At Villa Delray Golf Club, GPS-equipped golf carts zoom over lush, green fairways and past ponds visited by long-beaked ibises and snowy egrets. Before driving and putting their way through the par 71, 18-hole course, golfers can dig up divots at a grass driving range with 20 hitting stations, practice chipping, or dribble their balls up to the hole and dunk them on a putting green. After a day in the sun, players can refuel at the restaurant, bar, or snack shop, and stop by the pro shop to replace uncooperative dimpled orbs.
Oftentimes after people quit drinking, they find themselves with large chunks of free time on their hands. Golf In Recovery combines the game of golf with addiction support to fill that time and help keep people sober. It offers recovering addicts and those who wish to stop drinking high-tech golf instruction, 18-hole golf games with golf pro Jamie Frith, and a fellowship support group. Golf In Recovery also encourages clients to work privately with its recovery coach, Ann Frith, who has worked as a substance abuse counselor and clinical therapist at several treatment facilities.
Legendary course architect Donald Ross began design on the first nine holes of Delray Beach Golf Club in 1923, and when the course officially opened for play in 1926, players embraced the layout's variety of shot scenarios. When the course closed during World War II, the grounds sat idle, forcing the course carts to join the Allied forces as lightweight tanks.
Delray Beach Club reopened in 1945 and, five years later, the city sculpted a back nine to create a modern, championship course that stretches 6,907 yards for a par of 72. The original challenges still exist today, beckoning golfers to rely on every club in their bag as they take on par 4s that range from 347 to 451 yards, where treating the hole like a par 5 is often the best strategy. A stream enters play on five holes, running parallel to both the par 5 first hole and the par 3 sixth, forcing players to fight the urge to chip onto a passing lily pad and let it carry the ball downstream.
Course at a Glance: