Top Exclusive Golf Courses in Florida

Top Exclusive Golf Courses in Florida

To become a part of the most elite private golf and country clubs in Florida, most clubs require members to follow a few universal rules. Walking is mandatory, uniformed caddies are $120 per bag plus tip, there is a strict dress code, no shorts, backward hats and absolutely no hats inside the club, no cell phone use, drinking on the course is a tradition and of course jacket and tie for dinners. Read on to learn about the top exclusive golf courses in Florida.

Ocean Reef Club

This exclusive community located in Key Largo, Florida has its own 4,000-foot airstrip, school, museum, security force, and fire department. To live in Ocean Reef, a resident must be sponsored by two current members and purchase a charter equity membership for $200,000. A marina with 175 slips and docks for yachts up to 175 feet are also offered in one of the most secure developments in America. (Also voted #2 in Country Club in the U.S.)

Boca West Country Club (Florida)

Boca West is one of the largest private equity-owned clubs in America, with 1,400 acres of lush tropical landscaping and magnificent private residences. The Club’s 54 private villages are bordered by four championship golf courses, 31 tennis courts, waterways, and wooded areas. The initiation fee is $70,000 for homeowners with annual dues of $12,000. (Also voted #4 Country Club in the U.S.)

Seminole Golf Club

Seminole Golf Club, in Juno Beach, is one of the most exclusive clubs in the country, having fewer than 300 members. Ben Hogan, one of history’s best golfers, used to practice on this course the month leading up to the Masters event. Seminole, opened in 1929, was designed by Donald Ross, who also laid out Pinehurst No. 2 and Oak Hill. The course plays 6,787 yards and runs along the Atlantic Ocean. It was named the 13th best course in the country by Golf Magazine in 2009. It features an open layout reminiscent of a Links design, but all that open space won’t benefit an unfocused player. The greens are firm, six greens are elevated more than 40 feet and all the putting surfaces are sloped and surrounded by bunkers. Ocean breezes can take decent approach shots and blow them into the traps. Seminole Golf Club 901 Seminole Blvd. Juno Beach, FL 33408-2530 561-626-0280

Plantation Golf and Country Club

Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice offers two private 18-hole championship golf courses. The longer of the two, the Bobcat Course, measures 6,813 yards from the back tees. The Bobcat features a sweeping layout with hidden greens. The long, arching doglegs, such as the one found on the 523-yard, par-5 16th feature rolling fairways and lakes between the landing area and the putting surface. The shorter Panther Course plays at 6,427 yards from the back tees. This course is more punishing on errant tee shots as the thick Bermuda rough makes it a challenge to get up and down. The course features a bevy of deep pot bunkers and slicker putting surfaces. Together, the Bobcat and Panther annually host the LPGA Tour Qualifier. Plantation Golf and Country Club 500 Rockley Blvd. Venice, FL 34293 941-497-1479 plantationgcc.com

Jupiter Hills Club

Jupiter Hills Club in Tequesta also offers two courses: the 7,344-yard Hills Course and the 6,812-yard Village Course. The Village Course offers a serene setting and a stark challenge. The Hills Course offers 80 feet of elevation changes — something unusual in such a flat state. Designer George Fazio, though, didn’t stop defying the elements there. Walk a round at Jupiter Hills and you’ll discover an array of trees, including pine, palmetto and oak. It’s better to be a big hitter than a smart hitter on this par-70 course, but a combination of the two just might allow you to survive it. Jupiter Hills Club 1800 SE Hill Club Terrace Tequesta, FL 33469-1794 561-746-5228 jupiterhillsclub.org

Buffalo Creek Golf Course

One of two municipal courses owned and operated by Manatee County, the Buffalo Creek Golf Course was designed by Ron Garl, whose well-guarded greens are the biggest challenges on the course. Every green has either a bunker or water feature to contend with on approach. Fairways are wide and wide open, with well-placed bunkers or water. The course, which plays 7,003 yards from the back tees, has large, fast greens and there are four sets of tees. As of April 2010, greens fees for super twilight were available for $16 in the fall up to $24.99 in the late winter/early spring. Buffalo Creek Golf Course 8100 69th Street East Palmetto, FL 34221 941-776-2611 co.manatee.fl.us

Imperial Lakewoods Golf Club

Designed by Ted McAnlis, who is the architect behind Doral’s Blue Monster course, Imperial Lakewoods is filled with water hazards, giant oaks and natural hazards. The course, which first opened in 1987, has undergone a renovation that included lengthening some holes, and adding a fifth set of tees. No. 18 is among the longest holes in Florida, measuring 600 yards from the back tees. The course, which plays 7,010 from the back tees, is rated one of Florida’s best public-play courses by Golf Digest. As of April 2010, greens fees began at $20 for super twilight (3 p.m.) tee times. Imperial Lakewoods Golf Club 9860 Buffalo Road Palmetto, FL 34221 800-642-2193 ilwgc.com

Palmview Hills Golf Course

This executive course measures 3,485 yards and is a great place to work on a short game or try out irons from the tee box. The course was designed by Dick Hamilton and opened in 1965. There is little trouble, as water comes into play on only two holes and there are few bunkers. There are two sets of tees. As of April 2010, greens fees began at $9 for twilight tee times. Palmview Hills Golf Course 5712 28th Ave. East Palmetto, FL 34221 941-722-2392

Terra Ceia Golf and Country Club

This par-62 executive course is located in a residential development and plays 4,119 yards from the back tees. The course is flat and fairly open, though there are plenty of bunkers and water hazards that make this course challenging. Opened in 1985, there is a full practice facility, including a driving range and a sand bunker. As of April 2010, greens fees began at $31 after noon for riders and $22 after noon for walkers. Terra Ceia Golf and Country Club 2802 Terra Ceia Bay Blvd. Palmetto, FL 34221 941-729-7663 terraceiabay.com