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An overlooked golfing destination: PGA Village

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From Destin to Miami, with Orlando in between, Florida is filled with an abundance of great golfing destinations. With so many options to choose from, however, it is easy for some courses and resorts to be overshadowed by the bigger, flashier names found elsewhere around the state.

For this lifelong Floridian, one such destination is the PGA Village in Port St. Lucie; which until recently had never appeared on my golfers radar.

My avoidance of the PGA Village was really an unintended slight. The fact is, Port St. Lucie just isn’t the first destination that comes to mind when planning a weekend golf getaway. But with a host of accommodation options, a PGA museum, a leading teaching academy in Florida and three award-winning courses by Tom Fazio and Pete Dye, it was pretty clear that, until now, I was the one missing out.

The area surrounding the PGA Village offers a wide range of accommodation options for your Florida golf getaway. The Sheraton PGA Vacation Resort is located adjacent to the entrance of The Village and features an array of one- and two-bedroom villas — a perfect choice for the buddies golf trip or the family vacation to Florida. For my short overnight, the nearby Hilton Garden Inn brought comfortable accommodations with an equally convenient location.

Before heading to the course the next morning, I first paid a visit to the complex’s PGA Museum. The museum featured numerous exhibits on the Ryder Cup, PGA Championship and other historic moments in golf. For any fan of golf and the game’s rich history, the PGA Museum makes for a nice stroll before the round, or perhaps after as a reminder of why you still love the game.

Nearby, you’ll find the PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance — one of the leading teaching facilities in Florida. The 35-acre complex features more than 100 practice stations, a sprawling short game area and a wide range of the latest in golf-performance technology. The center offers instruction in daily, weekly — or in extreme cases of the shanks — monthly packages personalized to meet every golfer’s needs.

Of course, the main attraction at the PGA Village is the golf itself, and it delivers in a very big way. The Wanamaker and Ryder courses are Tom Fazio at his finest, and toy with the golfer with a host of risk-reward opportunities. In addition, the Wanamaker is consistently ranked among the top-25 public golf courses in Florida.

We teed it up on the Dye Course, where the greens rolled smooth and fast, and poor shots to the wrong sides were often severely punished. The course featured the winding waste areas often found on Pete Dye designs, plus an abundance of mounding and bunkers which often made judging distance a challenge. Despite a little summer renovation work which is to be expected in the off-season, the Dye Course was in great condition overall and was a difficult, but fair, test of golf.

Although it took many years for the PGA Village to appear on my radar, in the end it proved to be worth the wait. From the PGA Museum, to the teaching facility, to the incredible array of championship golf, the PGA Village is a great choice for both the buddies golf trip and the extended Florida golf holiday. The resort is often overshadowed by the more famous names around the state, but it’s clear the PGA Village deserves a place among the best golf destinations in Florida.

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D.J. Jones is a lifelong golfer and plays to a 6 handicap when he’s not too busy pursuing his other great passion – travel. Tag along with his golf and travel adventures on his blog, The World of Deej.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Nick

    Aug 29, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Played the Wanamaker earlier this year and was very impressed.

  2. Glenn J Blise

    Aug 28, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    My fiancé and I stopped at the museum last November and could not have been more impressed. If you’re looking for a history lesson, that’s the place!

  3. Peter

    Aug 27, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    I don’t understand how anyone could overlook the PGA Village, I even managed to convince my wife that we needed to make a stop 2days after our wedding!!!

  4. Gregg

    Aug 27, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Nothing overlooked about this destination, loved playing there for years when I lived in South Florida. Haven’t played the private course but the North, South, and Dye courses were terrific!

  5. Derek

    Aug 26, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    I went to school in Port Saint Lucie and was able to play all tree courses at PGA Village twice a week, along with using the learning center. It is an amazing place! The Dye course is difficult but was always my favorite course to play! I can’t wait to make it back!

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Courses

Hidden Gem of the Day: Boulder Creek Golf Club in Streetsboro, Ohio

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These aren’t the traditional “top-100” golf courses in America, or the ultra-private golf clubs you can’t get onto. These are the hidden gems; they’re accessible to the public, they cost less than $50, but they’re unique, beautiful and fun to play in their own right. We recently asked our GolfWRX Members to help us find these “hidden gems.” We’re treating this as a bucket list of golf courses to play across the country, and the world. If you have a personal favorite hidden gem, submit it here! 

Today’s Hidden Gem of the Day was submitted by GolfWRX member JimGantz, who takes us to Boulder Creek Golf Club in Streetsboro, Ohio. Just 30 minutes from downtown Cleveland, Boulder Creek features over 100 feet of elevation changes, and when you look at the photos of the course, it’s easy to see why this track landed in our hidden gem thread. JimGantz gives us a concise description of the course, praising it for its nice blend of different hole types.

“Conditions are always top notch. Fluffy bunkers, thick-ish rough.  Staff are super friendly. Good mix of long and short holes which is something I like. I’m not a huge fan of playing a course where every par 3 is over 200yds. This track mixes it up.”

According to Boulder Creek Golf Club’s website, 18 holes with a cart from Monday-Thursday will set you back $40, while to play on the weekend costs $50. Seniors can play the course for as little as $25 during the week.

@BoulderCreekOH

@amgolferblog

@troymezz

Check out the full forum thread here, and submit your Hidden Gem.

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Hidden Gem of the Day: Oak Hollow Golf Club in High Point, North Carolina

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These aren’t the traditional “top-100” golf courses in America, or the ultra-private golf clubs you can’t get onto. These are the hidden gems; they’re accessible to the public, they cost less than $50, but they’re unique, beautiful and fun to play in their own right. We recently asked our GolfWRX Members to help us find these “hidden gems.” We’re treating this as a bucket list of golf courses to play across the country, and the world. If you have a personal favorite hidden gem, submit it here! 

Today’s Hidden Gem of the Day was posted by GolfWRX member thejuice, who submitted Oak Hollow Golf Club in High Point, North Carolina, as his hidden gem of a golf course. In his description, thejuice charts out what exactly he loves about the course, and why the Pete Dye designed track is now going to be his go-to-stop in North Carolina.

“It’s a Pete Dye design that has a lot of the unfair Dye slopes in the greens, with the normal Pete Dye risk/reward setup on several holes.  I played it with some cousins during my family reunion and thought it was fantastic.”

“We normally play Starmount Forest (I’m a ClubCorp member), Grandover, or Bryan Park (both have 36 holes, and both are fine facilities), but I think I want to make Oak Hollow my preferred course when I go to visit my NC fam.  For the price, it just can’t be beaten.  I think we paid $40 on a Saturday morning (8 am tee time) and it was definitely worth more than that with several holes on a large lake and excellent fairways and greens.”

Sounds good, right? Well according to Oak Hollow Golf Club’s website, that Saturday morning rate comes with a cart, and should you want to play during the week, an 18 hole round will set you back just $33. They have plenty of specials listed on their site too, but the one that stands out the most is the 18 hole weekday walking fee, which costs only $17.

@rcausey25

@TeamSC11

@HPCBison_Golf

Check out the full forum thread here, and submit your Hidden Gem.

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Hidden Gem of the Day: The Wilderness at Lake Jackson in Texas

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These aren’t the traditional “top-100” golf courses in America, or the ultra-private golf clubs you can’t get onto. These are the hidden gems; they’re accessible to the public, they cost less than $50, but they’re unique, beautiful and fun to play in their own right. We recently asked our GolfWRX Members to help us find these “hidden gems.” We’re treating this as a bucket list of golf courses to play across the country, and the world. If you have a personal favorite hidden gem, submit it here! 

Today’s Hidden Gem of the Day takes us to “The Lone Star State” and The Wilderness at Lake Jackson in Texas. The course was submitted by GolfWRX member pearsonified, who calls The Wilderness “the best value in Texas”. Pearsonified also believes that the course contains “perhaps the most memorable green sites” he’s ever seen as he went into full detail on why he believes The Wilderness is such a gem.

“This Jeff Brauer design is a RIDICULOUS sleeper with perhaps the most memorable green sites I’ve ever played. The par five 7th plays to a kidney-shaped green that’s nearly 70 yards long and features a few different plateaus. The long par three 16th—one of my favorite holes anywhere—is a classic Biarritz with a 5-foot-deep swale cutting right through the middle. Honorable mention goes to the short par four 11th which properly balances risk with reward and goads players to bite off as much as they can.”

According to The Wilderness at Lake Jackson’s website, a weekday round for a resident will cost $49, while for a non-resident the fee rises to $59. Although rising above the hidden gem “less than $50” rule, to play after 2 pm at the Wilderness will set you back just $44, and all of these rates include a cart fee.

@SilverStarGolf

@SilverStarGolf

@thewildernessgc

Check out the full forum thread here, and submit your Hidden Gem.

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