Three top-notch golf courses in southern Florida // The Crime Traveller

How to live the retired life. At least for a few days

By Edward Prutschi

On Wednesday January 28th, 2015

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Four o’clock dinner specials. Car selection that ranges from a beige Crown Victoria to a white Grand Marquis. Pleated pants that cinch just inches below your armpits. Florida retirement has its quirks, but it also boasts nearly 250 days of sunshine per year and 1481 golf courses.

It should therefore come as no surprise that I am a regular visitor to the heart of southern Florida. In my selfless desire to assist my fellows at the bar, I give you my three favourite courses in the region.

Boca Raton Resort & Club

Price: $215 to $450

Make sure your chinos are pressed and your Footjoy’s freshly spit-polished. The Boca Raton Resort & Club sits beside the swanky Waldorf Astoria resort. On my last visit, I pulled up in my partner’s Honda Civic, and was politely directed to a parking lot across the street. The eagle-eyed bag boy claimed he wanted to “save you gentlemen the $20 valet fee” — but he clearly couldn’t bear the sight of our dull grey ride marring the space between a sunburst-yellow Maserati and a red Ferrari.

From the first tee, this course immediately distinguishes itself from your typical Florida fare, with its deeply rippled and undulating fairways. Playing only 6253 yards, distance is not the challenge. It’s the water and well-laced bunkers you should fear (15 holes feature one of the two). The signature 18th hole is another challenge, but its ends with a classic island green.

Jacaranda

Price: $39.99- to $139.99

Both of its two full courses provide a private-club feel at a value-laden public price. Most rounds, even at prime times, cost around $100. For the price of that Benjamin, you get can play up to 7247 yards — if you have the muscle to hit from the bleachers. Both courses are full of water hazards and plenty of sand, but you’ll lose most of your strokes to the sea of mangrove trees that turn wide-open fairways into risk/reward debates of epic proportions.

As good as the course is, the GPS system on every power cart deserves an honourable mention. Not content to merely spit out yardages, the system plays a flyover video at the start of each hole. Approaching the greens prompts an overhead view of the dance floor with precise yardages to the daily pin position. It uses a simple digital scorecard to track your performance and will e-mail you the results as you round the curb on the 18th hole on your way to the club for drinks.

The Club at Boca Pointe

Price: $75

Restricted to private members throughout the winter, guests are occasionally permitted in the hot, muggy summer months.

Designed by Jack Nicklaus, the Club at Boca Pointe is immaculately maintained. But it’s also an intense challenge. Water protects most of the greens. And, even if you manage to stick your approach, lightning-fast sloping greens still leave challenging two-putts to save par.

The course winds its way through a gated residential development. Indeed, Boca Pointe is a personal injury lawyer’s dream: narrow fairways skirt well-trafficked roads, screened patios and jogging trails. If you can’t practice your drives, at least warm up you “Fores!” before teeing off.


Edward Prutschi is a Toronto-based criminal defence lawyer. Follow Ed’s criminal law commentary (@prutschi) and The Crime Traveller’s adventures (@crimetraveller) on Twitter, read his Crime Traveller blog, or email ed@thecrimetraveller.com.