Best Public Golf Courses in Tampa
When you think of Florida golf, the Tampa-St. Petersburg area on the Gulf Coast may not be the first area that comes to mind. But the best public golf courses in Tampa have become one of the best scenes for golf; it offers affordable options, and it features a wide range of golf courses right near some of the best beaches and surfside communities in the United States.
Among the most popular golf destinations in the Tampa area is Innisbrook Resort, which has four golf courses, including the Copperhead Course – long-regarded as one of the PGA Tour players’ favorite layouts. All of the Innisbrook golf courses were designed by Larry Packard, who lived at this resort community for 40 years before passing away in 2015 at the age of 101.
A little farther north of Tampa in Brooksville you’ll find all sorts of great golf, and most of it is very affordable. One of the best values in America is World Woods Golf Club, a 36-hole facility that boasts not one, but two championship Tom Fazio layouts ranked in the top 100 golf courses open to the public. Adding to the draw are features including a marvelous practice center with a large putting green, short game areas and a short course. Nearby courses and clubs such as the Pete Dye-designed Southern Hills Plantation, the 27-hole Lake Jovita Golf Club amake this unsung little area perfect for a buddies golf trip.
Closer to Tampa, though, there are more terrific golf courses and semi-private country clubs. Just south of downtown Tampa, the Chip Powell-designed Club Renaissance (pictured above) is the crown jewel of golf courses at Sun City Center. It’s technically private, but does allow some public play, often at a bargain. Or, you could head across the bay to the Renaissance Vinoy Resort, which has a historic luxury hotel to go along with its pristine 6,600 yard golf course. And, if you’re looking for a tournament players experience, Tampa has you covered there as well with the TPC Tampa Bay Golf Course. Designed by Bobby Weed and Chi Chi Rodriguez, this par-71 course is routed around natural wetlands, cypress heads and numerous ponds and lagoons, making it one of the best public golf courses in Tampa.
Other Tampa Bay tee times golfers should consider are available at the 36-hole Saddlebrook Golf Resort, which is also an academy and tennis club for juniors. And Northdale, Pebble Creek Golf Club, Countryway Country Club and Westchase Golf Club are other favorite fairways to consider when looking at the best public golf courses in Tampa.
When you’re not playing golf, though, you’ll want to check out what are arguably some of the best beaches in America. St. Petersburg, Sarasota and Clearwater all have beaches with the whitest sand and bluest warm waters imaginable. You can surf, fish or simply relax around the warm Gulf waters year-round.