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.
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:
Pirate's Island and Pirate's Cove plunge putters deep into a thicket of thieving pirates, buried treasure, and stowaways tangled in rigging. Players select an appropriately sized putting club and a golf ball of any color, asserting individuality while creating polychromatic turf art. Putt through two 18-hole courses (one at the Daytona Beach Shores location), skirting shimmering waterfalls that conceal skeletons and spelunking convocations behind translucent veils. The golf course abuts a glorious gift shop, and snacks are available for additional gold.
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.
Nestled in the shadows of towering trees, golfers traverse the arboreal alleyways of DeLand Country Club’s course across 18 holes of challenging golf. Throughout the course, mature oaks and pines stalk the edges of fairways, flexing their branches ominously and making menacing shadow puppets with their twiggy fingers in an attempt to break the focus of golfers. The subtle slopes of the rolling course place a high premium on golfers’ capacity to cleanly strike balls off of uneven surfaces, and greenside bunkers wait to ensnare off-kilter shots. Club-toting twosomes can loop the 18-hole course astride an efficient golf cart, which helps hunt down balls while proffering incisive commentary about the universally strained relationship between carts and caddies.
For more than half a century, salty breezes off the Atlantic have rustled the fronds of the palm trees that arch along the fairways at New Smyrna Golf Club. The 18-hole, par-72 layout—originally dreamt up by course architect Donald Ross—more recently underwent renovations by Bobby Weed, updating them for 21st-century expectations such as an absence of pack horses. Before driving and putting their way across the 6,567-yard course, golfers can warm up at one of the driving range’s 30 hitting stations or acquire gear from Titleist at the pro shop to fill their club quivers.