The 27 holes that comprise Magnolia Point Golf & Country Club sweep across a 1,000-acre tract of Clay County rife with wildlife and picturesque forests of oak, pine, and magnolia. The three par-36 sides feature no parallel fairways, meaning golfers seldom worry about hitting other groups or face the temptation to joust with oncoming carts on adjacent fairways. As golfers tick off strokes, they may spot local wildlife such as deer, alligators, and waterfowl frolicking about in their natural domain. In 2006, the USGA elected to hold its final qualifying tournament for the U.S. Amateur at Magnolia Point, drawn to its scenic layout, challenging play, and abundance of bird informants who keep an eye out for unwarranted mulligans. Course at a Glance: * Three nine-hole sides * Maximum 18-hole length of 6,796 yards * Five sets of tees per hole * See the scorecard
Mounds, sand traps, and trees hem the fairways on Royal St. Augustine Golf and Country Club's 18-hole course. Its 6,529-yard layout plays long, as it has some strategically placed hazards and large greens. Ponds also come into play on multiple holes, making it problematic for any golfer whose driver doesn't double as a snorkel. Before beginning their round, golfers can warm up at a practice facility that includes a 20-stall, grass-tee driving range, a short-game area with sand traps, and a putting green.
Course at a Glance:
At the tee box on Cimarrone Golf Club's 12th hole, golfers face a dilemma: play a drive safely out to the right—where, at worst, the ball may stray into the rough—or attempt an aggressive shot over the water on the hole's left side, cutting off much of the dogleg and setting up a closer approach. With multiple bending fairways, deep bunkers, and a water hazard or marsh feature on every hole, the 18-hole, 6,891-yard course presents high-risk, high-reward scenarios at nearly every turn, delighting golfers who like to live dangerously and favoring those whose sand wedge moonlights as an actuary.
Before rounds, golfers can warm up swings at the club's driving range, a much-needed confidence booster before taking to the water-laden course or betting that they can outdrive the staff's resident T-shirt cannon.
Course at a Glance:
The needles of pine trees brush together softly in the forests that line St. Johns Golf & Country Club, mimicking the bated breath of golfers as they wait for a ball to fall on the bunker-speckled 18th hole. The undulating green caps the 7,250-yard Clyde Johnston-designed course, where golfers unleash their swings from one of five tee distances. The course has served as host of the PGA Tour Q-School for five consecutive years, and a practice facility with a 10,000-square-foot putting green and double-sided driving range allows golfers to work on their grip or stop yelling a childhood secret every time they swing the club. Chatter and the sound of clicking margarita glasses drift down to the course from a restaurant with views of the 9th and 18th holes, and a banquet hall hosts wedding receptions and other gatherings.
Boasting an 18-hole championship-style golf course and a golf school helmed by experienced professionals, Country Club of Orange Park helps duffers hone swings on and off the course. Cure chronic slices or the putting yips with the help of former PGA Tour pro Charles Raulerson and assistant instructor David Ven Vertloh. During small-group lessons of less than 10 students, Charles focuses on the simplistic but crucial elements of posture, alignment, and technique to help pupils on their path to mastering the subtle art-science of the golf swing. Charles also draws from a professional career that included three PGA Championship berths, several International Tour victories, and earning global renown for matching plaid with argyle.
At Tomoka Oaks Golf Club, well-manicured greens weave through thickets of mature oaks on the 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course. After warming up on the practice green or shooting around sandcastles built by lost beach-goers on the practice bunker, tackle the front tees' collective 5,022 yards or the back tees' challenging 6,745 yards. Throughout the course, a bevy of bunkers camps out on the traditionally small greens, waiting to ambush errant balls. Today’s Groupon also includes a cart rental to chauffer you and a friend across acres of mowed grounds, to the on-site bar and grill, or to the pro shop to get tips from PGA staffers and trade strudel recipes.
The golfing gurus at Edwin Watts Golf Academy diagnose and correct their students' poor swing and putting habits in an effort to help them improve their shots and lower their scores. In one-on-one swing-analysis sessions, students learn a repeatable swing that eliminates tendencies they may have to slice, hook, push, or pull the ball. A special laser attaches to the end of the player's club and tracks the swing path while JC Video swing-analysis software records the session from two separate angles, lest analysis be thrown off by only looking at the golfer’s good side. Putting analysis employs Tomi technology to measure eight separate parameters of the putting stroke, from clubhead orientation at address to swing path and tempo. After swing and putting lessons, students may access the recordings on a password-protected website, so they can forward videos to friends or sports-documentary filmmakers.