Named one of the Top Eight Teaching Facilities in the United States in the August 1999 edition of Golf for Women magazine, Conte's Palm-Aire Golf Academy continues to welcome students in search of the expertise needed to improve their entire golf game. Academy Director Stephen Conte heads up a team of instructors comprised of PGA and LPGA teaching professionals who possess more than 80 years of combined experience. During individual and group lessons at Palm-Aire Country Club, students learn through the academy's unified teaching method. This system ensures that instruction stays consistent from instructor to instructor and students will never have to study with a substitute teacher that forces them to putt with pool cues.
The verdant brainchild of course architect William Mitchell, Deerfield Country Club's 18-hole course plots a 4,120-yard track through lush groves of palm trees and impeccably maintained turf. An executive layout composed of nine par 3s and nine par 4s, the course offers diverse play in a time-efficient package. New greens and recently refurbished bunkers compete for golf balls' affection, their success determined by dowries offered by paternal flagsticks and sand-trap rakes. Golfers streamline straight-hitting swings and soft, greenside shots at the practice facilities, which include a driving range with practice bunkers and an immense putting green. Leather chairs await weary legs in the clubhouse, where golfers can slake their thirst or clean off sand wedges with a sudsy drink from the bar.
Course at a Glance: * Designed by William Mitchell * 18-hole, par-63 course * Length of 4,120 yards from the farthest tees * Three tee options
While everyone who's ever picked up a golf club pictures themselves stepping up to the first tee at Augusta National and smashing a gentle draw down the center of the fairway, the fact of the matter is, the vaunted course lies beyond the skill set of the vast majority of players. High-handicappers need courses that are aligned to their strengths, which is precisely where Cooper Colony Golf Center enters the picture. The 18-hole executive course weighs in at an accessible 3,820 yards with a par of 60, and eschews overwhelming distance, glasslike greens, and flaming fringes for holes that make the game fun for beginners. Those golfers who need help fixing swings can tap PGA pro Gary Braeseke for lessons, or head to the driving range for some solo time tweaking swing mechanics.
It isn’t often that a golfer gets to stare down the same approach over water or lay up in front of the same fairway stream as Tiger Woods, Sergio García, and Jesper Parnevik. But on Bonaventure Country Club’s East Course, one can do just that: the par 72 half of this 36-hole club hosts the Dixie Amateur tournament, in which all three of the PGA pros at one time competed.
From the waterfall crashing alongside the East Course’s third green to its presence on hole No. 5, water is never far from golfers —crowding tee shots, threatening to swallow errant drives, and following them home in to-go cups from the onsite Sunset Grill.
East Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 72 course
Total length of 7,064 yards from the back tees
Course rating of 74.2 from the back tees
Course slope of 132 from the back tees
Four sets of tees per hole
The 18 holes of the semi-private Bonaventure Country Club follow along the edge of the Everglades, a human challenge laid out in the middle of an untamed wonderland of mangroves, palms, and wildlife. Golfers traverse TifEagle Bermuda greens dotted with scenic challenges, including freshwater lakes and a par 3 hole situated next to an actual waterfall. On a given outing, they might run into director of golf and PGA-certified instructor Bob Mallek, who helps students improve their game through a combination of analysis and intuition. In addition to his duties at the course, Mallek is also active in the regional golf scene, serving as president of the southern chapter of the South Florida PGA.
In addition to a tranquil-yet-challenging course and expert instruction, Bonaventure Country Club also sports amenities for golfers and civilians alike. The club's recent renovations gave complete makeovers to the driving range and clubhouse, which frequently hosts events from weddings and quinceaneras to reunions to retreats. Visitors can also extend their stays at the adjacent Bonaventure Resort & Spa, which boasts 500 rooms and a four-diamond rating from AAA.
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: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,907 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 72 from the back tees * Course slope of 123 from the back tees * Four sets of tees available * Scorecard