Challenging courses filled with natural beauty and wildlife
Florida ranks as one of the top destinations in the country for golf – the weather is wonderful year-round, the surroundings are gorgeous, and the golf courses offer exciting play.
At last count, there were 16 golf courses operating in the greater St. Petersburg area. If the average vacation is around 3 days, that’s more than enough options to fill your card. Here are a few worthy of checking out.
Popular St. Pete Golf Courses
St. Petersburg Country Club
The club opened as Lakewood Country Club in 1924. Charles Hall was the developer of Lakewood Estates and Herbert Strong designed the golf course. The name was changed in May of 2000 to reflect that “The Club” of St. Petersburg is the only true private equity owned club in South Pinellas County.
The golf course has a wonderful layout that is fair for players of all handicaps and challenging to the best players. The absence of parallel fairways allows for fast play and the enjoyment of solitude. The length of the course from the championship tees is 6912 yards, 6228 yards from the white tees, 5593 gold tees, 5312 from the Ladies’ red tees, and 4809 from the Ladies’ green tees.
The proximity to the Gulf and Tampa Bay guarantees a breeze with numerous direction changes. The best compliment of the layout is that there is not a bad hole on the course. (http://www.stpetecountryclub.com)
The Vinoy Golf Club
Originally created by John R. Van Kleek, a well-known golf course and landscape architect, the championship Vinoy Golf Course was redesigned by Ron Garl with the philosophy that a course should, “…sit softly on the land.”
Located on Snell Isle, this par-72 course with Bermuda grass greens is known to be challenging to golfers of all levels. It’s also a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, which means the area is not only a wildlife refuge, but it also features a lush landscape including more than 12 different varieties of palm trees. (www.vinoyclub.com)
Cypress Links – Municipal
Cypress Links is the newest addition to the city’s golf facilities and is located at the entrance to award-winning Mangrove Bay. This 9-hole, par-3 course is challenging, well maintained, and designed for golfers of all playing levels and abilities. The length of the individual holes varies from 105 to 187 yards.
Cypress Links is ideal for family outings with affordable fees and shorter playing times. It features tournaments, outings, leagues, summer specials, and junior programs. Traditional and Accessible golf cars, pull carts, and club rentals are available. Tee times may be reserved up to 7 days in advance. (www.golfstpete.com)
Mangrove Bay Golf Course – Municipal
Mangrove Bay is a par-72, championship golf course located on 180 beautifully maintained acres and features 18 holes of championship golf on USGA modified Platinum Paspalum greens. Players describe the course as one with “wide fairways, no hidden trouble, and smooth, consistent greens.” It offers terrific views and challenging play for golfers at every skill level.
Golf Digest’s “Best Places to Play” recently ranked Mangrove Bay as a three star course commenting that “Mangrove Bay is a…great municipal course, is well maintained and well run…it is an excellent value.” It was also named one of the Top 100 Most Women Friendly Golf Courses by Golf for Women magazine. (www.golfstpete.com)
Bottom Line: It’s a fact – it’s always warm in St. Petersburg. Even in the height of winter, when temperatures around the nation plummet to ridiculous lows, it’s a pleasant 72 degrees in the Tampa Bay area. Average St. Pete temps during the “winter months” – (www.weather.com)
December: 72 (high) – 57 (low)
January: 69 (high) – 54 (low)
February: 72 (high) – 56 (low)
Golf Courses in St. Petersburg, Florida – Travel Tips
Jenkins at the Majors: Sixty Years of the World’s Best Golf Writing, from Hogan to Tiger, by Dan Jenkins
The Match: The Day the Game of Golf Changed Forever, by Mark Frost