Best Golfing in Miami and the Beaches

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By: Shayne Benowitz

Tour Miami's best golf courses

Miami is home to over 20 award-winning golf courses and a stop on the PGA Tour’s World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, drawing the top competitors in the sport to Miami’s fairways. From the abundant courses open to the public to greens set inside lavish resorts and country clubs, here’s a look at some of Miami’s best places to schedule a tee time during your visit.

Public Golf Courses

In the heart of Miami Beach, the Miami Beach Golf Club is a cornerstone of the community. The Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest-designed course consists of 18 holes with a par of 72. It’s also home to the Jim McLean Golf Academy, offering lessons and clinics throughout the year. The club’s restaurant, overlooking the greens is a popular spot for lunch in a relaxing setting.

Designed by Arthur Miller, the Normandy Shores Golf Club is a sister club to the Miami Beach Golf Club. It’s distinct for its abundant water hazards and rolling fairways set against Biscayne Bay in North Beach. It’s also home to the Jose Hernandez Golf School, open to all levels and ages. Set in a lovely residential neighborhood, Normandy Shores Golf Club’s restaurant The Grill is a popular dining spot for golfers and non-golfers alike.

Designed by Charles M. Mahannah, Jr., the 18-hole, par-71 International Links at Melreese Golf Course near the Miami International Airport has been around since 1960. The 135-acre course underwent a $3.9 million renovation in 1997 to include a 12-acre driving range and is home to the University of Miami’s women’s golf team, as well as Barry University and Johnson & Wales University’s men’s teams. The challenging course features five lakes, nine waste bunkers, a cypress wetland and 97 sand bunkers.

Located on beautiful Key Biscayne inside the sprawling Crandon Park, Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne was named one of Golfweek’s Top Public Golf Courses. This 18-hole, par-72 championship course was designed by Von Hagge. The course offers unique hazards, such as seven saltwater lakes, challenging sand traps and mangrove thickets with holes overlooking dazzling Biscayne Bay.

Luxurious Golf Resorts

In 2014, The Biltmore Golf Club’s 18-hole Donald Ross Golf Course underwent a $160,000 enhancement to its driving range, practice areas, hitting station and pro shop. Set in luscious Coral Gables, round out your golf game with a dip in the resort’s lavish pool or a tension-melting massage at the spa. From their Biltmore Golf Academy to Total Performance Golfing, PGA Pro instruction is available for beginners to advanced golfers.

Aventura’s Turnberry Isle Miami is home to two 18-hole Raymond Floyd redesigned golf courses. The Soffer and Miller courses were originally designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., and have been reimagined by Floyd to include contoured fairways, clever doglegs, challenging bunkers and strategically-placed water features. From lessons to clinics these rolling greens, named a Best Resort Course by Golfweek, have something for golfers of all ability levels.

Named for legendary Miami Dolphins Head Coach Don Shula, the Shula's Hotel and Golf Club is located in Miami Lakes. Originally designed by Bill Watts in 1962, The Senator Course at Shula’s Golf Club underwent a full renovation in 2013 and remains one of Miami’s most classic and tropically lush Championship Golf Courses. With 500 acres of greens, it’s a premiere golf resort that’s also home to Shula’s Steakhouse.

Playing host to the PGA Tour’s World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship every March, Trump National Doral is fresh off a $250 million renovation to its 800-acre property. Featuring four championship golf courses, The Red Tiger (named for Jackie Gleason who once frequented the course in the ‘60s) was unveiled in January 2015 featuring 120 acres of New England-style greens redesigned by Gil Hanse. The most iconic, however, is the challenging Blue Monster, which also underwent a redesign. Featuring deep bunkers, long fairways and challenging water hazards, the 18th hole was ranked amongst the Top 100 by Golf Magazine. Additionally, the resort features a driving range and the Jim McClean Golf School.

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