Time seems to move at a more leisurely pace in the southern part of Brevard County, where the locals are friendly and the ocean's never more than a few miles away. Even so, the area's premier golf facility, Aquarina Country Club in Melbourne Beach, takes pride in the swiftness of its rounds. It won't take an entire day to work your way around the course's 18 holes?unless, of course, you come back for a second or third helping. In any case, golfers of all skill levels will find plenty to love on fairways that curl around live oaks, mangrove marshes, and nearly a dozen glistening lakes. The course actually sits within the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, meaning there's a high chance of spotting exotic flora or stumbling across a herd of wild golf carts.
Course at a Glance * 18-hole, par 62 course * Total of 4,313 yards from the tips * Four tees per hole * Course rating of 62.0 * Course slope of 107 * Scorecard
76 Golf World Family Fun Center fills its sunny grounds with attractions to entertain visitors of all ages. The Racing Rascals go-kart track puts young ones behind the wheel as they circle a simple beginner's track, whereas the Slick Track's surface of shiny concrete lets teens practice fishtailing before taking their driver's test. Kids aged 2–7 board bumper boats and cruise on a foot-deep pool, safely colliding with other captains. Just as two 18-hole mini-golf courses challenge putters to sink shots amid lighthouses and waterfalls, a driving range and chipping area beckon players to practice hitting balls and shredding scorecards with their clubs. A slew of other attractions—from batting cages and arcade games to bounce houses and trampolines—tire families out before they refuel on hot dogs, nachos, and candy at the full snack bar.
Chi-Chi Rodriguez won eight PGA Tour events in his career, but it was his creative flair on the fairways and vivacious personality off the course that turned him into a golf legend. At Palm Cove Golf and Yacht Club, the 18-hole, par-71 course grants golfers a window into the creative mind of the World Golf Hall of Famer, who designed the layout along the scenic banks of the St. Lucie River. The course incorporates narrow, tree-lined fairways, open holes, and water hazards into a seamless layout, presenting multiple challenges without making golfers solve their scorecards like a Sudoku puzzle.
After rounds, golfers can unwind over pub fare and cold beers at the Palm Cove Sports Grill. Guests can play pool, catch live sports on the flat-screen TVs, or whistle out onto the course from the back porch in an attempt to summon lost golf balls.
Even tour pros would think twice about some of the shots at The Majors Golf Club. Take the tee shot at the 456-yard first hole, for example: the beefy yardage leaves no choice but to hit driver into a stiff cross-wind, and any miss to the left will likely stray out of bounds. The same tee shot anxiety returns at the 15th hole, a par-three with a genuine island green that requires a rock-solid 180-yard approach. The stylish course design should be no surprise, as it's the grassy brainchild of golf legend Arnold Palmer. Palmer also had a great collaborator in Mother Nature, as the grounds boast Carolina-style pine trees, sugary white sands, and natural contours that contribute to its visual drama. Before rounds, golfers can fine tune their swings at a natural-grass driving range or lick the greenside rough at a short-game area.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,850 yards from the tips * Five tee options * Scorecard
Sculpted on a 28-acre estuary between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, Jupiter Dunes Golf Club presents a short par 3 course that features prominent water hazards that come into play on 12 holes. Coastal trade winds routinely knock approach shots off course on their way onto small paspalum greens, a challenge only mitigated by careful shot selection or digging wind-free fairway tunnels. Even with these obstacles, the course's truncated length lets beginners make an enjoyable foray into the game, and more experienced players can work on short game acumen.
Jupiter Dunes’ resident golf pro Jeff Leishman strives to make golf a pleasant pursuit for all players, including juniors. Jeff creates an instructional regimen that best fits each player, helping adults to lower their handicaps during lessons and showing juniors how to make a golf-cart booby trap at summer camps for kids aged 6–14.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 54 course * Total length of 1,962 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 65 from the back tees * Course slope of 100 from the back tees
The 18 holes of Palm Beach Gardens Golf Course slither through the natural marshes and wetlands of the Loxahatchee Nature Preserve, testing golfers' mettle with frequent changes in fairway direction and lots of water. Players scoot about the Roy Case-designed layout aboard golf carts equipped with GPS systems, which help them ascertain exact distances to greens and around sunbathing caddies. The fairway of the par 5 ninth hole -- dubbed "Mucho Agua" -- lies on an isthmus between two large bodies of water, leaving little room for error as players try to reach the green in two. The fairway of the 13th hole, also a par 5, doglegs twice into a unique Z shape, earning it the name of "Zorro's Revenge." Before players may turn in for the day, they must deal with two shots over water on the last hole, named "Swamp Thing" for its proximity to marshland and proclivity for early '80s horror movies.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,500 yards from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole