Updated February 2024 to update booking information.
South Florida is known for lots of things. From fun, to food, sun, to golf, there’s something for everyone in this tropical paradise.
I’ve spent a little time at the southern end of the Sunshine state and even played a little golf. Certainly not enough to call myself an authority though. That’s why I reached out to you guys once again. I know there’s a ton of great golf to be played in this part of the world, but I wanted to find out more.
As usual, our readers gave us plenty of input and I’ve compiled our collective thoughts about the ten best public golf courses in Southern Florida below.
Osprey Point Golf Course
One of Boca Raton’s finest public tracks is Osprey Point.
Open since 2010, the 27-hole facility is always in great shape. Paspalum fairways and greens lack the grain of traditional Bermuda and are like playing on carpet.
Even though the course is somewhat flat, gentle undulations on and around the greens force you to play a variety of different short game shots.
As you’d expect with a South Florida course, there’s plenty of water so make sure you steer things in the right direction.
A wonderful collection of three nines and local’s favorite, it sounds like Osprey Point is the place to be.
Southwinds Golf Course
Another Boca Raton favorite is Southwinds Golf Course.
With water coming into play on nearly every hole, you’ll need to both think and execute from tee to green around this track.
The course isn’t overly long, however. Measuring just over 6,000 yards, you don’t need driver on every hole.
Even though this course sits in a metropolitan area, locals boast about the diversity of wildlife you’re likely to encounter during your round. Canadian geese, foxes, and otters are just a few of the critters you’ll likely come across.
A great value, and a memorable round golf, don’t pass up a chance to play Southwinds.
Park Ridge Golf Course
Owned and operated by the city of Lake Worth, Park Ridge is an exceptional public track.
Unlike most other courses in South Florida, Park Ridge features numerous elevation changes that keep the round exciting and make club selection key.
Another unique feature of this course is that it features six par threes, fours, and fives. Truly an experience unlike any other, you’ll never be bored out here.
You’d best keep it in the fairway, however. Native shrubbery and plenty of water are home to all sorts of toothy critters that make sure lost golf balls stay lost.
A great value and a flat-out fun round of golf.
The Club at Emerald Hills
The Club at Emerald Hills was rated “#1 in South Florida” by the USGA. From what our readers say, it’s more than deserving of such high praise.
Located less than a mile from the Fort Lauderdale airport, this track is the perfect spot for a first round in town or the last one before you head home.
Designed by Bruce Devlin and Robert Von Hagge, Emerald Hills opened in 1969. This old-style, classic design has played host to numerous prestigious events through the years and continues to be a favorite to this day.
Narrow fairways and undulating greens mean you’ll have to be precise if you want to score well.
Always in great shape and conveniently located, there’s no excuse not to play Emerald Hills.
Providence Golf Club
Designed by Mike Dasher, Providence Golf Club has some of the truest greens in South-Central Florida.
The layout meanders through natural wetlands, hardwood forests, and freshwater creeks. Golfers describe a round out here as soothing and challenging all at once.
Providence’s location makes it ideal as well. The course is just 30 minutes from Orlando, 15 minutes from Disney World, 20 minutes from Kissimmee, and 45 minutes from Tampa.
The staff of PGA Professionals at Providence combine for more than 50 years of instructional experience so look no further for a quality lesson.
Southern Hills Plantation Club
If you want the experience of being a member at a private club for a day, don’t miss out on Southern Hills Plantation Club.
This venerable Pete Dye design is home to a vibrant membership, but the public is welcomed with open arms.
Built into the natural landscape, this layout features daunting hazards that come into play on most holes. Managing your game from tee to green is a must.
Southern hospitality reigns supreme here and it’s evident from the moment you pull in. The clubhouse and amenities are to die for, and the service is attentive and welcoming.
One of South Florida’s premier properties, Southern Hills is a round of golf you won’t soon forget.
Lake Worth Beach Golf Club
When I asked our readers what their favorite muni was in South Florida, the resounding majority said Lake Worth Beach Golf Club.
Established in 1926, Lake Worth Beach continues to occupy a spot as a South Florida staple almost 100 years later.
Breathtaking views of the coast and mature Banyan trees frame this iconic layout. Don’t get too lost in the views though. Keeping the ball in play is a must.
With that being said, this is a great place to play if you’re looking to feel good about your game. This track doesn’t pretend to be the toughest test around and that’s fine.
Even though the course gets a lot of play, it’s always in superb condition.
A fun round of golf at an excellent price.
Okeeheelee Golf Course
Located in the city of West Palm Beach, Okeeheelee Golf Course offers 27 holes of public golf in a serene park setting.
Water and wildlife abound out here but don’t get too distracted. The course is a solid test from the back tees. However, it’s playable for everyone as five sets of tees vary greatly in length.
None of the nines are overly long but, there’s a premium on accuracy.
A great value and the ability to play three different courses make this property a quality choice.
Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course
If you’ve read enough of our reviews, you know that I’m a sucker for a good short course. That’s exactly what you’ll find at Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course.
Set right on the coast with sparkling views of the ocean, this track isn’t just your typical rundown executive track. Far from it.
Shady palm trees, perfect Paspalum turf, and white sand bunkers adorn this layout which will test your iron game all the way around.
With holes measuring from 80 to over 200 yards, you’ll hit every club in your bag. Even though it’s short, the locals tell me even par is a heck of a score.
Fun, relaxed, and views that go for days are sure to make this round an enjoyable one.
Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne
One of the best kept secrets in Miami-Dade County is Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne.
Located just 10 minutes from downtown Miami, the course lets you exchange the hustle and bustle of the city for a day spent on a secluded island of tropical paradise.
Considered one of the toughest tracks in all South Florida, you’d best wear your big boy pants for a round out here. The course is long and there’s plenty of trouble.
Locals tell me you come here for the experience and enjoyment. If you happen to play well, all the better.
My interest is certainly piqued, and I’ll be sure to bring an extra sleeve of balls.
Based on the feedback I received from you all, and some of my own research, there’s no shortage of outstanding golf courses in Southern Florida.
It’s been a while since I’ve ventured to this great part of the country but mark my words, I’ll be back soon – with my clubs of course.
As always, a heartfelt thanks to all of our readers that contributed to this article. I couldn’t do it without you.