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Where to play golf near South Florida? We rank the best public courses

South Florida map golf

Call it South Florida or be more specific and call it southeastern Florida, one thing is for certain: The area stretching south along the coast from Port St. Lucie to Miami is packed with golf courses.

But which are the best? If you’re willing to drive a bit, there are several courses in this region that appear on the Golfweek’s Best rankings of top public-access layouts in Florida. All the courses listed below are within reasonable driving distance of cities such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Jupiter.

But it’s not as easy as pulling up our state-by-state rankings, which list Florida courses that might be a full day’s drive away from South Florida (which is not to be confused with southwest Florida, such as Naples, which is considered by most Floridians to be a distinct region).

None of this is to say there aren’t plenty of other worthy public-access courses to play around South Florida. There are. These are only the layouts ranked among the very best in the whole state that happen to be in South Florida.

There is one course worth mentioning that isn’t on the best-in-state list yet, but surely will be in years to come. Architects Gil Hanse and Jim Wagner recently renovated the former West Palm Beach Golf Course into the Park, complete with 18 holes and a short, lit  par-3 course. The main 18 didn’t open in time to appear on various Golfweek’s Best lists in 2023.

Included with this list is a general map of where to find all these courses. Each one on the list below is represented with a number on the map – keep scrolling to see the numbers.

Included with each course is its position in Florida on the Golfweek’s Best public-access list. For any course that appears on our other popular rankings lists, those positions are included as well.

A little background: The hundreds of members of our course-ratings panel continually evaluate courses and rate them on 10 criteria on a points basis of 1 through 10. They also file a single, overall rating on each course. Those overall ratings are averaged to produce all our Golfweek’s Best course rankings.

The courses on this list allow public access in some fashion, be it standard daily green fees, through a resort or by staying at an affiliated hotel. If there’s a will, there’s a tee time – no membership required.

(Google Earth/Golfweek)

Breakers Rees Jones Course

The Breakers’ Rees Jones Course in Florida (Courtesy of The Breakers)

Where: West Palm Beach
State ranking 2023: Tied…


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