Piercing drives resonate across the verdant grounds of Zephyrhills Under Par, providing sonic evidence of golf balls advancing through the 18-hole, 5,054-yard course. The par 68—sculpted in 1978—presents a relatively open layout, with extensive landing zones that encourage golfers to either test the limits of their driver or charter a last-minute plane for their swing coach.
Course at a Glance:
Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club’s talented designers, which include champion golfer Tom Lehman, pepper challenging and exciting pins across nearly 500 acres and two courses of undulating, verdant terrain. A hilly layout, including a 94-foot 11th-hole drop on the south course, outlines 36 holes of scenic golf-cart drives and a distinct advantage for experienced hill-climbers named Jack and Jill. Before hitting the links, golfers can hone swings with unlimited range balls to fleck across a 15-acre practice facility, chipping area, and putting green. A postmatch hot-dog-and-soda lunch nourishes club swingers and engenders the confidence to ask game-winning balls to sign players’ yardage books.
LPI Firearms’ multilingual team of Leslie A. Muniz and Ashley L. Magalas—both certified as NRA Firearm Instructors—teach classes in English and Spanish that enrich students' gun-handling knowledge, skills, and safety. Firearms-training courses imbue beginners with basic instruction and techniques, gun how-to classes dispense tips on gun cleaning and range safety, and Women on Target classes enhance the marksmanship of female participants. With her expertise in security-guard instruction and keeping uniforms from fading in the wash, Leslie also runs 40-hour security officer D trainings and 28-hour G trainings, which prep candidates on the required info and skills needed to become licensed unarmed or armed security officers, respectively.
Holding a state certification and multiple NRA training certifications, Julio A. Cortes leads an instructional team drawn from retired law-enforcement, military, and SWAT personnel. Specializing in basic pistol instruction—including women-only courses—Gulfcoast Firearms Academy's instructors qualify students to apply for a state concealed-weapon permit by teaching fundamentals such as basic terminology and situation awareness. For students desiring more-advanced training, they also lead tactical pistol and rifle shooting classes, imparting skills from one-handed reloading to shooting from a standing, seated, lying, and fetal position.
The course at Plantation Palms Golf Club slithers among numerous water hazards and over an incessant barrage of elevation changes, keeping golfers on their toes. David Harman orchestrated the links-style layout to tangle with the natural lay of the land and added his own flourishes in the form of large, white sand bunkers and gently billowing greens.
Players make swift acquaintance with local difficulties on a par 5 first hole that stretches 561 yards from the back tees. Elsewhere on the front nine, two par 3s measure 198 yards and 221 yards, calling on golfers to exhibit distance and accuracy or the ability to hypnotize opponents into believing they just saw a hole in one. Plantation Palms' on-site restaurant, the Oasis Bar & Grill, is open to the public and has a menu that features items such as a grilled mango fish sandwich and the Plantation Palms club sandwich.
Course at a Glance:
The Lutz Executive Golf Center helps sharpen short games with a challenging par 3 course alongside six practice areas comprising two ranges, greens, bunkers, and a chipping area. Before taking the course, golfers can warm up irons on the lower range or stroll up to the larger, upper practice range to unsheathe woods and target the 275-yard mark as caddies vigilantly measure each shot and avoid becoming target practice. Should golfers prefer to take practice after dark, the upper range is outfitted with in-ground lighting that stands in for the sun by illuminating the grass and giving children something to not stare at.