Golf in the State of Florida
Anyone who lives here knows that golf is a big deal in Florida. From a competitive perspective, the PGA of America has its headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, the LPGA has its headquarters in Daytona Beach, and the PGA Tour calls Ponte Vedra Beach its home. From an economic perspective, Florida tops all other states in economic output (over $13 billion a year) and takes the crown as the country's top golf employer at over 160,000 workers. It's not surprising to find that Florida has the most courses and is the only state that has more than 1,000 active courses (1,079 to be exact) but California is close at 917.
Obviously, some of Florida's biggest metro areas have well over a hundred golf courses (Orlando, Miami, and Tampa), but there are also a lot of not so prominent cities that have dozens of options including Naples and Fort Myers.
With this tremendous focus on golf, it's not surprising to find some pretty unique offerings. Reunion Resort & Golf Club in Kissimmee features the only place in the world where you can play signature courses designed by Nicklaus, Palmer, and Watson all in the same place. The state also hosts four PGA Tour events at courses the pubic can access at PGA National, Trump National Doral, Innisbrook, and Bay Hill (owned by Arnold Palmer until his death in 2016). Who can forget the impressive presence of Walt Disney World in the Sunshine State which also boasts four courses (Disney's Lake Buena Vista, Disney's Oak Trail, Disney's Magnolia, and Disney's Palm).
Then, there are golfers themselves. Due to the beauty of the year-round golf season, it's no surprise many recognizable pros have called Florida home. Jack Nicklaus, born in Columbus, Ohio, now lives in North Palm Beach. Tiger Woods, born in Cypress, California, now lives in Jupiter Island just down the street from the Jupiter Island Club. And, Rory McIlroy, born in Holywood, Northern Ireland also has a residence in Palm Beach Gardens.