Wintertime golf is wondrous – if the weather’s right and the greens are, well, green. That’s the usual situation in Tampa, home to a slew of sublime courses. You’d be hard put this time of year to find any airport in the country where the golf bags roll off the airport baggage carousel with the regularity they do at TPA.
Visit Tampa Bay breaks down some of the best places to tee up and take off:
– Westchase Golf Club is surrounded by a nestling forest of cypress. That makes for long, skinny fairways overseen by lots of local wildlife. Situated just minutes from Tampa International Airport, this is one of the most scenic, challenging courses around. To make sure you get to the right tee at the right time there’s GPS fitted to each golf cart.
– Ace Golf/Pebble Creek Golf Club is an 18-hole, par 71 public affair bedecked with New Champion Bermuda Greens, a course that’s consummately convenient to the New Tampa area, northeast of the University of South Florida.
– Babe Zaharias Golf Course is a Tampa Sports Authority layout. It’s located in a tree-suffused residential area some 20 minutes from downtown, in the Forest Hills section of town.
– The Claw at University of South Florida is aptly named. Hand’s down, this is Tampa Bay’s most challenging public golf course. The flora is fabulous: huge oaks, lovely cypress and lots of pines. The fairways have that classically-challenging bent about them: long and tight.
– Copperhead at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club is defined by the sort of tourney that plays out here, specifically the PGA Tour’s Transition Championship that tees up each March. In an area populated by some mighty fine golf courses, this one is magnificent.
(Featured image: RobBixbyPhotography)