Monday, January 1, 2007
10 places you gotta see in the sunshine state
The Breakers, Palm Beach. “Whoa.” That’s probably the first thing you’ll say to yourself after seeing the spectacular beauty of the renovated Breakers resort. The resort plopped down a smooth $225 million in improvements, resulting in a property that exudes the high-class living of the folks who both live in and visit the upscale Palm Beach neighborhood. In addition to some stunning accommodations and amenities (no point listing them, since they have everything), there are two courses to choose from. The Ocean Course, which is Florida’s oldest course, and the Rees Jones Course, located 10 miles away. www.thebreakers.com
Ocean Hammock Resort. The Ocean Hammock Resort is a golfer’s paradise overlooking the Atlantic Ocean (between Daytona Beach and Jacksonville). There are two courses to choose from, both of which have gained notoriety for having some stunning natural beauty. The Ocean Hammock Course is considered the only oceanfront course in Florida to have opened in 70 years, and thanks to a Jack Nicklaus design, it hosts several high-profile events and qualifiers, year in and year out. The sister course is Palm Harbor, the shorter and more mature course of the two. Designed by Bill Amick, the layout looks easy, but don’t be deceived—it’s tougher than it looks. If time permits, Daytona is a short drive away. If you’re a NASCAR fan, you’ll understand. If not, stick around and enjoy the lodge and beach. www.oceanhammock.com
Orlando can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you’re a first-timer. Visit one of the best Orlando Websites online at www.orlandoinfo.com. If you can’t find it there, it doesn’t exist.
5 Best Stay-And-Plays In Florida
1. Walt Disney World Resort
Trust us. The resort’s 99 holes are all excellent, and you’ll have time to catch up with the family in Fantasyland that afternoon.
2. Bay Hill Club & Lodge
Known as the home of Arnold Palmer, Bay Hill is a treat to play. Just knowing who’s played (and won) there is enough to make it worth your while.
3. Grand Cypress Resort
Luxurious accommodations can be found at the Grand Cypress Hyatt, as well as great golf, racquet sports and much more. The New Course is a real hoot to play.
4. Westin Innisbrook Resort
The Innisbrook compound has four great courses and four superb restaurants. What more do you need? How about six swimming pools and 11 tennis courts? It’s all here.
5. Doral Golf Resort
Come play the Blue Monster, but don’t neglect the other fine courses that make Doral one of the best stay-and-plays in Florida.
5 Local Favorites To Play
1. Championsgate (National)
Greg Norman cut 36 holes out of some rolling terrain that was made to resemble what he called an “Australian links” course.
2. Falcon’s Fire
Understated and underappreciated, this Rees Jones design is a classic beauty. Expect great service and excellent course conditions year-round.
3. Celebration Golf Club
Having a course designed by one Jones family member is pretty good, but two of them on the same 18? Check out what Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Jr. can do.
4. Shingle Creek
Tee it high and let it fly at this Orlando gem, but make sure you hit the green in the right spot. The greens are tricky and sometimes rather quick.
5. Eagle Pines
Designed by Pete Dye, this Disney course has a lot of water, shaped fairways and lots of pine straw. Don’t worry, it’s not too scary.
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