Upscale Northeast Florida Golf Courses at Bargain Prices

    By Tim McDonald

    You can find upscale golf courses all over Florida, where you get a serious bang for your buck. Northeast Florida, for example, is home of tony Ponte Vedra Beach and the PGA Tour.

    The green fees at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass can approach $400 (and they're well worth it), but there are dozens of interesting, well-maintained layouts in the area that have very low green fees.

    Here are just a handful to get you started. Many have package deals that will keep your wallet even fatter.

    • Windsor Parke has green fees of $41. It's a pretty Arthur Hills design with elevated tee boxes. The fairway mounding that saves your wayward drives is offset by tricky, well-guarded greens.
    • The Golf Club at Fleming Island, with green fees of $33, is a plantation course that has won a lot of awards, mostly centered around its low cost for golfers. It has two distinct nines, with large, forgiving greens.
    • The Champions Club will set you back only $39. It was designed and is now owned by former PGA Tour pro and TV commentator Steve Melnyk. It doesn't have a lot of water hazards and the little water it does have is mostly lateral. Women love this course, with its lack of forced carries. Much of the back nine is protected wetlands.
    • The St. Johns Golf Club is an entertaining municipal course with green fees of $27. Can't get much cheaper than that unless you want to go to a putt-putt. It's a 27-hole facility with a good variety of holes, a tricky collection of par-3s and some interesting risk/reward options.
    • Eagle Landing is another upscale course with workingman fees of $34. It has some of the best practice facilities around. Architect Clyde Johnston wanted a "vintage" feel to the layout and put in classic design features. The routing takes you through scenic Southern pines and stands of palmetto.

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