Florida is home to more golf courses than any other state in the country with over 1,200. But even with all of those courses to choose from, selecting the one that is right for you may not be as easy as it seems.
Not only does Florida have perfect golf weather year-round, there are the beaches, restaurants and family-oriented activities that make it a wonderful place to live for people wanting to maintain an active lifestyle.
If you’re a captain of industry, travel in the circles of the rich and famous, or just an avid golfer with enough money and connections, here are three private clubs in Florida that should go to the top of your bucket-list.
Seminole Golf Club
Perennially ranked as one of the top 100 courses in the U.S. by Golf Digest and currently at number 12, this Donald Ross classic is home to a who’s who of the business elite and golf royalty. Founded by E. F. Hutton and built in 1926, the links style layout at Seminole is arguably the crowning achievement of Ross’ distinguished career. Don’t bother looking for the website—they don’t have one. The members at Seminole guard their privacy and you won’t catch a glimpse of the clubhouse or golf course through the hedges along Route 1 in Juno Beach, but you will have a chance to see it on May 17 when Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Rickey Fowler and Mathew Wolff tee it up in a televised skins game match for COVID-19 relief. As with all pure links golf courses, the wind will be a determining factor in how these great players attack the course—and we are all in for a special treat with this rare opportunity for a look at this historic club.
Seminole will also host the Walker Cup in 2021, so if you miss this match, you’ll have another chance next year—but the opportunity to see Seminole is something you never want to pass up. We rank Seminole at the top of the list as the best private club in Florida.
Jupiter Hills Club
Jupiter Hills Club in Tequesta, FL is the vision and legacy of George Fazio, and also launched the spectacular architectural career of his nephew, Tom Fazio. The club boasts two great courses, the Hills and the Villages, laid down on a unique piece of property just north of Palm Beach that offers elevation change and contour provided by Seminole Ridge—a pretty rare feature in a state that’s known for being extremely flat. The Hills course is ranked among the best in Florida and the crowning achievement of George Fazio’s architectural career. With a course rating of 77.1 and slope of 150, the many top flight golfers who call Jupiter Hills home can test their skill to the max every time they tee it up. And the Village course, designed by Tom Fazio, is no slouch either with a USGA rating of 73.9 and a slope of 147. Known as a player’s club, Jupiter Hills is the place to be if you’ve got game and live in south-east Florida.
Mountain Lake Country Club
Number 3 on our list is Mountain Lake Country Club in Lake Wales. A Seth Raynor masterpiece that often flies under the radar, Golf Digest currently ranks Mountain Lake number ten among all of the courses that Florida has to offer. The club engaged Ron Prichard and Tyler Rae on a recently completed restoration to bring back many of the subtle Raynor features that were lost over the more than 100 years since the course was built in 1917. As always, Prichard and Rae were meticulous with their effort and the result was perfection. In addition to the wonderful course, Mountain Lake is a full service, family-oriented club with pure class, grounded in tradition, and a membership that is committed to maintaining values of the highest standard.
A few others to consider
In addition to these great clubs, The Concession Golf Club is a spectacular Jack Nicklaus design in Bradenton and Belleair Country Club on the gulf coast near Tampa-St. Petersburg offers 36 holes designed by Donald Ross in a stunningly scenic setting.
For more information on the best golf courses in your state, visit GolfDay for everything you need to know.