Take the Plunge: A South Florida Beach & Golf Getaway

The Plunge Hotel opened in 2017 and offers a myriad of entertainment choices. Credit: South Florida Business Journal

LAUDERDALE BY THE SEA, Fla. – There are not too many places remaining in South Florida where someone can find a hideaway beach resort. One of those places, however, is Plunge Beach Hotel in Lauderdale by the Sea.

Located on Highway A1A a few miles north of the high-rise hotels of Fort Lauderdale Beach, Plunge Beach Resort is a 163-room hidden gem set along one the better stretches of sand in South Florida.

“We give our guests a chance to disconnect in a casual atmosphere,’’ said hotel General Manager Tom Mulroy. “We have really re-energized the entire town.’’

That atmosphere and energy includes the terrific Backflip beachfront bar/restaurant; Octupus restaurant; and lobby Bean & Barnacle coffee shop and market. Backflip, open from daily 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., is a favorite of guests and locals.

“It’s really the anchor of our food and beverage operation because it’s on the beach,” Mulroy said.

Plunge offers a variety of dinning options. Credit: Plunge Beach Hotel

Plunge Beach Hotel, which opened in April 2017, is the result of the merging of previously closed hotels. Each of the buildings and guestrooms were gutted and completely refurbished the ocean colors and themes. The Bungalow Building, for example, features a variety of room options ocean views and kitchenettes, making Plunge an ideal destination for longer stays.

Whether the stay is one night or multiple nights, there is plenty to do in Lauderdale by he Sea, including wreck diving, fishing, parasailing and golf. Four golf courses – Jacaranda, Inverrary, Palm-Aire and Crystal Lake, each are within easy driving distance of Plunge.

“Golfers like our hotel and beach experiences,” Mulroy said.“We provide whatever packages they need, from tee times to transportation.”

Jacaranda, in Plantation, has pair of outstanding golf courses (East and West) is particularly popular for tournaments and corporate outings. Want a challenge? Try the East’s par 3, eighth hole from the tips – 257 yards with a green that slopes back to front.

In Lauderhill, Inverrary is one of the more storied facilities in South Florida, featuring two courses (East and West) designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr.

Beginning in 1972 as the Jackie Gleason Inverrary Classic, the tournament that is now known as the Honda Classic, debuted at Inverrary CC where Tom Weiskopf edged Jack Nicklaus by a single stroke. Photo Credits: Inverrary Country Club, The Honda Classic; Collage Graphic: NEG

For eight years, Inverrary hosted the Jackie Gleason Classic – now known as The Honda Classic, whose winners include Jack Nicklaus (twice), Johnny Miller, Lee Trevino and Tom Weiskopf.

Inverrary also hosted the 1976 Tournament Players Championship won by Nicklaus.

Steve “Spike” Pike is a lifelong journalist whose career includes covering Major League Baseball, the NFL and college basketball. For the past 26 years, Spike has been one of the more respected voices in the golf and travel industries, working for such publications as Golfweek, Golf World and Golf Digest for The New York Times Magazine Group. In 1998, Spike helped launch the PGA.com web site for the PGA of America. As a freelance travel and golf writer, Spike’s travels have taken him around the world. He has played golf from Pebble Beach to St. Andrews, walked the Great Wall of China, climbed an active volcano in the Canary Islands, been on safari in South Africa and dived with sharks off Guadalupe, Baja California. He lives in Delray Beach, Fla, and can be reached at spikee41@hotmail.com.

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