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
A year after Mike Warobick, PGA opened U.S. 1 Golf Center in 1988, he married his wife, Ruth, right there on the range. U.S. 1 Golf Center has been a family business since its inception, so it's only fitting that much of its patronage consists of families, too. Throughout the year, golfers young and old wallop shots from 18 lighted tee stations and a large natural-grass tee line, and develop their short game on the natural-grass chipping area and putting green. Mike and his staff, meanwhile, conduct lessons, including junior golf clinics every Saturday. They also provide custom club fitting so customers don't have to build a shrink ray to have clubs that fit their unique golf swing.
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
Towering palm trees rise above the ivory clubhouse at La Cita Country Club, their leaves like natural sentries watching over a realm of genteel social gatherings and athletic recreation. Golfers circle the clubhouse as they hunt pars across the Club’s scenic 18-hole golf course, where water comes into play on all but four holes and attracts white egrets, hawks, eagles, and golf carts longing to see their own reflection. Metronomic rhythms of serves and backhands resonate from the La Cita Racquet Club, which houses six lighted, outdoor Har-Tru—green clay—tennis courts and two air-conditioned racquetball courts.
The Club also encompasses an outdoor pool, where guests can swim laps, work up a sweat in group fitness classes, or run a black market for swimming goggles in the shadows cast by white parasols. Those who prefer to stay dry during a workout can head to the health club, which fosters fitter lifestyles with treadmills, weight machines, and stairmasters.
During a round of golf in this region, it’s not uncommon for players to see the occasional alligator sunning itself on the banks of a fairway pond. The same, however, cannot be said for miniature-golf courses, unless you’re playing at Congo River Golf, where the civilized sinking of putts coexists with the visceral carnage of live-alligator feedings. More than 25 alligators wait for patrons to feed them morsels of gator food in an exhibit beside the course. Though the course offers no chance for an encounter with the ancient, scaly species, it enchants players with waterfalls, safari-themed artifacts, and towering rock faces. In addition, Congo River Golf encompasses an indoor arcade and a gemstone-mining station, where guests dig through dirt for fossils, arrowheads, and Neanderthal’s kindergarten time capsules.
When Kissimmee Golf Club first opened in the 1940s, it was a modest nine-hole facility. An expansion in the 1960s produced the back nine, and today, the club has flourished into a gorgeous testament to the Florida wetlands. Pines, oaks, and breezy palms line the fairways, and American alligators and sandhill cranes call the property home, too?all without a house in sight. The course's layout brings many of the land's features into play, and meticulously maintained greens appeal to any player hoping to improve his or her short game. Before rounds, golfers can get some practice swings in by visiting the club's chipping and putting areas, as well as one of the largest grass driving ranges in the county.
Course at a Glance * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total distance of 6,563 yards * Four tees per hole * Slope of 126 from the back tees * Rating of 70.2 from the back tees * Click here to view the scorecard