Tampa is the place you want to be if your passion is playing golf. First of all, there are an astounding number of golf courses in the Tampa Bay region. Second, the weather allows you to play golf year-round. Third (and relatively speaking), golf in Tampa is a bargain.
One of the most luxurious ways to enjoy a Tampa golf vacation is to book a stay at one of the area’s prestigious golf resorts. These resorts offer access to first-class golf courses, award-winning restaurants, exclusive spas, epic pools and a host of other family-friendly activities. You can enjoy all of this without even leaving the property. Three of the most popular golf resort options within an hour of downtown Tampa include the following world-class hotels:
Golf resorts provide access to world-class golf as well as luxurious amenities — Photo courtesy of Saddlebrook Resort
Innisbrook Golf Resort
Innisbrook Golf Resort provides access to one of the area’s most famous golf courses: the Innisbrook Copperhead Course, which is home to the PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship each spring. There are also three other championship courses to explore during your visit.
The resort was recently renovated. Most of the accommodations are condo-like with kitchen, living and dining areas and private patios or balconies. The buildings are spread out over the property and nestled into the scenery, offering more privacy.
For when you’re not golfing, or for the non-golfers in your party, there are a ton of things to do. Play tennis on one of the 11 clay tennis courts, cool off at one of the four swimming pools or walk the resort's trails. At the end of a long, active day, you can visit the full-service spa, Indaba.
Located about an hour from Tampa International Airport, Innisbrook Golf Resort has the added benefit of being only minutes away from the beautiful beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. Picturesque nearby towns include Tarpon Springs and Dunedin, both of which feature quaint and charming downtown areas to explore.
Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate
One of the newest golf resorts in the area is ChampionsGate. Conveniently located between Tampa and the Disney theme parks, it’s perfect for the family that wants to golf, visit the parks and go to the beach!
Few would argue that the stars of ChampionsGate are the two Greg Norman-designed championship golf courses. These premier 18-hole courses together make an interesting combination. The International Course is a coastal links-style course complete with grass-topped sand dunes, while the National Course is designed in a traditional Florida golf resort-style that takes advantage of the natural beauty of the landscape.
On-site amenities include beautiful pool areas, tennis courts, restaurants, lounges, Mokara Spa and daily activities for both kids and adults. The rooms in the hotel are comfortable and well-appointed.
Located a little off the beaten path about 45 minutes from downtown Tampa is the Saddlebrook Resort. This hidden gem is perfect for a quiet getaway with family or friends. At Saddlebrook, you can indulge in your love of both golf and tennis. In fact, Saddlebrook may be better known for its tennis program, which has trained many famous and successful tennis players such as John Isner and James Blake.
Saddlebrook’s golf facilities consist of two 18-hole Arnold Palmer Signatures courses. The Arnold Palmer course features open but well-guarded greens with many lakes, streams and ponds. The Saddlebrook course is tighter and flatter, with narrow tree-lined fairways and water on most holes. Both courses are conveniently located to the center of the resort area. The resort also features a huge pool area, restaurants, lounges and a full-service European-style spa.
The accommodations here are arranged in clusters throughout the property that share courtyards and park space, allowing guests to stroll the grounds. Rooms are elegantly appointed with tropical Bahamas-style décor.