Daytona Beach, Florida, the Original American Beach, is a great place to enjoy golf 365 days a year. Known for its 23 mile ‘Most Famous Beach’ and the Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach is also home to the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), the premier women’s sports association in the world. The headquarters is located at the entrance to the LPGA International Golf Club.
The LPGA International Golf Club boasts two premier championship Golf Digest four-star rated golf courses, the Hills and the Jones, reflecting the architects that designed them, Arthur Hills and Rees Jones. The property is owned by the city of Daytona Beach and managed by Dallas based ClubCorp, one of the world leaders in club management. The golf club is home to the LPGA Qualifying School every year, where ladies try to capture their playing card on the LPGA Tour. Playing either course is a real treat and challenge. Pick your tee wisely to enjoy your golf or you could be spending a hard day’s round.
Volusia County, where Daytona Beach is located, boasts nearly 500 holes of great golf scattered throughout it’s vibrant communities. Three of the courses are included in the Florida Historic Golf Trail: Riviera Country Club in Ormond Beach, known as the “The Friendly Club”, is home to the longest running mini-tour event in the country, the Riviera Open. Two Donald Ross designs; Daytona Beach Golf Club has two championship 18 hole courses, North and and the 1921 Ross designed South. Another municipal golf club designed by Donald Ross is the New Smyrna Beach Golf Club, where you will enjoy a friendly atmosphere and great golf in the southern part of the county.
No matter where you go, superb golf is always nearby in Volusia County. The Preserve at Turnbull Bay, Hidden Hills Golf Club, Venetian Bay and Sugar Mill Country Club are other fine tracks you can experience in New Smyrna Beach. Port Orange boasts Crane Lakes Golf & Country Club, the Arthur Hills designed Cypress Head completely redone in 2015 and Spruce Creek Golf & Country Club, located in the largest fly-in community in the country, where you can watch folks pull their planes out of their garages and take off and land while you are playing a round.
If you are coming east from Central Florida, the St. Johns River is the western border to Volusia County, and as soon as you cross over, there are some challenging tracks you really need to try: The Deltona Club (featured in the picture at the top of the page), designed by famed TPC architect Bobby Weed, is one of my favorite courses in the area with its challenging elevation changes and mighty par 5’s. It is really a test. Glen Abbey Golf Club and Debary Country Club, another ClubCorp golf course, are both located in Debary, a bedroom community on the western edge of the county and are formidable layouts.
The county seat of Volusia is Deland, with its revitalized downtown dining and shopping area, and the remarkable Ron Garl designed Victoria Hills Golf Club managed by Hampton Golf as its centerpiece. Back in Daytona, Pelican Bay, Indigo Lakes, River Bend and Halifax Plantation round out your choices for great golf.
Getting here is easy. Running north and south, Interstate 95 travels parallel to the beach right through the county and Interstate 4 that ventures east and west across Florida connects with I-95. The Daytona Beach International Airport is serviced by American Airlines, Delta and Jet Blue with connections to anyplace in the USA and Canada. When flying in, you get a great look at the Daytona International Speedway, the world’s only motorsports stadium, which hosts some of the greatest races in the country; the Daytona 500, the Rolex 24, Biketoberfest, Coke Zero 400, Daytona Motorcross and the home of NASCAR.
Whether you’re a race fan or not, you really should take the tour of the Speedway and its 31 degree banks and 2.5 oval track and the Motorsports Hall of Fame America, including the winning car of ‘The Great American Race’- Daytona 500 with the dents and grass clippings still on it from the day it won. It was one of the best eye-opening tours I ever attended.
Folks have been coming here to get out of the cold for over a century. What better way to give up the snow shovel and trade it in for a golf club, surf board or fishing pole. Did I mention there is an ocean next to Daytona Beach full of fish. They have beautiful fresh water lakes as well as the Tomoka, Halifax and St. Johns rivers to boat, jet ski or fish. The Manatees(sea cows) can be viewed in the warm waters during the winter months and especially at Blue Springs State Park in Orange City. You can not forget the World’s Most Famous Beach, where you can drive right out to the ocean, park your car and spend the day. Street vendors have food, chairs for rent and vehicles to travel up and down the beach. I remember coming to Daytona Beach in the winter for our Spring break and loving it.
Accommodations are diverse and plentiful in this resort destination, and most are reasonable as is the golf. You can stay at many hotels that provide breakfast buffets and have easy access to the highways to reach your golf course for the day. We stayed at Homewood Suites by Hilton right across from the airport and Speedway with the Volusia Mall in walking distance. One of the most golf knowledgeable guys in the business is Pat Sullivan, the Director of Sales, at the Homewood Suites(386-258-2828), who can help plan your golf itinerary and direct you to the courses that fit your game.
For great weather, convenience and top notch golf, come to the Daytona Beach area, covered in unique and perfect fairways. Golf Digest ranked Daytona Beach in the top 15 places to play in the nation. Visit daytonabeach.golf to learn more.