Updated February 2024 to update booking information.
Ask anyone that’s serious about the game of golf, and they’ll tell you Florida is the land of plenty when it comes to courses. No matter what part of the state you find yourself in, you won’t be far away from a golf course.
Having spent quite a bit of time in Florida and played a lot of golf, I’d like to think I have a decent idea of where to find the best tracks. Every time I go back however, I’m sorely reminded that I’m in no way an expert. A guy could play a different course in Florida every day for a year and still not hit all the good spots.
So, when our readers in Boca Raton wanted a guide highlighting the area’s best public courses, I was more than happy to accommodate the request.
Let’s get started.
Osprey Point Golf Course
One thing that’s consistent about golf courses in this part of the world is water. Lots of water.
That’s certainly the case at Osprey Point. Water comes into play on the majority of holes. We don’t recommend venturing into the hazards to hunt for your balls either, they’re home to alligators that don’t take too kindly to golfers.
The course itself is flat and right in front of you. That doesn’t mean it’s boring though. Holes vary in length and provide both stern tests and chances to score. Playing the par fives well is key to shooting a good score.
Even better, you can play 27 holes at this facility. If you have the time, we recommend you do.
The conditions are second to none too. The fairways are Platinum Paspalum. If you’ve never played off this turf, it’s like playing off carpet.
Lots of golf and wonderful conditions await at Osprey Point.
The Bridges at Springtree Golf Club
Locals call the Bridges at Springtree a hidden gem in the community of Sunrise. While this course is a local’s favorite, it’s been relatively undiscovered by outsiders.
This is a short course too. You guys know I’m a firm believer that these courses are just as good as a lot of regulation courses. Case in point here.
The Bridges at Springtree was designed by 10-time PGA Tour winner Mark McCumber and is always in top-notch condition.
Driver isn’t going to get you much out here, although the one par five is reachable in two with a solid tee shot. Instead, solid iron and wedge play will leave you with birdie chances.
The clubhouse is of note here as well. It encompasses more than 7,000 square feet and has every amenity imaginable.
For a first-rate experience at a price that won’t break the bank, it’s hard to beat the Bridges at Springtree.
Atlantic National Golf Club
Atlantic National was designed by Joe Lee. It’s considered one of the finest daily fee facilities in the area.
This track will test you from tee to green. The fairways are narrow, and water is a factor on most holes. Your approach shots need to be precise too. Plenty of bunkers guard the greens.
What golfers especially appreciate about Atlantic National is its excellent condition. Both the fairways and greens are Championship Bermuda. Unlike a lot of Bermuda greens in Florida, there isn’t much grain here. That means putts roll a consistent speed in every direction.
The clubhouse is an experience unto itself as well. As locals like to say, it’s built for comfort, not for speed. The food is superb and the drinks flow. Ten flatscreen televisions also make for the perfect viewing atmosphere for any sporting event.
Park Ridge Golf Course
If you’re in the Boca area and want something a little different from the norm, check out Park Ridge Golf Course.
While most courses in the area are flat, elevation comes into play here. Another unique feature is that this track has six par threes, fours, and fives. This keeps the round interesting from the first tee to the 18th green, and provides plenty of chances for risk and reward shots.
Park Ridge is also one of the more affordable options in the Boca Raton area. On the weekend, you can play for $35 including cart.
This sounds like the place to be to me.
Palm Beach National Golf and Country Club
I recently had the chance to play Palm Beach National and I’ll be the first to say that the folks here make golf fun.
They understand that golf reaches a wider demographic than the blue hair, pleated pants crowd that’s been the sport’s hallmark for so long. If that’s your cup of tea, there are plenty of other spots to choose from.
The dress code here is relaxed. I’m all for that. And they’re the first course I’ve ever seen to implement a BYOM program. Bring Your Own Music. All you need is your smartphone and favorite playlist. Just connect to one of the many Bluetooth speakers and jam on! The choice for me was the Eagles Greatest Hits album.
If you happen to play here in the summer when it’s sweltering, the staff will deliver complimentary popsicles while you’re out playing. How COOL is that?
The layout is a good one too. Holes are right in front of you, but the wide variety keeps things interesting.
I can’t say enough good things about this place, and I highly recommend it if FUN is your top priority.
Southwinds Golf Course
Southwinds Golf Course is one of the more underrated facilities in Boca Raton. While it might not have all the bells and whistles of some of the higher-end properties in the area, it’s a track worthy of a round.
Even though this course is in the middle of a metropolitan area, it borders an expansive nature reserve. As such, your chances of having a wildlife encounter are quite good. Don’t be surprised if you come across Canada geese, foxes, iguanas, or whitetail deer.
The staff here prides itself on environmental stewardship. The course has received the certification of an Audubon International Cooperative Sanctuary.
A great place to experience a quiet, peaceful round of golf, and a great value.
The Club at Emerald Hills
I’ve spent some time in Hollywood. And no, I didn’t run into Paris Hilton or anyone with the last name of Kardashian. I’m talking about Hollywood, Florida.
That’s where you’ll find the club at Emerald Hills.
This is big boy track. It measures north of 7,800 yards from the tips – no, that’s not a typo.
The good news is that there’s a set of tees suitable for every golfer.
Even though Emerald Hills dates clear back to 1969, it has the feel of a modern design. Substantial water hazards can be found throughout, and the green complexes are equally as impressive.
While this course might sound intimidating, the landing areas are large, and you can run the ball into most greens.
If you need further evidence that this is a quality round of golf, just consider the fact that Emerald Hills has hosted major events like USGA, Doral, and Honda Classic qualifiers.
Woodmont Country Club
Woodmont Country Club is the premier track in the community of Tamarac.
This 27-hole facility is one of the most sought-after experiences in the area with perfectly manicured holes. While the course conditions are flawless, there’s plenty of trouble to be found in the form of water and bunkers. Placing the ball in the proper spot is vital.
Aside from golf, there’s a ton more to do here. Sit by the pool and soak up the sun while enjoying a cocktail. Take full advantage of the numerous dining options. Or keep an eye on the calendar for the various social events that take place every month.
If a total experience is what you’re after, Woodmont is it.
Winston Trails Golf Club
Joe Lee designed a lot of courses in and around Boca Raton. Winston Trails is arguably one of his best.
Even though this club is proud of its private membership, it welcomes the public with open arms. When you show up to play here, you’ll be treated just like a member.
From the back tees, this track measures more than 7,000 yards. It demands your very best from tee to green.
If you’re looking for a place just to practice, do it here. The driving range has plenty of room and targets for everyone. A world-class short game area stretches out to 70 yards allowing you to dial in those wedges.
Winston Trails has it all and then some. A definite must play.
Oriole Golf Club
One of the older courses in the Boca area is Oriole Golf Club. It opened for play in 1971.
This is a semi-private facility that sets aside desirable tee times for the public seven days a week.
Unlike other courses in this part of the world, the fairways are generous here. If you’re driving it well, you’ll have some short shots into greens.
Oriole is a local’s favorite, and they like to play for a couple bucks. You can get in on the action too. Every day of the week, there’s a “throw-in” game where you pay a small fee (in addition to green fees) and peg it against whoever else shows up in a net stableford format. Sounds like fun to me!
Everyone’s welcome at Oriole Golf Club, and that includes you!
Boca Raton is a golfer’s paradise. There’s no denying that. While there are certainly plenty of high-end private clubs that cost an arm and a leg to join, there’s more than enough affordable public options too. I’ve played a few of them and can’t wait to get back for more.
Our Boca readers are fanatical about their golf and were all too eager to share their secrets about the area’s best public tracks. Thank you all.
I’m sure I’ve left some facilities off this list that deserve to be on it. If so, would you do us all a favor and let us know in the comments below?