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
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.
76 Golf World Family Fun Center fills its sunny grounds with attractions to entertain visitors of all ages. The Racing Rascals go-kart track puts young ones behind the wheel as they circle a simple beginner's track, whereas the Slick Track's surface of shiny concrete lets teens practice fishtailing before taking their driver's test. Kids aged 2–7 board bumper boats and cruise on a foot-deep pool, safely colliding with other captains. Just as two 18-hole mini-golf courses challenge putters to sink shots amid lighthouses and waterfalls, a driving range and chipping area beckon players to practice hitting balls and shredding scorecards with their clubs. A slew of other attractions—from batting cages and arcade games to bounce houses and trampolines—tire families out before they refuel on hot dogs, nachos, and candy at the full snack bar.
Chi-Chi Rodriguez won eight PGA Tour events in his career, but it was his creative flair on the fairways and vivacious personality off the course that turned him into a golf legend. At Palm Cove Golf and Yacht Club, the 18-hole, par-71 course grants golfers a window into the creative mind of the World Golf Hall of Famer, who designed the layout along the scenic banks of the St. Lucie River. The course incorporates narrow, tree-lined fairways, open holes, and water hazards into a seamless layout, presenting multiple challenges without making golfers solve their scorecards like a Sudoku puzzle.
After rounds, golfers can unwind over pub fare and cold beers at the Palm Cove Sports Grill. Guests can play pool, catch live sports on the flat-screen TVs, or whistle out onto the course from the back porch in an attempt to summon lost golf balls.
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.