Putt Around the Golf Coast - Guide to Greater Tampa Bay
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Putt Around the Golf Coast

Putt Around the Golf Coast

For many, the game of golf extends far beyond being a pastime or a sport and rather is a way of life. In this respect, Greater Tampa Bay can be called not only the Gulf Coast, but the Golf Coast.  

A paradise to the avid golfer, GTB hosts more than 20 courses, with 60 more within a 20-mile radius. A sunny day, a sea breeze and a set of clubs are all that is necessary to enjoy any one of the area’s courses. Hit the links — they are only a swing away. 

“Life is better when you’re golfing.”

— Golfing legend Arnold Palmer 

GTB is home to some world-renowned courses, many of which are regular fixtures of the PGA Tour. Countless golfing legends and up-and-coming rookies alike have teed off at some of the area’s famous links. 

The PGA Tour’s Valspar Championship, held at the famous Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, has hosted famous pros like Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh. Innisbrook boasts four incredible courses, including The Copperhead, the North Course — sometimes called the baby Copperhead — as well as the challenging South Course and the picturesque Island Course.  

TPC Tampa Bay is one of the premier courses in the area, hosting the PGA Tour Champions event for over two decades. The Lutz-based, 71-par course has received multiple awards and garnered numerous accolades, often being included on best-of lists. Open to the pros and the public alike, courses like TPC Tampa Bay contribute to the area’s reputation as a golfing hub. 

The Claw at the University of South Florida offers home course comfort, with five sets of tees for players of all skill levels. Other Tampa-based locations include the Saddlebrook Resort, the TPC Tampa Bay course, Emerald Greens, Countryway Golf Club and Heritage Isles Golf and Country Club. 

Popular spots near the Westchase area include The Eagles Golf Club and the Westchase Golf Club. The former boasts two 18-hole forest and lake courses, while the latter is listed as a National Golf Foundation top 10 course. The Club at Cheval in Lutz features long and beautiful greens, while the Rocky Point Golf Course is a 100-year-old public course featuring wildlife and bird sanctuaries.  

In St. Petersburg, be sure to check out the Mangrove Bay and Cypress Links Golf Courses. Featuring both nine- and 18-hole courses, Mangrove Bay sits close to the water, capturing the true essence of a relaxing day on a Florida green. The Vinoy Golf Club features a tough 18 holes on a course designed by celebrated architect Ron Garl. 

Clearwater is home to the Cove Cay Golf Club, a USGA rated course that lines the shore of Old Tampa Bay. Countryside Country Club has three nine-hole courses designed by world-famous professional golfer Gary Player and offers championship-level holes spread across the unbeatable vistas of Clearwater. Further up route 19 is the Dunedin Golf Club, a nearly century-old public course that also served as the former home of the PGA of America. 

See Also

 “Golf is 20% talent and 80% management.”

— Two-time Masters winner and World Golf Hall of Fame golfer Ben Hogan 

The Tarpon Springs Golf Club, developed back at the turn of the century, is the history of Florida golf in a course. As a participating member of the Florida Historic Golf Trail, the Tarpon Springs Golf Club was one of the earliest in the state, standing today as a beacon of the rich history of the game. 

Professionals are not the only ones who can enjoy golf — in fact, it does not take much skill at all to have fun with it. Whether still learning the game or having spent a lifetime devoted to it, any golfer is right at home here. 

NBC GolfPass’s Top Rated Courses in GTB: 

  1. The Groves Golf and Country Club — Land O’ Lakes 
  1. Cypress Links at Mangrove Bay — St. Petersburg 
  1. South at Bay Palms Golf Complex — MacDill AFB (military course) 
  1. Westchase Golf Club — Tampa 
  1. The Club Renaissance — Sun City Center 

By Ryan Walsh.

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