The Sunshine State of Florida is renowned for its perfect climate and environment, making it a golfer’s paradise. The courses around Miami are some of the best in the world and add to the state’s allure, providing a unique golfing experience that can be enjoyed by players of all ages and skill levels. With year-round sunshine and beautiful weather conditions, it is no surprise that people flock from far and wide to get out on the greens in this stunningly picturesque part of America.
Here, we have carefully chosen the nine finest golf courses in Miami that are undoubtedly worthy of consideration for inclusion in your next golfing vacation. Each course offers its own unique characteristics, providing an unforgettable experience amid stunning scenery and lush green fairways. From championship courses to hidden gems, these nine courses provide something special for all players.
Blue Monster at Trump National Doral
For more than half a century, the Blue Monster at Trump National Doral Miami Resort has been renowned for its challenging and stimulating golf course. As part of the PGA TOUR’s storied history, it offers an unforgettable experience to all who play here. The world-class layout is highly respected in the area and provides an outstanding test for all levels of golfer. With its unique design, this iconic course is sure to bring plenty of excitement and enjoyment. In 2013/14, renowned golf course architect Gil Hanse successfully undertook a massive overhaul of the venerated layout; remodeling bunkers, enlarging certain greens and carefully maneuvering fairways closer to the numerous hazards. His efforts resulted in an up-to-date masterpiece, which has been celebrated by golfers all over the world.
Completing a successful round on this challenging course requires careful navigation of the lush Bermuda rough, precise control to steer clear of any water hazards, and an adept ability to read and putt on the tricky undulations of the greens in order to post a good score. At the conclusion of the round, golfers face the legendary 18th hole, measuring 473 yards and playing to par 4. This iconic hole has been recognized by GOLF Magazine as one of the ‘Top 100 Holes in the World’ and provides a thrilling challenge that is sure to test even experienced players.
Red Tiger at Trump National Doral
Although the Red Tiger course at Trump National Doral may not be as widely-known or highly regarded as its Blue Monster sibling, it has gained a newfound respect amongst golfers thanks to Gil Hanse’s thoughtful redesign in 2015. This renovation has breathed new life into the course, resulting in an enhanced and improved experience for all who visit. The renovation work brought about a marked enhancement of bunkering, and water hazards were added to an astonishing 14 holes! This was a major shift and made the course more challenging and exciting for golfers.
At only 6,395 yards from the back tees, the Red Tiger golf course is relatively short in comparison to other courses. However, the fairways are incredibly narrow and the small greens require accuracy from players if they wish to achieve a good score. Additionally, due to its undulating putting surfaces, golfers must pay close attention to their shots as any slight inaccuracy can cause them problems on the green. Ultimately, this makes for an exciting yet challenging experience for all who play it. The signature hole is the par-5, 5th, which cuts in a sweeping dogleg direction around a tranquil lake. Golfers are presented with an opportunity to make birdie on this hole, however, it also has plenty of potential for disaster if one’s shot veers off course. The approach shot must be played onto an isolated island green, further complicating matters and heightening the risk factor for golfers tackling this unique challenge.
Golden Palm at Trump National Doral
The Golden Palm at Trump National Doral is a fitting tribute to the abundant palm trees which adorn the golf course. They provide an aesthetically pleasing backdrop as well as a formidable challenge for even the most experienced golfer, requiring careful navigation around them in order to achieve success on the green. With their prominent presence all over the landscape, these majestic trees are an integral part of the overall experience and their importance should not be overlooked. Similarly to the Red Tiger and Blue Monster, Gil Hanse was assigned the job of restoring and redeveloping the Golden Palm; a task which he successfully completed with outstanding results. The finished product mirrors closer to the Monster in terms of design, style, and structure in comparison to its previously worn-down state.
The golf course offers a unique combination of wide, expansive fairways and narrow, more challenging holes which require accurate shots from the tee. The bunkers are crafted with precision – their edges sharply cut into the fairway and a thick layer of rough surrounds them at the back. Each one is distinct in its design, creating an interesting variety for golfers to navigate. The captivating design and unique quirks of this course make it an absolute must-play for all golfers, regardless of their skill level. The championship layout features various tee boxes to accommodate players with different abilities, ensuring that everyone has a challenging yet enjoyable experience on the green.
The Soffer Course at JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa
The renowned Soffer Course at JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa is a masterful layout, esteemed as the premier of its two courses. The course has been completely redesigned by legendary golfer Raymond Floyd and since then, it has become a popular destination for numerous LPGA Tour and South Florida PGA events. Players are captivated by the tropical setting which offers an exceptional golf experience with challenging yet rewarding play.
Navigating the intricate terrain of this course is a true test of risk and reward, as accuracy is paramount in order to triumph over vast distances. You must be mindful of the creeks that traverse multiple fairways, while also remaining vigilant of the lagoons lurking in anticipation of any errant shots. It requires careful consideration and focus, but you can emerge victorious if you are able to exercise precision amidst the challenging layout. Recently, the greens at this prestigious resort have seen an upgrade: now sporting Tif Eagle grass, this Miami golf course supplies exceptional rolling conditions for every putting excursion.
The Miller Course at JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa
The Miller Course may not be as prestigious or captivating as the Soffer, yet it provides an enjoyable and much more tranquil round of golf. The Miller is distinguished by its rolling fairways, curved doglegs, dramatic elevation changes, and well-placed bunkers that offer a challenging yet rewarding experience for players of all skill levels.
The layout of the course is absolutely teeming with wildlife, as the expansive ponds are populated by a variety of fowl such as ducks, swans, and even spectacularly colored pink flamingos, along with the occasional alligator! This golfing location is more compact than its sister courses, making it necessary for players to be precise with their tee shots due to the rolling fairways being bordered by mature ficus trees, banyan trees, and olive trees. Originally crafted by the celebrated golf course designer, Robert Trent Jones Sr., both courses at this magnificent JW Marriott Resort have been magnificently reworked by Raymond Floyd and they have gone on to become premier venues for a wide array of professional tournaments. Over the years, these courses have hosted some of the most prestigious events in the world of golf.
Miami Beach Golf Club
When Miami Beach Golf Club first opened its doors in 1923, it was originally known as Bayshore Golf Club. Nearly 80 years later, a sizeable investment of ten million dollars, coupled with the renowned golf course architect Arthur Hills’ reconstruction of the course, led to the rebirth of this iconic venue. In no time at all, Miami Beach Golf Club had become one of the most sought-after and highly regarded courses in all of Miami.
Located in the southern half of Miami Beach, nestled between Biscayne Bay to the west and the majestic Atlantic Ocean to the east, this distinctive setting offers a truly remarkable backdrop. With its lush landscapes, blue waters, and balmy climate, it’s no surprise that people flock here year-round to enjoy its beauty and charm. Additionally, with the palm trees swaying along the golf course and numerous dogleg par-4s that require thought, Miami Beach Golf Club offers an intriguing yet enjoyable experience across its 18 holes–with water hazards evident on 17 of them. The 17th hole on this course is a signature hole, renowned for its difficulty and challenge. This par-3 hole measures 169 yards and requires accuracy and precision if you are to achieve the coveted par score. As you come toward the conclusion of your round, do not underestimate this hole – it has been known to ruin some of the best rounds!
International Links Melreese Country Club
In 1996-97, the International Links at Melreese underwent an extensive and costly $3.9 million renovation. After the completion of this major project, renowned golfer Tiger Woods made his inaugural appearance in South Florida with a special exhibition that was attended by 3,500 lucky people. The event marked a milestone for both Woods and the venue as it provided spectators with an opportunity to witness the golfing superstar’s incredible skill firsthand.
Charles Manhannah dramatically overhauled the course, introducing five brand new lakes, ninety-seven deep bunkers, nine expansive waste areas, and a selection of strategically placed cypress wetlands. These architectural features gave the course a completely different look and feel. The undulating fairways, with their multitude of difficult lies, are a key component to the intricate and costly drainage system that makes it feasible for golfers to play at Melreese Country Club regardless of the season. This remarkable infrastructure ensures that players can take advantage of the lush grounds all year long. The sprawling golf course, which covers an expansive area of 135 acres, is conveniently located adjacent to the Miami International Airport and just six miles away from downtown Miami – making it a perfect destination for those wishing to take advantage of their arrival or departure days. This prime location provides golfers with easy access to the airport as well as plenty of opportunities to explore all that downtown Miami has to offer.
After obtaining possession of the land in 1929, the City of Miami Beach embarked on a determined mission to alter the landscape by dredging and filling it in, in order to construct what is now known as the golf course. Despite their best efforts, it wasn’t until 1941 that they finished creating this playing area. Unfortunately, due to the outbreak of war shortly after its completion, there were only scant opportunities for people to make use of this newly created track. Fast-forward to 2008 and the City of Miami Beach made a huge investment, spending in excess of $9 million on renovation works. For this ambitious project, they employed the services of renowned course architect Arthur Hills, who was responsible for the complete redevelopment.
Normandy Shores is now proudly part of Florida’s Historic Golf Trail, presenting 18 stunning holes of beauty and a challenging golf design. The fast and undulating greens add to the difficulty of this course, making it the perfect choice for any avid golfer looking to spice up their Miami golf vacation.
Miami Shores Country Club
The Miami Shores Country Club has a long and storied history, which began in 1939. The original plans included the clearing of 130 acres of woodland to make room for the golf course, and the hard work paid off when it opened its doors that fall. Since then, many improvements have been made over time to ensure a quality golf experience for all who visit this iconic establishment.
In 2011, the golf course went through an extensive renovation process which included the highly favored decision to lay down Mini Verde Bermuda grass on the greens. Additionally, other enhancements were made such as renovating tee boxes, updating fairways, re-shaping greens, and restoring bunkers. The result was a course that offered players even more enjoyment and satisfaction with their round of golf. This stunning par-71 golf course, located only 15 minutes from Miami International Airport, Downtown Miami, and Miami Beach, measures an impressive 6,700 yards from the tips. Golfers of all levels can enjoy a challenging yet enjoyable round surrounded by lush greens and picturesque scenery. With its convenient location in close proximity to Miami’s popular attractions, this golf course is sure to appeal to any avid golfer visiting the area. Situated in the heart of Miami, Florida, the Miami Shores Country Club has long been renowned for its championship golf course and superb facilities. It is also host to a number of high-profile events, including the prestigious Florida State Open.