Let the debate begin: Golf Magazine’s top 30 Florida public courses

By: John Schwarb


Part of the fun of playing great golf courses is seeing how they measure up. Who doesn’t enjoy saying they once played the top-ranked course in the state? How much fun is it to tell friends your next golf trip will feature three courses in the top 10?

Last week, Golf Magazine published its biennial “Top 100 courses you can play” in the U.S., as well as offshoot lists for every state. Florida’s got so many great tracks that the panelists offered a top 30.

So, what do you think of the list? Tough to argue the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass for the top spot, though the isolated splendor of World Woods’ Pine Barrens course (No. 2), the views of the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach (No. 4) and the pure shotmaking demands of Innisbrook’s Copperhead (No. 5) are among the other worthy candidates.

One interesting part of the top 30 is that there are four “pairs” of courses under one property. TPC Sawgrass has the Stadium and Dye’s Valley (No. 26), nearby Hammock Beach has the Ocean and Tom Watson's Conservatory (No. 18).

In Orlando, Reunion Resort has a pair on the list, the Watson-designed Independence course (No. 8) and Arnold Palmer’s Legacy (No. 28). World Woods’ two great tracks are both in the top 10, with Rolling Oaks checking it at No. 9.

There are no new courses on the list, though that could change with the next list in 2014 once Streamsong Resort opens near Fort Meade.

Share your thoughts about the list on our Facebook page, and let the debate begin.

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