As Tampa preps for the spotlight, here are some of its best public courses

By: John Schwarb


Thousands of politicos, media and just fans of a good time will descend on Tampa later this month for the Republican National Convention.

Any of them who bring their golf clubs will be rewarded by a metro area full of great courses to choose from.

Here’s a look at a few of Tampa Bay’s best public-access tracks:

TPC Tampa Bay – This 1991 Bobby Weed design (with help from Chi Chi Rodriguez) is about a half-hour north of downtown Tampa. It hosts the Champions Tour every year, and the pros say it’s one of the best courses they play.

Westchase – Just a few minutes northwest of busy Tampa International Airport, yet winding through natural wetlands and conservation areas. It’s not overly long (6,710 yards from the tips) but it’s no pushover either.

The Eagles – Five miles north of Westchase is this 36-hole complex; its Forest and Lakes course are just as they sound. Watch out for fighting alligators.

Fox Hollow
– One of the best courses in Pasco County (north of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties) bills itself as the last work of prolific designer Robert Trent Jones Sr. The par-4 18th plays like an island hole.

World Woods – The vaunted 36-hole golf paradise in rural Brooksville is a drive, but a very easy 50 miles up the Suncoast Parkway that tons of Tampa visitors do every year for a chance to play the nationally ranked Pine Barrens course.

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