Golfing in Northern Florida

written by | Posted on August 21st, 2012

Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa

Play a round on one of TPC Sawgrass’ championship courses, which include the Dye’s Valley course and The PLAYERS Stadium course.

With warm temperatures year-round, the Sunshine State is a spectacular place for golf. Here, find three northern Florida cities that offer a few choices for your clients to experience both its famous courses as well as the annual tournaments as they pass through this tropical state.

Tee Up with Celebrities in South Walton
The South Walton Celebrity Golf Classic is getting ready for its 16th annual event, scheduled this year for Nov. 1-3 in South Walton, Florida.

The kickoff event is a welcome gala on Thursday evening at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa. Then on Friday and Saturday mornings, golfers team up for a 5-person scramble to play with one randomly assigned celebrity per team on Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort’s Raven and Baytowne golf courses. Friday night will feature a celebrity gala and auction at the Hilton, and after the last hole has been played on Saturday afternoon, the event comes to a close with a cookout and awards ceremony.

Plus, this year non-golfers can purchase gallery tickets for a spot along the course to cheer on their friends, family and favorites.

Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa offers a year-round Golfer’s Dream package with rates from $629 dbl per night, inclusive of beachview accommodations; 18-hole round of golf for two adults per night booked, plus greens fees and golf cart usage; unlimited use of the driving range and daily breakfast buffet for two at the on-property Sandcastles restaurant. For more information, call (800) 559-1805 or visit sandestinbeachhilton.com. Use booking code P2.

Meanwhile, the Player’s package at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort offers rates from $140 pp per night, which includes lakeside villa accommodations; two rounds of golf (one on Raven course, one on Baytowne course) plus golf cart and greens fees; and unlimited use of the practice facility and practice balls, plus free replay rounds booked at the course the day of play, based on availability. For more information, call (800) 622-1038 or visit sandestin.com. Use promo code PLAY.

Historic St. Augustine
Golf enthusiasts heading to Northeast Florida will enjoy a stay at the Renaissance World Golf Village Resort and Beach Club, a property voted one of the Top 20 Golf Resorts in Florida and one of the Top 121 Golf Resorts in the World by Conde Nast Traveler’s 2012 Reader’s Poll.

As Florida’s oldest city, St. Augustine offers plenty to do, from town trolley tours and visits to the old jail and schoolhouse, to visiting Castillo de San Marcos fort and the famous Fountain of Youth. To help guests get there and back, Renaissance World Golf Village offers a complimentary shuttle to and from the city.

But back on track—and you knew it was coming—it’s the resort’s onsite amenities that will have golfers beaming. Two championship golf courses grace the property: King & Bear (designed by Arnold “The King” Palmer and Jack “The Bear” Nicklaus) or Slammer & Squire (designed by Slammin’ Sammy Sneed and Gene “The Squire” Sarazen). Guests of the resort also enjoy access to the oceanfront Serenata Beach Club, which features three pools, a lounge with fireplace, a fully equipped fitness center and optional scheduled activities.

In addition to providing luxurious accommodations, breakfast at the on-property Villagio Italian Grille and free range balls, the Stay and Play Golf package includes a round of golf on either of the resorts’ two courses. Rates start at $184 per night per room for one golfer, or $259 per room per night for two golfers, valid through Dec. 31. For more information, call (888) 740-7020 or visit renwgv.com.

Jacksonville
Just outside of Jacksonville lies the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa. The property—which features nine restaurants and lounges; four pools and a whirlpool; a fitness center and The Spa at Sawgrass; and family-friendly activities including the Xplorer’s Club, Dive-In movies and a mini-golf course—also promises professional-grade golf at The Players Club (TPC) Sawgrass.

There, guests will enjoy two Pete Dye-designed, 18-hole par 72s: the Dye’s Valley course and the famous PLAYERS Stadium course, the latter of which is seen on TV every May as golfers compete for PGA Tour’s The Players Championship title. For a truly exceptional stay, see if your client’s vacation can coincide with the 2013 tournament coming up.

Both the Dye’s Valley and The PLAYERS Stadium courses are reserved exclusively for Sawgrass Marriott guests. To get your clients access, look into The PLAYERS Stadium package—starting at $353 sgl per night, the package is inclusive of Golfview accommodations, daily breakfast at Cafe on the Green, one round of golf pp on The PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass, a sleeve of Sawgrass monogrammed golf balls and additional discounts, such as 10 percent off an additional round of golf and two-for-one drinks in V. Kelly’s Pub. For more information, call (800) 457-4653 or visit sawgrassmarriott.com.