This is the place where pro golfers live and amateurs come to play; North Palm Beach and Jupiter have a golf utopia with more holes than a colander.
By Michael Persson
It might be the 234 days of sunshine a year, or perhaps it’s the average 73-degree temperature cooled by a prevailing breeze that has drawn greens lovers to the Jupiter/North Palm Beach area. With more than 60 PGA golf pros who live in Palm Beach County and more than 33 golf courses that dot the 20-mile green stretch from McArthur Golf Club near Jupiter Island to National PGA south in Palm Beach Gardens, it isn’t an understatement to call this Atlantic-hugging coastal retreat a golfer’s Utopia, as well as the home to some of the top golf resorts in America.
Hob Knobbing With Pros
The chances of spotting Rory McIlroy or Ernie Els hoisting beers after a day of crushing tee shots is all but guaranteed here. The Yard House in Palm Beach Gardens (Els’s watering hole of choice) or the Square Grouper Tiki Bar (aka Tiger’s bar) in Jupiter are where pros relax when not “playing” a 19th hole at their membership courses. And don’t miss Square Grouper’s ode to John Daly with his namesake drink, a frozen blend of sweet tea vodka and lemonade…because Daly sure has and he didn’t stop at one either.
High-Tech Hitting Coach
The country’s best golf lessons are at the new Jim McLean Golf School at Trump National Golf Club (it opened in 2013). It has the latest technology on hand, like the $25,000 TrackMan Launch Monitors that measure your ball flight and tell you how that club is failing you. There’s also proprietary video analysis, a SAMPuttlab combined with indoor and outdoor training facilities for its private lessons and clinics. Oh, and don’t forget the nationally ranked instructors, who mold, shape, and put all the technical data of your swing into context so you’ll stop bogeying that last hole.
While Jupiter does have golf courses coming out of its ears, the majority are private clubs. Showing up, hoping to play the likes of The Dye Preserve or the Loxahatchee Club will be pointless. So the best bet is to grab a round at the Lost Lake Golf Club at Hobe Sound – one of the best managed and maintained public courses in southern Florida. Designed in 1993 by renowned golf course architects Jim and Tom Fazio II, the course adds up to 6,850 yards complemented by the longest tees for a par 72 course, with the hardest hole being the fifth, a par 5, 535-yard dogleg left with lots of water right of the green.
Putt for Dough; Party for Show
If you’re looking for an excuse to visit, the annual PGA Honda Classic in February at the PGA National Resort & Spa in West Palm Beach puts the all-day, all-night perspective on golf mania. This hometown event for those pros who reside in the zip code is a fiesta with kick-off parties at the Gardens Mall, an After Play Concert Series on each night starting as soon as that last putt hits the bottom of the cup (around 6 p.m.) and which last year featured jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis, as well as fireworks on Friday and Saturday nights lighting up the sky following the music. And with eight hospitality centers dotted about the course, serious spectating can get underway at the Gosling’s Rum, Dark ‘n’ Stormy tent, where great views of the green go hand in hand with that same libation.
If you’ve had your fill of the immaculate baize of greens and fairways, change it up at Jupiter’s only oceanside restaurant. Sinclairs Ocean Grill will have you gazing out over the ocean while the flavors of grilled grouper or mahimahi tempt the palate and complement the wine. This is South Florida living.
Where to Stay Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa