By Tim McDonald
Female golfers will find plenty of Florida golf destinations to suit them.
Women don't ask for much these days – well, at least on the golf course
. All they want is a course that won't beat them up, a pro shop that sells more than just men's golf duds and, of course, clean bathrooms.
Women looking for the best golfing in Florida want a course that is playable for them, which means few forced carries over water or other hazards, and different sets of women’s tees to choose from. Open greens, where they don't have to hit high approaches over obstacles, would be nice, too.
Since women are one of the fastest growing segments of newcomers to golf, you'd think golf courses would be listening. Well, in Florida, they are. Here are some Florida tracks that women have grown fond of.
North Florida Golf Destinations for Women
Baytowne Golf Club
, one of four championship golf courses at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
is known as the most woman-and family-friendly course
at the resort. It was extensively renovated in the summer of 2005 by original course architect Tom Jackson and has been hailed three times by Golf Digest
’s Places to Play with 4.5 stars. The course takes guests from the beach to the bay, and boasts some of the only elevation changes
in the area.
Southwood Golf Club in Tallahassee is another Florida course that's been named among the "Top 50 courses for Women" by Golf Digest magazine. The course has both a female general manager, Beth Murphy, and director of instruction, Becky Sauers. The club keeps up a busy schedule of activities for women.
The two courses at the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, the Ocean and Lagoon, appeal to the fairer sex, primarily because they are both rather short by modern standards, and very scenic.
Here's another compelling reason women like the club: the full-service, luxury spa with more than 100 "beauty and pampering services" to relax and freshen up players after 18 holes of some of the best golfing in Florida.
Central Florida Golf Destinations for Women
You'd think a facility built for the best female pros in the world such as LPGA International in Daytona Beach, would be women-friendly and you'd be right. Both courses at the facility have two sets of forward tees for women.
The pros love the Champions course, but don't let that scare you: It's very playable. The Legends course is more mind over muscle, which women generally enjoy more.
Tara Golf and Country Club is about 40 miles south of Tampa in Bradenton. No Rhett Butler, but the course has four sets of tee boxes for the ladies. It also has a large selection of women's apparel in the pro shop. The club is well-known for its Sunday brunch.
Celebration Golf Club in Celebration, close to Orlando, is one of the top 25 family resorts and has been named among the top 50 courses for women by Golf for Women magazine. Celebration has women’s clinics and female staff members, as well as leagues.
South Florida Golf Destinations for Women
Atlantis Country Club in Atlantis offers a well-conditioned course that is very playable for women. The club has “parent-child” tournaments, in addition to “father-son” events. Jamie Wierenga is an assistant pro at the club, and the green fees are family-friendly.
The PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie has 54 holes of golf by Pete Dye and Tom Fazio, with the Dye course being the friendlier for women. It also has a 35-acre PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance.
Also, the Executive Women's Golf Association has tagged these Florida courses as women-friendly facilities: Deer Creek Golf Club and Shingle Creek Golf Club.
If You Go
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
9300 Emerald Coast Pkwy. W., Miramar Beach
Ponte Vedra Inn and Club
200 Ponte Vedra Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach
Tara Golf and Country Club
6602 Drewry's Bluff, Bradenton
Celebration Golf Club
701 Golf Park Drive, Celebration
Atlantis Country Club
190 Atlantis Blvd., Atlantis
PGA Golf Club
1916 Perfect Drive, Port St. Lucie
Deer Creek Golf Club
2801 Deer Creek Country Club Blvd., Deerfield Beach
Shingle Creek Golf Club
9939 Universal Blvd., Orlando