Golfer's Paradise - Best of Naples Golf
By Drew Macdonald
It’s easy to see why Naples, Florida is one of the world’s top destinations for golf vacations. The sunny skies, warm climate, and lush tropical landscape all make for a golfer’s paradise.
If any metropolis qualifies as the golf course mecca of the Sunshine State, it's Naples. The tip-off comes along U.S. Highway 41, the region's main north-south thoroughfare, where a tastefully landscaped sign heralding the arrival of yet another gated private golf community is found at nearly every intersection between Naples and Bonita Springs.
An impressive collection of manicured greens beckon players of every caliber. Golf enthusiasts will find some of the most sought after golf courses among luxury communities and abundant four and five star resorts. With 100 courses and counting, there are more golf holes per capita in Naples than in any other American city, but it should be noted that roughly 80 percent of the golf courses are private.
For starters, any one of the Lely golf courses would be considered a must do, but the Flamingo is likely to be our preferred course. The 18 hole golf course is on 6527 yards is a Par 72. Call up to 3 days in advance. The public course is considered must play in Southwest Florida. Course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. This course is unusually demanding from the back tees. The greens are large and well protected by traps. Water comes into play often on this course with winds creating a challenge on the 14th. Golfweek Magazine has twice designated this course as one of Americas best, while Golf Digest gives it a four star rating. With its hourglass fairways, fingered sand bunkers and large rolling greens, this golf course is destined to provide many exciting challenges. Play it for yourself, we're sure you'll agree.
Just as challenging is the Mustang course at Lely Golf Resort. It has 18 holes on 7217 yards. Par 72. The course is an excellent challenge in a fabulous, tough, fair course. Lely's Mustang course is a legend in the making. Designed by Charles Mahannah and Lee Trevino, Mustang is a course that follows his philosophy of making the game challenging - but a fair challenge - for the average golfer. The course offers a variety of golf holes that are difficult to a point, but always fun to play - where a player can always recover from an errant shot. Punctuated by 12 sparkling lakes, the Mustang gently flows across rising and falling fairways and winds through stands of towering Florida pines. Strategically placed bunkers will test your decision-making prowess as well as shot making abilities.
La Playa offers a natural look and the feel of a traditional links course and great variety of indigenous landscaping; rolling fairways and water features make it not only fun and challenging to play, but also pleasing to the eye. LaPlaya Beach & Golf Resort, is proud to host the one of the newest golf courses in Naples Florida. La Playa Golf Course, designed by internationally renowned golf course architect, Bob Cupp. The course features 18 holes of championship golf, allowing die-hard golfers to test their mettle on the par-72 course, surrounded by lush tropical vegetation and an impressive collection of manicured greens.
The 6,907-yard course is designed, constructed and seeded to offer a hard, fast playing surface similar to those found on true links courses. With numerous bunkers and rolling fairways, the course boasts a number of unforgettable holes, such as the signature 12th, which although short, requires a bold shot to a barely visible green over a two-tiered front.
The course also showcases 14 holes lined by water, including eight of the front nine and six of the back nine. Providing the opportunity to use every club in the bag and play every type of shot, the LaPlaya Golf Course is a treat for golf enthusiasts, with memorable par 3 shots and daunting tee shots.
Since opening in the spring of 1998, Arrowhead Golf Course has been known as the course to play for golfers of all types. Beautifully designed by noted architect Gordon G. Lewis, Arrowhead features eighteen picturesque holes positioned amongst 16 pristine lakes and rolling fairways. With spacious greens and wide landing areas, Arrowhead is friendly to high handicappers; however, better golfers will find the many well-placed bunkers and water hazards a real test of their skills. With four sets of tees, our course allows for play at many varying degrees of difficulty. Easily accessible from downtown Naples, as well as Bonita Springs and Ft. Myers, Arrowhead is located just 1.7 miles east of I-75 (exit 17) on Immokalee Road in Heritage Greens.
A golfer's paradise! Masterfully designed to preserve the native pine and palmettos, Vanderbilt Country Club boasts over 320 acres of shimmering lakes, lush fairways and nature preserves. With 5 sets of tees on each hole, the Gordon G. Lewis signature course offers exciting challenges to both the novice and experienced golfer. Enjoy fine and casual dinning at the clubhouse, serve up a game of tennis or take a relaxing dip in the heated pool.
Naples Lakes is another favorite course. The new 490-acre community was developed by Palmer Course Design Company and Toll Brothers, one of the nation's leading builders of luxury homes. Traditional-style, 6,875-yard layout by Palmer Course Design plays around 70 acres of lakes and a 160-acre nature preserve. Lots of peninsula tees; large, subtly contoured greens. No. 16, a driveable par four that plays over a lake within nature preserve, is signature hole. By fall, course will have a 15,000-square-foot, Mediterranean-themed clubhouse.
The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club is an old fashioned fun golf course. Opened in 1930, the course was designed by Ron Garl. The course is a 18 holes on 6,488 yards Par 72. A beachfront hotel that is family operated. Rooms are decorated in a tropical motif, many with views. There are 6 tennis courts, beach, health club privileges, lawn games, boating and biking.
Finally the Tiburon golf course at the Ritz Carlton cannot go unrecognized. Tiburon is a Greg Norman-designed 27-hole course has tangerine-colored coquina sand in bunkers, stacked-sod wall bunkers; native habitat bordering fairways, forced carries over water and wetlands. Target-style layout has no rough: Highest turf is maintained at fairway height of one-half inch.
The Naples Florida golf scene has it all. Whether you are simply looking for a place to play golf in Naples or are shopping the many Naples golf communities and homes, you can find it in Naples.
Drew Macdonald is an experienced rental agent from Marco Island Florida and owner of Direct Home Rentals.