A Holiday Tradition in St. Augustine (and Some Golf, Too)

    By John Schwarb

    I can’t let the holiday season slip away in this space without mentioning the highlight of the season in my hometown, St. Augustine.

    The Nation’s Oldest City is awash in white lights this time of year for the Nights of Lights, running through Jan. 31. If you haven’t been, take my word for it – it’s breathtaking, and it’s free to simply walk and take it all in.

    Another popular way to take in the lights is with one of the city’s two historic trolley companies, which will whisk you through the downtown area with a soundtrack of holiday music to sing along to. When my family comes to visit, the nighttime ride is a must.

    Want to make a full day of it? Here’s some golf options in St. Augustine, so you can play when the sun’s up and then take in a nightcap at the Nights of Lights.

    Royal St. Augustine – The closest course to downtown is a very reasonably priced public track, off State Road 16 east of the outlet malls.

    Slammer & Squire – Just north of downtown off I-95 is the World Golf Village, home of the World Golf Hall of Fame. The Slammer & Squire course (named for Sam Snead and Gene Sarazen) runs all around it; I played there a few weeks ago and it’s in fine condition.

    St. Johns Golf and Country Club – A few miles north of the World Golf Village is St. Johns, a frequent host of the PGA Tour’s qualifying school but also a great test for all abilities.

    St. Augustine Mini Golf -- I would be remiss without mentioning the state's oldest miniature golf course, in the heart of downtown next to the Bridge of Lions. It's a blast and very hole-in-one friendly!

    For more information on the Nights of Lights, click here.