Lying on Florida’s Atlantic Coast is the popular city of Daytona Beach. It is located between Jacksonville in the north and the voguish hubs of Port St Lucie, Melbourne and Palm Bay in the south. The golf courses in Daytona Beach are not world-famous, but there are some great options.
The main attraction here is the Daytona International Speedway. It hosts the Daytona 500 NASCAR race which attracts tens of thousands of adrenaline fuelled spectators year-on-year.
The beaches are also a popular pull with tourists and locals coming to soak up the endless sun. There are literally miles upon miles of glorious Atlantic facing beaches . Coastal boardwalks are a busy hive in early afternoon with a great choice of bars, restaurants and small trendy shops.
Other attractions worth a visit are the Museum of Arts & Sciences, home to numerous vintage collections. Count also the impressive Ponce de Leon Lighthouse & Museum from which there are stunning panoramic coastal views.
The best golf courses in Daytona Beach Florida
Halifax Plantation Golf Club
Between Daytona Beach and Palm Coast further north, is Halifax Plantation Golf Club. It is a wonderful, albeit residential plot, buffered alongside one side by the vast Bulow Creek State Park.
As to be expected next to a delightful 5,500 acre State Park, the landscape here is serene. Ancient oaks, historic ruins, trails, submerged wetlands are all prevalent.
This native landscape unsurprisingly plays a major part in the character of the course. There are mature oaks and tall pines lining the rolling fairways, of which no two run alongside one another.
The course opened for play in 1993 and was designed by Bill Amick. Amick had a very busy career, designing just shy of 100 golf courses worldwide. And here at Halifax Plantation, he’s produced another great track.
The course is renowned for always being in fantastic condition. And alongside it healthy membership, this challenging layout is also open to the public.
Oceanside Country Club
This private member’s course is tucked up next to the Atlantic coastline across Halifax River from the mainland. No wonder it’s called Oceanside. Just one line of residential properties separates the course from the incoming Atlantic breezes.
Oceanside Country Club has been in this spot for over a century. The original course was designed by P.F. Seabloom way back in 1907.
Since then, the course has been renovated by the world renowned Bobby Weed. Weed started out with Pete Dye and his principles are focused around compelling layouts and courses which sustain the environment.
Here at Oceanside the scenery is breathtaking. The water hazards are not massive but seem to pop up everywhere. You can be assured that whichever hole you’re playing, water will be lurking somewhere nearby. Tall elegant palms are scattered around the course and provide some respite from the day’s heat.
The club operates a no tee time policy, a tradition since its inception.
Hidden Lakes Golf Club
Super popular with the locals is Hidden Lakes Golf Club. It’s a twenty minute drive down the coast past New Smyrna Beach Municipal Airport and it hugs the Turnbull Creek.
The course is surrounded by beautiful scenery. There are spectacular views of the estuary and a particular feature are the mature stately oaks covered in Spanish moss. Hidden away amongst this scenery is an abundance of wildlife which calls the site home. There are amongst others, American eagles and osprey which hide amongst the large pines.
The course is a par 69, with three par 5s, nine par 4s and six par 3s. Water comes into play on a number of holes but apart from that, the main quandary is club selection.
The course is maintained in great condition and the main feedback here is just how fun it is to play. This is a really good public golf course in Daytona Beach.
Riviera Country Club
Riviera Country Club is one of the closest golf courses to downtown Daytona Beach. It was also named by Golf Digest as one of the ‘Best Places to Play’ 2008-2009.
What started as a 9 hole course in the 1930s, was then expanded into an 18 hole course in the 1950s. The golf course architect Mark Mahana playing a significant role in the development.
Over the following years Riviera Country Club was touched up on numerous occasions with various architects leaving their mark on the course.
The parkland course features wide bending fairways with well conditioned greens. To add to the challenge, nearly every green is protected by bunkers. Alongside this there are a handful of water hazards also in play.
But generally if you are hitting the fairways here, you should score well. This is a friendly course open to the public.
Since 1994, LPGA International has been the home course of the LPGA Tour. Based on the fantastic conditions here, you can understand why.
Over the years it has been the host to numerous LPGA Tour Championships. It was also for many years the final stage of the LPGA Tour Qualifying School.
There are 36 holes onsite with the Hills Course, aptly named after Arthur Hills, the course’s architect. The second course is the Jones Course, again named after its maker Rees Jones. These two famous architects, responsible for well over 400 courses worldwide, have created two superb courses apt for the best golfers on tour.
The Hills signature course winds its way through natural wetlands and narrow pine corridors, with water coming into play regularly. A par-72, the course is just shy of 7,000 yards from the back tees. The Jones course masterfully contrasts the Hills course, being more of a traditional inland links style layout. This one stretches to just shy of 7,100 yards from the championship tee boxes.
In 2010, Golf Digest ranked the Jones course as the 6th highest course in their ‘America’s Top 50 Courses for Women’. As much respect as I have for Golf Digest, I feel this ‘award’ is nothing short of offensive and condescending. It doesn’t matter what your sex, this is a fantastic course and club.
I would highly recommend visiting here and it is without doubt one of the best golf courses in Daytona Beach.
Plantation Bay Golf & Country Club
As with many of the finest golf courses around the States, Plantation Bay is located within a private gated community. It is a good 25 minute drive north of Daytona Beach. Like many of these golf course communities, the condition within is top class and manicured to perfection.
The community sits within 3,600 acres of which just over half of it has been developed. This means you are surrounded by miles upon miles of pristine natural beauty and wildlife.
There are 45 holes of golf here. The Club de Bonmont and Prestwick courses are two outstanding 18-hole championship layouts. There is also the 9-hole Westlake course, perfect for beginners or just to fine-tune aspects of your game.
Club de Bonmont is truly superb. It was designed by the reputable Steve Smyers and is regularly recognised as one of the best golf courses in Daytona Beach. Sweeping fairways wind through moss-covered oaks and around large natural lakes. The bunkers are contoured to perfection and the greens are large but not always flat.
Prestwick was designed by the late Lloyd Clifton and takes a more wooded route. It winds through 150 acres of pine forests whilst water comes into play on numerous occasions. But this layout has more of an emphasis on hitting it straight off the tee to avoid pinball hell in the trees.
Pelican Bay Golf Course
Pelican Bay golf course is literally minutes from downtown Daytona Beach. It is also one of the more popular public golf courses in the area.
Designed by Bill Amick, the 18 hole championship course has in the past hosted a Seniors PGA Tour event. The likes of Arnold Palmer have graced the fairways in years gone by.
Indeed it was here in 1984 that Orville Moody chipped in during a sudden death play-off to defeat Arnold Palmer.
The layout is impressive with long fairways and elevated greens. Winding through loblolly pines, white cedars and bayberry trees, this course is well worth the detour.
Cypress Head Golf Course
The course at Cypress Head is just off the Interstate 95, close to the wild beauty of the Spruce Creek Reserve. This is one of the more popular municipal golf courses in the Daytona Beach area and close to the city of Port Orange.
The course opened for play in 1992 and was designed by Arthur Hills and Mike Dasher. The two architects are responsible for many golf course layouts in Florida and the States.
In 2015 Mike Dasher was again commissioned to update the layout, improving areas that had suffered a little over the years.
This is a fun place to play and if you’re hitting it well, you’ll score well. The fairways are wide and generous, whilst the greens are beautifully framed but not impossible to attack. There are subtle undulations throughout and the holes are well framed.
Fun to play and pleasing on the eye.
The Preserve at Turnbull Bay
This is a scenic spot for a golf course, running through the nature preserve of Spruce Creek and with the protected Outstanding Florida Water of Turnbull Bay running alongside the site. Playing here at the Preserve at Turnbull Bay is truly memorable.
This member’s course is also open to the public to come and enjoy and this is definitely one of the better public golf courses near Daytona Beach. From the back tees the course stretches to 6,600 yards and the ever-present challenge is avoiding water, which comes into play in some way, shape or form on every single hole.
The water and tree-lined fairways are all lush Bermuda grass whilst the greens are Seashore Paspalum ensuring a consistent year-round quality condition.
Sugar Mill Country Club
Hidden away in New Smyrna Beach nestled on the south edge of the Spruce Creek nature preserve, is Sugar Mill Country Club, around a 30 minute drive from central Daytona Beach.
A private member’s course located on a premier country club, Sugar Mill is another glorious destination, where the condition of the course and the surrounding areas is top class. Aside from the nature preserve which it buffers on all sides, there are meandering waterways and exquisite lakes.
There are 27 holes of golf on site designed by Joe Lee, not the most recognised golf course architect but one who has had an influence on hundreds of golf courses throughout his career.
Fairways are immaculate and relatively forgiving. The bunkers are small but strategically placed either cutting off drives or protecting beautifully crafted greens. This is a fantastic golf course.
Daytona Beach Golf Club
And so to the last course on our list, Daytona Beach Golf Club. This is the one most central to Daytona Beach, literally a stone’s throw from Halifax River and a course which probably sees the most traffic on the list.
I’m not going to try and kid you ,this is not the greatest course on the list by any stretch, but it’s worthy of a mention because of how central it is and what great value it is to visiting golfers.
There are 36-holes onsite which means despite the traffic here they can manage the flow well. The South course was designed by Donald Ross. Open fairways lead onto narrow well protected greens.
The North course, arguably the better of the two, goes way back to 1946 and was built and designed by Slim Deathridge. It was renovated in 1997 with all the greens, bunkers and tee boxes being redone. Like the South course, the fairways run through dense Florida pines and oaks. Water comes into play primarily on the South course making this the more challenging of the two.
If you’re looking for good value, decent golf and convenience, then Daytona Beach golf club is a great option.
What is the best golf course in Daytona Beach?
The best golf course in Daytona Beach is the Hills course at LPGA International Club. The course was designed by Arthur Hills and is one of two 18-hole courses onsite.