Best Florida Golf Vacation Packages10 min read
Best Florida Golf Vacation Packages
When talking about the top golf destinations in the United States, there are plenty of great options to choose from. But at or near the top of the list will always be Florida. Known for its abundance of outstanding golf courses and year-round warm weather, if you’re looking to take a golf vacation to Florida, you’ll have plenty of choices. You’ll also have the chance to play some of the most iconic golf courses in the United States, such as TPC Sawgrass, Bay Hill, and PGA National, where the best players in the world tee it up each year at the Players Championship, Arnold Palmer Invitational, and Honda Classic, respectively.
Of course, Florida is also a big state, so a golf trip to the Ritz Carlton Golf Resort in Naples is going to look quite a bit different than heading to Streamsong in what is a very remote area of Central Florida, both as relates to the type of golf courses you’ll play, your travel plans, and what’s on offer nearby. To help you navigate through your many choices, we put together our picks for the Best Florida Golf Vacation Packages. We’re certain one of these spots will be a great choice for you.
Best Florida Golf Vacation Packages
Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa
Located less than 25 miles east of Jacksonville is Ponte Vedra Beach, home to the PGA Tour and the famed TPC Sawgrass Stadium golf course, the flagship design of legendary architect Pete Dye. It’s also home to the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa, which is one of Florida’s great golf vacation destinations.
Staying at the Marriott will allow you to book tee times for your golf package as far as 12 months in advance and also give you a shot at tackling the storied 17th hole at the Stadium Course, site of so much excitement each year at the Players Championship. There’s also, however, a second Pete Dye golf course on site for play during your Sawgrass golf vacation, and that’s the Valley Course, which is another excellent Dye design that opened in 1987 and has played host to several Korn Ferry Tour events.
Aside from golf, the Sawgrass Marriott also features a spa, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a handful of restaurant options that offer both fine and casual dining. One thing to be aware of if opting for a Sawgrass golf package is that cold temperatures are a possibility in Northeast Florida during the winter months. Of course, you will get better deals at that time of year, but the weather can be hit or miss.
Streamsong is arguably the most unique golf resort in the state of Florida. Located in the Bowling Green/Fort Meade area, it’s situated about 85 miles southwest of the Orlando International Airport and 65 miles southeast of Tampa International Airport, which would be the two best options for commercial air travel. While it might not be the easiest Florida destination to get to, once on site, Streamsong is a golfer’s paradise.
The property features more than 16,000 secluded acres and three exceptional golf courses, the Red, the Blue, and the Black, each of which was designed by one of the game’s great architects (Bill Coore, Tom Doak, and Gil Hanse) and offers more of a links-style look than what you would typically see at most Florida courses. Each course has earned numerous accolades and is a quality test, and there’s also a short course on site for golfers to further test their games and have fun.
It should be noted that Streamsong is in a more remote part of Florida, but the resort itself has plenty to offer in addition to golf. There’s a spa on site and recreational activities such as archery, clay shooting, and bass fishing are also available. There are also four restaurants and three bars on the property to cover all of the dining needs for Streamsong’s guests.
PGA National Resort
Anything you’re looking for in a golf vacation can be found at the PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens. The resort is located just 15 miles north of Palm Beach International Airport and can also be accessed from Miami International, which is 80 miles to the south. There are five 18-hole golf courses that are a part of the PGA National Resort, including the Champion Course, which was designed by Jack Nicklaus and is home to the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic.
Other courses at the resort were designed by Arnold Palmer and Tom Fazio, and there’s a new 9-hole short course on the property as well. Numerous recreational opportunities are also available on site, including tennis, fitness, and swimming, as well as a luxury spa. There are also fishing excursions that can be taken advantage of nearby, and there are a number of beaches close to the property as well.
The resort is located in an area of South Florida that will offer plenty in the way of nightlife or shopping, but there are three quality restaurants to choose from on the property. There are also a number of options to consider when it comes to accommodations, including suites, cottages, and vacation homes. You can also expect warm temperatures year around in Palm Beach Gardens. A cold day or two is possible but unlikely overall.
Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge
The debate about whether Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus is the greatest player of all time is one that will continue for years to come. But when it comes to the most revered golfer of all time, one name stands above the rest, and that’s Arnold Palmer. And you can plan your next golf trip to what was Arnie’s playground, the Bay Hill Club & Lodge, which in addition to being a great getaway spot is home each March to the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
In addition to the 18-hole, championship golf course that was originally designed by Dick Wilson and then tweaked through the years by Mr. Palmer himself, golfers also have the 9-hole Charger course, elite practice facilities, and a golf academy at their disposal. Caddie services are available as well. Other amenities at the Lodge include a fitness center, spa, tennis, multiple restaurants, and a marina, from which you can take a day off from the links and enjoy some of the best bass fishing that Florida has to offer.
The Bay Hill Club & Lodge is located just 17 miles from Orlando International Airport, making it one of the most accessible destinations on this list. And the Orlando area typically offers golf-friendly temperatures throughout the year. Of course, it’s also worth noting that Orlando is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States, so if you’re looking for things to do other than play golf, there will be no shortage of options here.
Innisbrook Golf Resort
Located just 25 miles northwest of Tampa and the Tampa International Airport, Innisbrook is another resort that offers an annual PGA Tour stop, as it plays host to the Valspar Championship each year on the Copperhead Course, which is home to the “Snake Pit” and ranks year in and year out as one of the toughest tests on Tour. But the Copperhead Course is one of just four courses at the resort, each of which offers a different level of difficulty to meet the needs of any player.
The Island Course at Innisbrook is the resort’s other most difficult test, while the shorter North and South courses offer more player-friendly layouts. Innisbrook is also a great destination for instruction, as its Golf Institute features a collection of highly regarded teachers and elite facilities. Innisbrook also offers its guests tennis, a fitness center, and a spa, as well as four restaurants to choose from.
Standard rooms, suites, cottages, and vacation rentals are among the options that golfers have when it comes to accommodations, and weather conditions are typically quite good even during the winter months at Innisbrook, which is on the Gulf Coast side of the state. There are also a number of beaches nearby, including Honeymoon Beach, a popular destination that can be accessed from Innisbrook by shuttle.
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples
If you’re looking to go first class all the way on your next Florida golf vacation, there’s no better destination than the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, as everything about the resort oozes luxury. From a golf standpoint, there are two highly regarded Greg Norman courses that are part of the resort and form Tiburon Golf Club, which plays host to three professional events each year, the LPGA’s CME Group Tour Championship, the PGA Tour’s QBE Shootout, and the Champions Tour CHUBB Classic.
Tiburon’s two courses are the Gold Course, which is the championship layout, and the Black Course, which is equally picturesque and challenging. Tiburon also features a Golf Academy that will provide instruction for individuals or groups, and caddies are available during peak season at the club, which is from November through April. The practice facilities are also top-notch and provide a great opportunity for golfers to work on their games between rounds.
The Ritz-Carlton, meanwhile, offers luxury accommodations and amenities, including a spa and fitness center. There are plenty of beaches nearby as well, and downtown Naples is known for its boutique shopping. From a travel standpoint, the nearest airport is Southwest Florida International, which is located in Fort Myers, 27 miles from the resort, and golfers can count on warm temperatures pretty much year around.
World Golf Village
Welcome to World Golf Village, where playing golf is only a small piece of the puzzle for its countless visitors each year. Of course, we’ll start with the two golf courses, both of which offer challenging layouts and excellent course conditions. The King & Bear is the only golf course in the world that was co-designed by Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, and it’s joined by the Slammer & Squire, which was designed by Bobby Weed with input from Hall-of-Famers Sam Snead and Gene Sarazen.
World Golf Village is also home to the PGA Tour Golf Academy, which offers golf programs, private lessons, and club fitting services, all of which feature state-of-the-art technology. Additionally, the World Golf Hall of Fame makes its home at World Golf Village, and there are numerous other activities available to keep golfers entertained each day, including multiple restaurants, extensive shopping, and a 300-seat IMAX theater.
Golfers also have several options to choose from when it comes to accommodations for groups of any size in the St. Augustine area, which is located less than 45 miles southeast of Jacksonville International Airport. Be aware, however, that winter can bring colder temperatures in this part of Florida, so while you might get better rates from November through March, you might also have to bundle up when you play.
How to choose a vacation package
What factors should you consider when choosing a vacation package, let alone one in Florida? We explain all below.
Location – First things first, location is everything. How hard is it to get to? Will you need a rental car? How easy is it to get from your accommodation to the golf courses? These are the kinds of questions you need to be asking yourself when you think about a golf vacation because when on holiday, you want to make things as easy as possible so you can just enjoy your stay, and your golf. Therefore we recommend researching how far away resorts are from airports, and how far the courses are from the resorts as well.
Quality of golf – This is an important factor to consider because in Florida there are hundreds of golf courses with resorts and hotels nearby. Therefore it is a case of questioning how good you want the golf courses you play, to be. This is also tied with the price point we will mention below as well because if you want to play a TPC Sawgrass, or a Bay Hill, it will cost more because these are PGA Tour stalwarts. Then again, you can save value by maybe opting for resorts with more than one excellent golf course, like Streamsong for example.
Quality of hotel/resort – Here we would also recommend looking at reviews from people who have actually stayed at the resorts, and also see how booking websites rate the resorts as well. This will therefore give you an idea on where is good to stay, and where isn’t.
Other activities/amenities – A good resort should also be able to cater to a variety of people if they aren’t golfers. Just some of the other amenities we think are worthy of consideration are – spa, gym, swimming pools, other sports like tennis or basketball, good variety of restaurants and food, the ability to shop nearby and so on and so forth. Acknowledging this, take note of what websites list on the resort information.
Budget – And the final point to mention is budget. Not everyone can afford the top end resorts and golf vacation packages but the best thing about Florida is there are loads to choose from, and there are deals to be had if you keep your eye on the ball. As such, committing yourself to doing research on Florida golf resorts will help you find the best value package for you, so that you can enjoy yourself without breaking the bank. Then again, if you have the funds to do so, there are vacations for you as well!