Snaking alongside the Boca Ciega Bay, The Tides Golf Club's 18-hole course confronts golfers with oceanfront breezes that are both relaxing and a challenge to tee shots on tree-lined fairways. Waterways come into play on 12 holes and figure more prominently on the back nine, where a pond imperils errant golf balls on every single track. Tidwarf grass adorns the course's elevated greens, which provide a true surface for golfers to roll their putts or roll their toy-sized golf carts.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,329 yards from the tips * Course rating of 70.6 from the tips * Slope rating of 123 from the tips * Three tee options * See the scorecard
Missing Links Driving Range beckons to serious athletes and fun-seeking families alike with three batting cages, a 37-hitting-stall driving range, an 18-hole miniature-golf course, and a golf school helmed by two PGA-certified pros. Pin-hunters can assume their stance in virtually any conditions at the driving range, as 20 of the hitting stalls are covered and the entire complex is lighted to cater to late-night practitioners or 9 irons with a knack for astronomy. Putt-putt posses can tap like trumpet players at dawn through a mini-golf course that features a lagoon, lighthouse, waterfalls, and other tropical-themed obstacles, or hone their game more meticulously with lessons from the expert instructors at Smith 'n Barber Golf School. Line drives, grounders, and fly balls carom off of whirring bats or oversize hot dogs inside Missing Links' three batting cages, where automated pitchers serve up both fast-flung baseballs and high-arching, slow-pitch softballs. After a long day of swatting spheres, guests can cool off with 24 flavors of soft serve and other subzero savories served at the onsite ice-cream parlor.
After a $1.8 million makeover in 2007, Largo Golf Course invites visitors to cruise down its lush new fairways and attack reworked greens while gunning for a par of 62. The executive course includes 8 par 4s and 10 par 3s, adding up to a total distance of 3,335 yards from the back tees. Between strokes, players cruise in an electric cart, which provides a smoother ride than a dogsled pulled by the most committed caddies.
Course at a Glance:
The fastest way to improve your swing is to undergo a procedure involving robotic arm implants and energy harvested from the tidal force of foreign moons. Following in close second is an equally effective but slightly less invasive approach: six-weeks of golf lessons at On Target Golf Schools. With today's Groupon, $60 gets you six weeks of swing refinement from golf pro Mike Stevens or one of his talented instructors, a $165 value.
With a successful career as a golfer and a coach that earned him a 2011 induction into the U.S. Golf Teachers Hall of Fame, Mike Stevens draws from a lifetime of experience to foster golf-game improvement in his clients. Mike’s custom, six-week golf training program—the flagship curriculum for his On Target Golf Schools—uses a biomechanics-based understanding of the golf swing to help students hit the ball farther and straighter without having to sell their soul for a corked 3-wood. Mike enhances lessons with the competitive insight gleaned from his continued success in tournaments, including a 2011 victory at the Copperhead Cup in Tarpon Springs. In addition to his six-week course, Mike offers clinics designed for kids and one-on-one lessons for those who want more private counseling.
The picturesque greens of Dunedin Stirling Links' 27-acre course challenge golfers with 18 holes of eye-pleasing play nestled among scenes of natural beauty. The par 3 course hones sphere-slinging skills with small greens and water hazards and highlights the coastal surroundings and plaid fairways characteristic of a Scottish-style layout. Players can hop into golf carts to zoom from each ball borough to open plain, enjoying the cool breeze off the marsh as they ride. The course's scenic setting is peppered with natural marvels, such as copses of shady pine trees and nests of ospreys⎯the golf ball's only natural enemy.