An introduction to Hobe Sound
Throughout this blog, we’ve explored the best golf courses in plenty of cities throughout Florida. Yet Hobe Sound is arguably one of the least well known and isn’t even a city. It’s technically just an unincorporated area. But as you’ll see, the golf courses in Hobe Sound can match any of these cities.
Hobe Sound is located between Port St Lucie to the north and Jupiter to the south. This is a rich and beautiful coastline, albeit a mere 15 miles stretch or so.
Yet within these 15 miles, are a multitude of stunning beaches. Most of these are located in Jonathan Dickinson State Park, an 11,500 acre haven for wildlife. It is here you might be able to touch turtle eggs by visiting the Hobe Sound Nature Center.
Jupiter Island is the other popular location, a paradise barrier island that runs alongside the Atlantic and is again littered with popular beaches.
Within Hobe Sound itself, it is relatively modest. There are a handful of quality restaurants, with the local’s favorite being breakfast dining at Harry and the Natives.
For a bit of fun, why not check out the numerous murals which are dotted throughout the town. The project is spearheaded by a local artist with the view to ‘paint the town’, with at the time of writing there being 25 of these with more planned.
But it is the golf where Hobe Sound impresses. Let’s dive into the best golf courses in Hobe Sound.
The best golf courses in Hobe Sound
1. McArthur Golf Club
To kick off our list of the best golf courses in Hobe Sound, we have the sensational semi-private McArthur Golf Club.
Considered one of the finest golf courses in Florida, this superb layout is just a couple of miles from the Atlantic coastline. It occupies a relatively isolated plot of land, which happens to be tucked up against the second course on this list, Medalist Golf Club.
The plot was perfect for an elite golf course. 990-acres of pristine Florida wilderness characterized by scrub pines, prairie wetlands, palmettos and hardwoods.
It is the McArthurs, a family of dairy farmers, who own the land. And they clearly had diversification of their offering front-of-mind when they engaged with Tom Fazio and ex-PGA Tour star Nick Price to design this first-rate golf course.
Despite the pristine beauty of the site, Fazio and Price shifted a serious amount of earth and sand. This was to create both subtle and more in-your-face movements in the land. Alongside this number of lakes were also created.
Despite having clearly been crafted by two talented designers, there is something raw and electric about McArthur. Maybe it is the lack of housing. Maybe it is the unadulterated focus on offering a complete and first-class golf experience.
Either way, if you do get the chance to play here, drop everything and go and enjoy.
2. Medalist Golf Club
Medalist Golf Club has a very busy and tumultuous history for a club which only opened in 1995. That said, it is still one of the finest in Florida, let alone best golf courses in Hobe Sound.
The design was a collaboration between Greg Norman and Pete Dye, the first of its kind. Yet over the years Norman, who had originally founded the club, slowly but surely started to tweak the design, mostly removing many of Dye’s suggestions.
This continued over many years until the club ownership decided to part ways with Norman. With a view to reinstating many of Dye’s original features, Bobby Weed was brought in to oversee the project.
Weed’s mentor was Dye, so there was arguably no one better positioned for the job.
Fast forward to 2020 with the renovation completed, Medalist stands proud and clearly resembles the layout Dye had originally sought. Sod-wall bunkers have been reinstated and small greens have been angled.
This is not a course for the faint-hearted. In fact, this is one heck of a challenge and unless you are at the top of your game, could rip you apart. Although the landing areas from the tee are relatively generous, a multitude of immense bunkers await stray shots.
And once you’ve found the right part of the fairway, your approach shot to the green needs to be absolutely spot on. So much so, if your short game is a little rusty, it could be a long day.
It’s amazing what a world-class golf course designer can do, even if restricted by the land.
The plot at Loblolly might be perceived by many other designers as restrictive and limited in scope. A long narrow triangular shape at odds with the large expansive sites of other grand courses.
But not Pete and P.B. Dye. Quite the opposite. They have managed to create a stunning layout widely considered as one of the finest golf courses in Florida.
Loblolly was the vision of several out-of-state young families, who had a desire to create a private club which centered around sports and facilities. Key to this community, was it had to be fun, it had to be unpretentious and family-orientated.
What started with a yacht club and marina, eventually led to the creation of a golf course in 1988. For this job, they called upon the widely respected Pete Dye and his son.
A lot of earth was shifted in the construction of the course to shape many of the elevations and mounds. In typical Dye fashion, you’ll find vast bunkers, out-of-bounds, water and other hazards. Accuracy off the tee is essential here.
In fact Loblolly is generally considered to be one of the tougher courses in the region. If you’re a low handicapper, you’ll really enjoy the challenge. Whilst higher handicaps might have bitten off more than they can chew.
The conditioning is superb with greens fast and firm. Just a mile from the Atlantic coastline, this is a sensational course.
4. The Grove XXIII
One man’s private golf course. But this isn’t just any random man. This is arguably the greatest basketball player to have graced the land, Michael Jordan.
Yep, Jordan, a golf fanatic who plays close to scratch, decided to create his own uber-exclusive and private golf club. There is a very limited membership and those who play here read like a who’s who of celebrities.
There is also a slight giveaway in the name, with the Roman numerals for the number 23, Jordan’s number when playing for the Bulls.
Yet at the core of this club, is an outstanding golf course designed by the brilliant Bobby Weed.
Despite hugging the rich habitat of the Atlantic Ridge Preserve State Park, the square site, a former citrus grove, was quite flat and bland. Many architects are able to take some inspiration from the natural topography or the endemic movement in the land. But not here.
But what Weed has created is quite sensational. This is a modern layout with low-profile contours and clean lines. So much thought and attention has gone into every aspect of the design.
The course is littered with hollows and shallow bunkers. It is long, measuring 7,600 yards from the back and is without doubt a shot-makers course. A long-hitting shot makers course no less! Add to that the firm and fast playing conditions, this is something else. No wonder the pros flock here to test their game.
They also flock here to spend hours in the vast state-of-the-art practice facilities.
The course only opened in 2019 and is yet to garner the recognition it fully deserves. But it won’t be long until The Grove XXIII is considered one of Florida’s finest golf courses.
5. Hobe Sound Golf Club
This fantastic member-owned private club, covers a verdant 235-acre plot in southern Martin County. The club is just 3 miles down the coast from Medalist Golf Club and 3 miles inland from the coast. It is also adjacent to the vast Atlantic Ridge Preserve State Park, pretty much like most golf courses on this list.
Hobe Sound Golf Club in a way, flies under the radar. It has been around since 1988, with the original routing designed by Joe Lee.
But it happens to be surrounded, and subsequently overshadowed, by some of the finest golf courses in the world. Medalist, Loblolly, The Grove XXIII, McArthur, Jupiter Island Club….the list goes on.
If Hobe Sound Golf Club was anywhere else in Florida, it would probably get much higher recognition.
But maybe that’s how the member’s like it. The impeccably maintained course has a limited membership and a no-tee time policy. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, with off the course an onus on families and fine-dining. Flying under the radar is in fact just what the club aspires to. A focus on ‘golf as it should be’, and not the press and publicity.
In 2019 Tommy Fazio took the reins of a major renovation which elevated the course. The fine routing meanders through preserved wetlands and sizable oak hammocks. Sand is omnipresent, with humongous waste bunkers lining fairways on nearly every occasion.
6. Mariner Sands (Gold Course & Blue Course)
Mariner Sands is located between two freeways, both of which run into central Stuart. This doesn’t necessarily paint the most positive picture, but rest assured, the 720 acre complex is superb, like an oasis hidden away.
It is a private, member-owned country club community which came to life in 1979. Elegant residences including villa-style condos, cottages and patio homes, occupy a significant proportion of the site.
Members also get to enjoy a whole host of amenities including various courts for tennis, croquet and pickleball. Add to that wellness facilities and fine dining, this is a great place to be.
But the central attraction is without doubt the club’s two 18-hole championship layouts, the Gold and Blue courses.
The Gold Course was designed by renowned architect Tom Fazio and is arguably the more challenging of the two. The Blue Course was designed by Frank Duane, who was no stranger to working with greats. Throughout his career, he was a partner to Arnold Palmer and an associate of the great Robert Trent Jones.
Neither course is overly long, with both staying beneath the 7,000 yard distance. However water is unquestionably the main hazard, with the majority of holes having the wet stuff in play.
If you do get an invite here, arrive a bit early and enjoy the fine practice facilities or even the Titleist Performance Institute!
7. The Champions Club at Summerfield
The Champions Club at Summerfield is located in Port Salerno, as close to central Stuart as it is Hobe Sound. It occupies a significant plot meandering through rich Florida wetlands.
On two sides of the property is the immense Atlantic Ridge Preserve State Park, with its pine woods, palms and marshes. Much of this habitat is present on the course, giving wildlife a strong presence when playing here.
There is housing dotted along a handful of fairways, but generally it is quite sparse. And the vegetation does a good job of hiding most of it away.
The course is a Tom Fazio design, which opened for play in 1993. Many of Fazio’s designs are private, but not at this fine club. It is also incredibly good value, with a twilight green fee starting around the $30 mark.
From the tee box, most fairways offer a relatively generous landing area. Greens are large but to score well precision play is needed. Yet stray too far from the fairway and you’ll be fishing your ball out of a gator-filled marshland.
8. The Florida Club
One of the finest public golf courses on the Treasure Coast, the Florida Club is a superb venue for a day out.
Unlike most of the selections on this list of best golf courses in Hobe Sound, The Florida Club is more inland, the other side of Interstate 95. Just 10 minutes from central Stuart, 15 minutes from Hobe Sound and 20 minutes from Port St Lucie, it is easily accessible.
The course was designed by Dick Gray, who for the most part of his career was a golf course superintendent.
He worked under the celebrated Pete Dye on a number of different projects in the region. These included the Dye Course at PGA Golf Club in Port St Lucie. He also worked with Pete and his son during the creation of Loblolly.
So Gray was no stranger to working on major course designs.
The Florida Club was one of his only projects, but it is a fine work. Measuring 6,905 yards from the back tees, the routing plots its way through oaks, palmettos and native pines.
Fairways are wide and like Dye, Gray was a fan of imposing sand traps. Next to many fairways you’ll notice these long bunkers ominously snaking along.
Generally in great condition, this is a fine course for all levels of golfer with enough variety to keep things ticking along nicely.
9. Lost Lake Golf Club
And we round off our list of best golf courses in Hobe Sound with another fine public course, Lost Lake Golf Club.
Right in the heart of the Atlantic Ridge Preserve State Park, Lost Lake combines thick marshes and gorgeous wetlands.
And yes, the routing is set within a residential community. But like some of the other entries on this list, there is a good balance between residential and greenery.
This fine routing was a design collaboration between Jim and Tom Fazio II, which opened for play in 1993. Measuring 6,850 yards off the back tees, there are five sets of tees to choose from.
Lost Lake Golf Club really is a hit with the local golf community. It has fantastic ratings as well as having received high praise from amongst others Golf Advisor. It is also great value for money.
What is the best golf course in Hobe Sound?
The best golf course in Hobe Sound is McArthur Golf Club. Considered one of the best golf courses in Florida, it was designed in collaboration between Tom Fazio and the ex-PGA Tour player Nick Price. Firmly located within Florida wetlands, it is just a short drive from central Hobe Sound and a couple of miles from the coast.