The best of South Florida: Golf Advisor’s top-10 golf courses you can play

Golf Advisor Senior Staff Writer Mike Bailey selected his Top-10 Golf Courses You Can Play in the golf-rich community of South Florida. Along the Interstate-95 corridor, there are many highly exclusive and private golf courses—but Bailey ranks the resort and daily fee layouts. Included in his top-10 are the No. 2 Champion Course at PGA National Resort, which Jack Nicklaus redesigned in 1990, and the No. 5 North Palm Beach Country Club, which Nicklaus famously redesigned for the price of $1 and which he donated back to the Village of North Palm Beach on the course’s opening day.

PGA National’s Champion Course is home to The Honda Classic on the PGA Tour, which has the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation as its primary beneficiary. Both Nicklaus Design layouts included in Bailey’s list are virtually located in the Golden Bear’s North Palm Beach, Fla., backyard, with only seven miles separating the two.

Bailey describes his No. 2 ranked of PGA National’s Champion Course this way: “Originally designed by Tom Fazio and tweaked over the years by Jack Nicklaus, this course doesn’t always get its due. Home of the famed Bear Trap—two difficult par 3s around an equally watery par 4—the Champion Course has played host to many important events, including the Ryder Cup, Senior PGA Championship, PGA Championship and now the PGA Tour’s Honda Championship.”

Writing about his No. 5 ranking, North Palm Beach Country Club, Bailey says, “Renovated by Jack Nicklaus in 2006, this links-style course is one of only two Nicklaus signature municipal courses in the United States. North Palm Beach Country Club is a difficult test from 7,000 yards, but there are five sets of tees for everyone to enjoy. The design incorporates elevation changes, rolling fairways and undulating, well-bunkered greens.”

For more information about Nicklaus Design’s golf courses in Florida, visit http://www.nicklaus.com/design/open_for_play.php.