By John Schwarb

Want to know one of the definitions of golf vacation bliss? I arrived at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, on a Monday, handed the car keys to the valet and didn’t see another wheel outside of my golf cart until two days and 36 holes later.

Or, in short, I had arrived at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples.

The Ritz-Carlton name is one of the world’s most reliable for impeccable accommodations and service, but its Golf Resort in Naples ups the ante with immediate access to Greg Norman’s 36-hole masterpiece, Tiburon.

Tiburon’s Black Course was named 17th-best among Florida public courses by Golf Magazine this year, while its Gold Course has a pro pedigree as host of the annual Franklin Templeton Shootout. Both courses are a joy, set in native woods with wall-to-wall pristine turf—there’s no rough, allowing for unique shotmaking opportunities around the greens

You could just about throw a golf ball from the balcony of a golf-view room and hit the 18th hole of the Gold Course, that’s how convenient the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort is. If you’ve taken shuttles from golf resort hotels to their courses or have driven yourself, you’ll appreciate such immediacy to the tee, the practice facilities or the other golf amenities such as the TaylorMade Performance Lab—the only one in Southwest Florida.

When not on the golf course, a large massage and fitness center, or the pool, awaits. If you don’t want to get in the water, at least hang out at the Poolside Grill for lunch. If the kids are in tow, there’s an inviting playground and a children’s program called Eye Wonders on the weekend where children from 5 to 11 can enjoy hands-on activities and science-based experiments (and the parents can then go play more golf).

If you want to explore a little, or take in those warm Gulf waters, the Ritz-Carlton has you covered with its flagship Naples hotel. Complimentary shuttles run down Vanderbilt Beach Road to the beachside hotel all day—shoot over for a meal, a spa treatment or a walk on the beach, the perfect cool-downs from a round of golf.

I didn’t get to explore the beach hotel on this visit—too much golf was on tap in two fast days—but hopefully next time. For this trip, I had everything I wanted in one place.



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