There are golf clubs in Florida that offer winter memberships. There are also other ways to enjoy Florida golf in the winter at discounts, even though it is the peak season.
Snowbirds are important to Florida’s tourist economy. For example, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort just announced a “snowbird program” that offers, among other things, discounts for golf including rounds as low as $20 and free weekly clinics.
As far as golf clubs, some of the higher-end clubs that have winter memberships include Hernando Oaks in Brooksville, with initiation fees in the $5,000 range and monthly dues starting at $350, and the private Hamlet Country Club in Delray Beach with initiation fees of $1,000 and $5,000 for a three-month membership.
Another private club, Misty Creek Country Club in Sarasota, has seasonal memberships from one to five months, for non-Florida residents.
Southern Dunes in Haines City, one of the more critically acclaimed courses in Florida and certainly worthy of repeat play, does not have seasonal memberships per se, but it does have monthly memberships as well as a Dunes Club card.
The monthly memberships are priced depending on the month, and allow play from Monday through Thursday. The card costs $129 and it’s good for a year, but it offers discounts off rack rates up to 50 percent.
At the other end of the financial scale are RV parks. Don’t laugh; the Great Outdoors Resort has a Ron Garl-designed 18-holer. Shady Brook Golf and RV resort also has an 18-holer. There are perhaps a dozen or more with nine-holers.
You could always opt for a condo or villa rental with golf memberships available. PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens or Rotonda West and Tiburon in Naples are examples. They are likely to be on the high side.
Other ways to save include the Florida Golf Trail; check to see if your home club has a reciprocal agreement.
Paradise Golf has winter memberships that allow you to play Tampa Bay area courses for as low as $99 for groups of four or more.
If the financial aspect is a concern – and when is it not? – it might be a wise idea to choose an affordable place for your winter stay, then check into area courses to see if they have seasonal memberships.
I can guarantee you that wherever you choose, there will be nearby golf courses. An excellent resource for you would be to check with other Florida snowbirds at snowbirdsfla.com. Also, all of the above clubs and organizations have websites.