Insider Info: Great tips for planning the perfect golf trip to South Florida
Short Game: With 18 holes ranging from 81 yards to 211 yards, the Palm Beach Par 3 (golfontheocean.com, 561-547-0598, $30-$46) is a blast that runs right along the Atlantic Ocean. Opened in 1961, the layout was renovated in 1999 by Ray Floyd.
Hidden Gem: Abacoa (abacoagolfclub.com, 561-622-0036, $30-$99) in Jupiter is well known locally for its greens, which run both consistent and fast. This muni was designed in 1999 by Joe Lee with elevation changes unique to the area.
Package Deal: Neither entity is new, but the Seagate Hotel & Spa (theseagatehotel.com, 877-577-3242) in Delray Beach recently acquired the private Hamlet Country Club, a handsome, well-bunkered 1973 Joe Lee design and renamed it Seagate Country Club. Guests have a la carte access to the course ($125), as well as to a variety of packages that start at $524 per person.
From the Concierge: "The convenience and location of Turnberry Isle Miami is one of our biggest assets being situated right between Fort Lauderdale and Miami International Airports.
"However, my personal favorite for visiting golfers is the Fort Lauderdale airport because you can get in and out much faster. The best deals are over the summer months. But if you can't take the heat, I recommend visiting in early November when the temperatures are cooler and perfect for golfing, in addition to right after the New Year because everyone is still recovering from the holidays, so the courses are a bit quieter."
-- Brian Morales, Concierge at Turnberry Isle Miami
Travelin' Joe Says
"If you're going to call in a favor and wrangle a round at one of the many jewels in the Palm Beach private club necklace, where do you start?
"Legendary Seminole tops most lists, but you can't go wrong with Tiger's new haunt, the Medalist, or Rory's lair, the Bear's Club. How about Lee Westwood's new headquarters, Old Palm, or the drama and glitz at Trump International?
"Another option that I especially like is Emerald Dunes. Recently renovated by its original designer, Tom Fazio, Emerald Dunes shines with a superb location, 15 minutes from Palm Beach International Airport, a core design with no homes on the interior and a new four-acre short game practice facility that Fazio crafted himself.
"Toss in superb service, a reworked (and warmed up) clubhouse and Tour-quality forecaddies and you've got all the golf experience you could want."
Top 100 Tip
"There's plenty of wind here in South Florida throughout the year, but especially January through March, so visiting golfers should be prepared to deal with that element.
"When playing into the wind, take more club than you need and make a shorter, easier swing than normal -- almost like an elongated chip shot.
"You want to reduce spin on the ball and make it fly like the air like a knife. Hitting downwind is just the opposite. Take less club than you need, make a big, full swing and hit the ball with gusto."
-- Top 100 Teacher Martin Hall is based at Ibis Golf & Country Club.
Interested in a lesson from one of the country's best teachers while in South Florida? Then contact these Golf Magazine Top 100 Teachers in the area.
Robert Baker, Logical Golf (786-276-7042)
Jimmy Ballard, Ocean Reef Club, Key Largo (800-999-6664)
Martin Hall, Ibis Golf & Country Club, West Palm Beach (561-624-8922)
Mark Hackett, Old Palm Golf Club, Palm Beach Gardens (561-472-5141)
Jim McLean, Jim McLean Golf School (800-723-6725)
Scott Munroe, Adios Golf Club
Kellie Stenzel, Palm Beach CC and Palm Beach Par 3 (561-714-7305)
T.J. Tomasi, PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance,
Bob Toski, Toski-Battersby Golf Learning Center (954-975-2045)
Dr. Gary Wiren, Trump International (800-367-4279)
GolfTec: If you have downloaded the My Pro To Go app (myprotogo.com) and want an in-person swing consultation, or just need a tune-up before starting your first round here, head to GolfTec's locations in Boca Raton (561-483-4180), Hollywood (954-920-6811) or West Palm Beach (561-683-3667).