If you haven’t experienced golf in Jacksonville, Florida, you’re missing out. Even though there are lots of other destinations for great golf that are more well known in Florida, Jacksonville shouldn’t be overlooked.
I’ve played a little golf here and so have a lot of our readers. It’s with their help that we’ve come up with a list of the best public courses you can play.
Dye’s Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass
Every year, the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course plays host to golf’s fifth major, the Players Championship. Millions of people tune during the tournament to watch as the drama unfolds on the last three holes. The island green 17th might be the most famous par three in golf.
What a lot of people don’t know though, is that there’s another great course on this property. Dye’s Valley Course is every bit as challenging and fun to play.
In typical Dye fashion, there are plenty of forced carries, mounds, and tiny pot bunkers. You have to be on your game to score well.
If it’s your first time playing this track, I recommend playing up a set of tees. You’ll have more fun, I promise.
A great track that’s often overlooked, don’t forget about Dye’s Valley Course.
Eagle Landing Golf Club
Eagle Landing is Clyde Johnston design that provides a private club experience at a public price.
No detail is overlooked here. From the time you check in to the time you leave, you’ll receive first-rate service, and playing conditions that are unrivaled.
The layout features classic design features like Redan and Eden greens that you don’t find much in modern architecture. Pay attention to hole locations or you might be left with some diabolical putts.
Lastly, six sets of tees make Eagle Landing playable for anyone. Yardages range from 5,100 to 7,000 yards.
A must play.
Eagle Harbor Golf Club
Eagle Harbor Golf Club is set among a mature pine forest on Fleming Island.
Another Clyde Johnston design, this course is kept in great shape too.
The Bermuda greens are some of the purest you’ll find anywhere. Putting can still be a challenge though as they’re multi-tiered.
From tee to green, you’ll encounter water on almost every hole. Even though the landing areas are generous, missing them is costly. Solid ball striking is a must.
For an exceptional target golf experience, look no further than Eagle Harbor.
St. Johns Golf and Country Club
Located in between St. Augustine and Jacksonville, St. Johns is yet another Clyde Johnston design you won’t want to miss out on.
Noted for exceptional condition and customer service, it’s easy to see why this track is a favorite for locals and visitors alike.
Again, this course is all about target golf. You’ll need your best stuff from tee to green if you’re going to play well.
Five sets of tees allow virtually everyone from pros to rank beginners to enjoy this course. Yardages range from 2,400 yards to more than 7,200.
You can count on consistent quality at St. Johns Golf and Country Club.
Amelia River Golf Club
Everyone agrees that Amelia River Golf Club is one of the best public facilities in the Jacksonville area.
Known as one of the better tests as well, this course is always in tremendous shape. The pin positions can be challenging so make sure to take careful note.
This Tom Jackson design isn’t the longest course in the world, but it demands sound course management.
Once you get to the greens, you can get hot with the putter. Even though they’re Bermuda, they don’t have nearly as much grain as the greens at other facilities.
A bit of a throwback but a treat to play.
The Golf Club at South Hampton
If there’s a player friendly course in the Jacksonville area, it’s the Golf Club at South Hampton.
This family-owned Mark McCumber design offers plenty of risk and reward for the better player. However, the fairways are wide and the course is forgiving for the rank beginner.
With that said, there are a number of large lakes and more than 60 bunkers that come into play. While you can build some confidence out here, you still have to hit shots.
A fun round for everyone, I wouldn’t think twice about making a tee time at the Golf Club of South Hampton.
Hidden Hills Golf Club
Hidden Hills Golf Club was designed by my all-time favorite, Arnold Palmer.
Unlike most courses in the Jacksonville area, you’ll actually encounter some elevation change here.
Even though Hidden Hills is less than 7,000 yards from the back tees, it’s a solid test from tee to green. The fairways are narrow, water comes into play, and the greens are well protected. The epitome of target golf, you’ll need to strike it well to score.
When you’re finished playing, stick around for a bite and a beer at the Hills Grill. The pours are generous and the food scrumptious.
Magnolia Point Golf and Country Club
At Magnolia Point, it’s all about golf. Well, there’s tennis also but we’re mainly concerned with chasing whitey.
A breath of fresh air in the Jacksonville area, you won’t find homes and swimming pools lining this course. Rather, mature oaks, magnolias, and pines frame the holes at Magnolia Point.
Another feature that sets this course apart is that no two fairways are parallel. This affords a setting that’s both tranquil and quiet.
Even though this course is in the middle of an urban area, you feel like you’re far removed.
Blue Sky Golf Club
Another Arnold Palmer design, don’t miss a chance to play Blue Sky Golf Club.
Located in the heart of Jacksonville, this track is unique in that it offers routings for three, six, nine, and 18 holes. Only have an hour to kill? The three-hole option sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
Blue Sky is well kept and offers a wide variety of tee options players of all abilities.
The practice facility is one of the most modern you’ll find anywhere too. Day or night, take advantage of Top Tracer Technology to dial in all your clubs.
Brentwood Golf Course
Brentwood golf course is said to be one of the best nine-hole courses in Florida.
This is a feel-good layout where everyone is welcome. If you’re a good player, you can make some birdies. If you’re new to the game however, and don’t feel like spending the whole day on the course, Brentwood is a friendly option where you won’t feel intimidated.
Friendly service, a relaxed atmosphere, and a great value make Brentwood a good option for anyone.
There’s no shortage of destinations for great golf in Florida. One of the most underrated is Jacksonville and the surrounding area. Not only are there plenty of courses to choose from, they’re almost all in great shape, and affordable.
I have fond memories of my time spent here and it’s apparent our readers do as well. I hope to make it back again soon.
Thanks to everyone that helped make this guide possible. If you have more to add, shoot us a note in the comments below.