Florida has long been a year-round prime destination for golfers. Our sunny skies and warm climates are great for spending plenty of time outdoors. Miami also happens to be the home of a great many golf courses, not to mention plenty of quality dining and entertainment to make it a hotspot for snowbirds and other wanderers.
In this list, we've gone out of our way to include a wide variety of greens for folks to choose from. We have some of the highest caliber courses, challenging ones and others that are a bit better for beginners. We don't want to scare away newbies, but we also don't want to alienate the more serious golfers in the bunch.
We've listed private golf courses like the one at La Gorce Country Club, a place so prestigious you need an invitation to even apply for membership.We've also opted to include plenty of public golf courses, like Crandon Golf right on the bay, and Palmetto Golf Course for our friends in South Dade. No matter how often you golf, you'll find the right range for you in the list below.
Open since 1959, the Palmetto Golf Course is among the very best courses in all of South Dade. Start out with some practice at the driving range or on the putting greens, or simply dive into 18-holes of challenging (but totally do-able) golf. Palmetto's prices are easy on the wallet, but that doesn't mean they sacrifice quality as the greens are always in tip-top shape. The Palmetto Women's Golf Association plays here weekly, which is a bonus for any ladies looking to join. There are also a number of golf lesson programs for adults and youngsters, and even an after school golf program for kiddos of all ages. And speaking of little ones, there's also an adjacent mini golf area perfect for introducing your family to the game.
Certainly one of the newer golf courses in Miami (as many other on this list opened pre-WWII), Greynolds began greeting golfers in the mid-1960s. This public, 9-hole, par-36 course boasts a much more laid-back feel--a plus for anyone new to the sport. Another perk? It's one of the most affordable (just $25 per player, which includes a golf cart, or $12 if you feel like walking). Golf lessons are available here, though you'll have to call for details. And they've also got FootGolf here, which combines soccer and golf to make a new and wholly interesting sport.
If you're serious about your golf game and happen to be in Miami, there's no way you can miss out on playing at the Deering Bay Yacht and Country Club. This private, Arnold Palmer signature golf course has recently been renovated and enjoys the status of one of Miami's most prestigious clubs. It's a visually stunning place, both on the course and throughout the country club. Enjoy the South Floridian wildlife and mangroves that surround the course. Then, after your game (or lesson, as those are also available), enjoy an unforgettable meal in their 30,000 square foot clubhouse where crabcakes and chopped steak are the norm. Don't forget to stop by the wine cellar at the end of your day for a quality glass of red or white.
Over on the north side of Miami Beach, you'll find spectacularly cared-for greens, excellent service, and an all-around enjoyable experience at the Normandy Shores Golf Club. Open in 1928, Normandy Shores used to be a regular hotspot for hotshots like Arnold Palmer and Peter Thompson. More recently, it's served as the home for the Inaugural South Beach International Amateur. Locals are especially loyal to Normandy with their deep-discounts for Miami Beach residents. They also offer free youth golf clinics and free days for kids to play (with a paying adult), making them one of the most family-friendly courses in town.
It doesn't get much better than golfing on South Beach. The cool ocean breeze, the sway of palm trees...it's enough to inspire anyone to be out on the green all day long. That's exactly what it's like to enjoy 18 holes at the Miami Beach Golf Club. This public course opened in 1923 as the Bayshore Golf Course, and has enjoyed quite an interesting history. During World War II, it was rented out by the U.S. Army and used to train soldiers for war. Sometime later, it was almost completely destroyed and paved over for new housing, but the city opted to buy the land and keep the course intact. These days, locals and tourists alike enjoy its challenging fairways, many of which involve water (or rather, staying out of the water).
Crandon Golf is an 18-hole, par-72 course that has hosted a number of national PGA events. This well-kept golf course is entirely scenic, and features mangroves, saltwater lakes, and of course, perfect views of Biscayne Bay. Despite its beauty, it's also an entirely affordable spot for locals to whack a few balls. Crandon has putting greens, a driving range, and a stellar pro shop for those who need it. If you're still new to the game, rent your equipment here if you like, and then take some pro lessons to make the most of your swing. It's also home to the Junior Golf Summer Camp, where aspiring Arnold Palmers can truly get good at the game.
La Gorce is one of the top-rated golf courses in town, and certainly one of the most exclusive. Membership to this prestigious country club is by invitation only, but once you're in, you know you've made it. The golf course itself is as pristine as you might imagine. Its location off Alton Road allows for inspiring views of Miami Beach's skyline as well as just enough ocean air to keep you refreshed even on the warmest of days. For true lovers of the game, you might be impressed to play on the same fairways as Ben Hogan and Sam Snead. For the rest, there's a number of additional amenities to enjoy onsite, including tennis courts, a croquet lawn, and an excellent clubhouse that offers perks like complimentary breakfasts and snacks.
Miamians are a lucky bunch. They get to enjoy a number of public golf courses. Take the one located at the historic Miami Shores Country Club, for example. Open since 1939, it's conveniently located roughly 15 minutes from the airport, downtown, and the beach, depending what direction you're headed. This wide-open course features a driving range, a chipping green, and a putting green, plus a top-notch club house where you can host all kinds of events. The 18-hole course is great whether you're just going on a solo outing or want to partake in a small tournament. They also offer golf lessons and have a well-equipped pro shop in the event you've forgotten anything at home.
The golf course at Turnberry Isle, Miami was originally designed by Robert Trent Jones senior and later re-imagined by Raymond Floyd. Key features include beautifully landscaped holes on lush green velvet fairways, an island green on the 18th hole with a signature waterfall.It's a favorite on the resort circuit as the variety of tee box locations insures that all players can enjoy golfing on this pretty course without feeling defeated by the length while scratch golfers will appreciate the challenging water hazards and the shaping of shots required to navigate some fairly narrow fairways. The greens are in top condition and roll true.
The Biltmore Hotel Coral Gables Golf Course features a par 71, Donald Ross design from 1926. Doglegs both right and left figure prominently here adding to the challenge - suitable for the University of Miami's women's team who play here. The signature 17th hole features a green surrounded on three sides by water. On several holes the impressive Biltmore Hotel, a member of Historic Hotels of America is visible in the background. After your round take a refreshing dip in the largest hotel pool in the United States located on site just behind the clubhouse.You could also treat yourself to the Biltmore Spa. Guests start in a steam room bedecked with alluring Mediterranean decor and then move on to aromatherapy massages.