Palm Beach is home to sun-soaked beaches, great restaurants, stunning five-star resorts and—most importantly—over 150 unique golf courses. The continually gorgeous weather and diverse course selection makes Palm Beach a year-round golfer’s paradise, and an ideal destination for a Christmas Vacation. Golfer’s of all skill-levels are represented here, so every kind of links-enthusiast will find an array of choices. And if you’d like to bring your A-game to that course, take some inspiration from Rory McIlroy’s workout routine. But with so many options, it can be tough to decide on which courses, specifically, are the most impressive, and the most worth your time. This is where we come in. What follows are the top five golf courses in Palm Beach that you must play on your Christmas Vacation:
The Breakers Ocean Course | 1 South Country Rd.
As the oldest 18-hole golf course in all of Florida, The Breakers Ocean Course is a tried and true classic in every sense of the word. Redesigned in 2000 by famed architect Brian Silva, the classic elements of the original design were mixed with some contemporary features to update the course while still honoring its rich past. As one may expect by its name, the course is situated right on the Atlantic Ocean, with stunning views and an incredibly refreshing breeze wafting in off the water. It is one of the most impressive courses around from an aesthetic standpoint—the whole expanse is beautiful, and the course itself is challenging, impeccably designed and very well laid out.
The Champion- PGA National | 400 Avenue of the Champions
PGA National is one of the most well-known golf resorts on the planet. It is home to five courses, but the most impressive, and one of the most well-known courses in the state, is The Champion. The Champion was redesigned by Jack Nicklaus and is the course of the Honda Classic PGA Tour event. It’s a vibrant and challenging course that seasoned golfers searching for a true test will adore. Karen Crouse of the New York Times called it, “7140 yards of venom, a king cobra of a course that rises without warning to strike down the world’s best golfers.” This is not a course for beginners, although they do have five tee positions so being a great golfer is not exactly a pre-requisite—but nonetheless, it is advised. The course itself is remarkably well-designed and maintained as every inch of the 7000+ yards is in pristine condition.
West Palm Beach Golf Course | 7001 Parker Avenue
Another well very known and respected destination, West Palm Beach Golf Course has been one of the top courses in the Florida for over 60 years. The layout is decidedly different from other courses in the area as it is waterless and boasts a unique layout with remarkable landscape work and brilliant expanses of rolling hills. The course is difficult but accessible for most skill-levels due to its varied tee locations. Through and through it’s a distinct course with an abundance of character.
The aforementioned Jack Nicklaus is widely regarded as one of the greatest golfers to ever swing a club—and many would argue he is the greatest. The signature course he designed at North Palm Beach Country club is only the second signature Nicklaus course in the US. It’s a links-style course that coalesces wonderfully with the natural surroundings—the entire flow of the course is a thing of beauty. With large, lush fairways, expansive vistas, immaculate greens and the bordering Intracoastal Waterway, every element of this course is top notch.
Abacoa | 105 Barbados Drive
Opened in 1999 and designed by well-known course architect Joe Lee, Abacoa is a great course for all skill-levels. It’s challenging, but not overtly, so, which places it right in the sweet spot for newbies and scratch golfer’s alike. And the course itself is stunning, with long sprawling fairways, pristine lakes, lush greens and vibrant vegetation scattered throughout. The greens use TifEagle grass, which is one of the best around and it shows in the consistent quality throughout the 18 holes. Overall, a great atmosphere and a great course.
Christmas in Palm Beach is a sun-infused affair—it’s beautiful. The golf is world-class, the beaches are serene, the food is great and the resorts are luxurious. But they do fill up fast. If you’d love to enjoy the beauty of Palm Beach whenever you so desire, beat the crowds to one of the stunning new condos set to arise in area: The Bristol. A permanent residence means no more hassle booking a room—you can enjoy some of the best golf in the world whenever you choose.
Note: This is a guest post by Candace Schaffer; the views and opinions expressed are those of the author.