DAYTONA BEACH, Florida – Daytona Beach has become a destination of choice for savvy group leaders in search of good golf, good times and value, leading an influx of newcomers to search for the area’s premier layouts.
Home to nearly 20 golf courses, including a pair of Donald Ross designs, a U.S. Open qualifying site, and three layouts that have hosted professional tournaments, identifying Daytona Beach’s “best” courses is by nature a subjective exercise. With that being said, here are five must-play Daytona Beach golf courses in 2022:
● LPGA International, a 36-hole property, is Daytona Beach’s most acclaimed facility, and the Jones Course challenges players with some of Central Florida’s best greens complexes, sprawling waste bunkers and natural marsh areas. A favorite of the world’s best female golfers when the LPGA held its titleholders event in Daytona Beach, the Rees Jones layout also features generous fairways framed by mounding, creating the memorable visuals players enjoy.
● Golfweek has ranked Victoria Hills among Florida’s top 15 public layouts and it doesn’t take players long to figure out why. The course plays along naturally rolling terrain and pine tree-lined fairways, an atypical look for a Florida layout, and players love it. For golfers in the western part of Volusia County, playing this Ron Garl design is a priority.
● A greens restoration project has moved Halifax Plantation to the top of many must-play lists. The new Champion Ultra dwarf Bermuda grass has made the Bill Amick course’s greens among the area’s smoothest. Halifax plays among centuries-old oaks, adding scenery to a layout in pristine condition.
● For many, Daytona Beach is home to the “World Center of Racing” Daytona International Speedway, so it’s only natural that one of the area’s fastest rounds of golf is also among its most enjoyable. Crane Lakes Golf Club, a par 66 that includes eight par 3s and a pair of par 5s, can be played in under 3 ½ hours, but it’s not just a “short course.” Crane Lakes has several par 4s that play over 380 yards and its shortest par 3 is 151 yards.
● The U.S. Women’s Open will be played on a Donald Ross design this summer, shining the spotlight on America’s most revered golf course architect. Ross designed a pair of area layouts – the South Course at Daytona Beach Golf Club and the New Smyrna Golf Club – both of which are municipal courses that allow players to enjoy the work of one of the game’s legends at a value price. For golfers in southern Volusia County, New Smyrna, with its small undulating greens, is a treat to play.