozy nights on the beach.
The WaterColor Inn, Santa Rosa Beach: This place was made for golf couples. You get two super golf courses, Camp Creek and Shark’s Tooth, and a beautiful setting on the Gulf of Mexico, not to mention chocolate tuxedo strawberries and champagne.
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort: They love couples here almost as much as they do families. The golf is great with four courses to choose from – or play them all! – and the beaches are a dazzling white against the blue-green of the Gulf. You also get massages, chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne, or your own customized package.
Hammock Beach Resort, Palm Coast: How does a couples massage sound? Pair that with two of the most scenic and challenging courses in Florida, the Ocean and Conservatory, and you will have a getaway complete with soothing breezes off the Atlantic Ocean you won’t soon forget.
The Lodge & Club at Ponte Vedra: "Stir the Fire" at this ritzy golf resort. The resort’s luxurious and romantic package boasts a fireplace suite with all the “decadent amenities you can imagine.” The two courses here are short, but very scenic, well-designed and a blast to play, especially together.
Innisbrook, a Salamander Golf & Spa Resort, Palm Harbor: Say the words “golf” and “spa” to your woman and watch her get all lovey-dovey. Then say “breakfast in bed,” and she’ll be yours forever. The Innisbrook resort has such packages, perfect for a romantic golf getaway. The resort has four courses, including the superb Copperhead and the beautiful Island course. Say the word and you’ll be whisked to your choice of tracks. You get a couples massage, romantic turndown and special offers at the exceptional Packard’s steak house (I had one of the best steaks I’ve ever eaten there).
World Center Marriott, Orlando: Located in the heart of Orlando, this resort features one of the best-groomed courses in the state, Hawk’s Landing. A couples getaway package here will get you such indulgences as room-service breakfast served on the balcony and golf followed by a couples massage in the boutique spa. A private cabana can also be specially arranged. Then, savor dinner and fine wine at one of their 10 highly ranked restaurants and lounges.
The Breakers, Palm Beach: The Breakers is a big, famous hotel with a tradition of elegance, located smack dab on the Palm Beach oceanfront. It also has one of the best golf courses in the state, an acclaimed Rees Jones design, as well as the Ocean course, the oldest 18 holes in the state. There are beach bungalows, beachfront whirlpool spas and a half-mile of private beach. How about a moonlight massage with your sweetheart?
Doral Golf Resort and Spa, Miami: This is classic South Florida decadence, with warm breezes ruffling the palm trees and a laid-back ambience, perfect for couples. The golf is truly exceptional, with five courses to choose from, and the resort’s romance packages include couples massage, strawberries and champagne, free breakfast buffet and dinner at Mesazui Restaurant, where you can gaze into each other’s eyes while eating your slow-roasted, rotisserie Mojo chicken. By the way, if you live nearby and want a date night, Doral will take care of the babysitting.
Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples: This resort is home to the critically acclaimed Tiburon Golf Club, 36 holes designed by Greg Norman and host of the popular Franklin Templeton Shootout each December. It’s hugely popular for weddings that, according to the resort, can range “from intimate ceremonies to extravagant destination weddings, traditional to the unexpected.” It’s a peaceful, Mediterranean-style sanctuary, and guests here can also enjoy complimentary access to its sister property on the beach, with its 51,000-square-foot world-class spa.
Sundial Beach and Golf Resort, Sanibel Island: If you’re looking for something a little more intimate, fall in love with this resort on Sanibel Island, named one of the top 10 North American islands by Condé Nast Traveler. It’s right down the street from the Dunes Golf and Tennis Club.