Wednesday, April 16, 2014

On Location: Marco Island Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa

If you love playing golf, followed by luxuriating at a spa, floating in a swimming pool or sipping a cool libation while watching a stunning sunset, this resort on Marco Island in southwest Florida was designed specifically for you.

Set on a 3 1/2 miles stretch of blindingly white sands and turquoise waters, the Marco Island Marriott is a superb way to enjoy a beach, golf and spa getaway.

The resort lifestyle at Marco Island Marriott encompasses two superb championship golf courses, eight dining and lounge options, two swimming pools, a 24,000 square foot spa, tennis courts and an expansive beach with watersports galore.

On my visit, I had one of my best sunset viewing experiences ever, witnessed a couple of alligators sunning themselves at the Hammock Bay golf course and relaxed on my balcony with a glass of red wine celebrating the Gulf of Mexico panorama in front of me. If you want the Marco Island la dolce vita (Italian for the sweet life), this resort provides it with great style and a high service level. 

Marco Island Marriott's golf menu features two well-designed, exceptionally maintained courses that provide a private club style experience for resort guests. Both of the courses are located a few miles from the main resort complex, but they're well worth the short drive or shuttle. Hammock Bay is located 5.8 miles from the resort and The Rookery is 7.3 miles away. Regular shuttle service is provided to both courses.

Hammock Bay Golf & Country Club--Designed by PGA Tour player Peter Jacobsen and Jim Hardy, this 6,985-yard, par 72 layout (6,003 yards from the member tees) is a very player friendly experience with wide landing areas on most holes and eight different tee placements. If you're a mid-handicapper or only play a few times a year, play this course if you can only play one of the two at the resort. Hammock Bay is scenic with mild undulations and fairways framed by palms and Live Oak trees. Recognized as a "Gold Certified Signature Sanctuary Course" by Audubon International, you'll see wonderfully preserved natural areas, lots of birds and, perhaps, an alligator sunning himself by a lake shoreline.

The Rookery--A wonderland of carpet-like fairways, palm and pine forests, lagoons and cypress wetlands, this Robert J. Cupp Jr. designed 7,180 yard, par 72 layout (6,202 yards from the members tee) is testy and drop dead gorgeous. A certified Audubon Sanctuary, The Rookery is beautifully maintained. Fifteen holes incorporate water in some form and a thoughtful strategy is imperative on every hole to score well. If you're a low-handicapper, aspiring professional or mid-handicapper who wants to ramp up the challenge, The Rookery will definitely determine if you're a contender or pretender.

All the golf carts at both locations are equipped with the Caddy Tronic GPS Systems, which feature a complete touch screen with views of the entire hole and a green view, a detailed fly over of each hole and interactive scorecard.


More than 95% of the 727 guestrooms have views of the Gulf of Mexico. A typical guestroom measures 402 square feet and there are also a variety of suites (62). Marco Island Marriott has a 4 Diamond rating by AAA and a Green Lodging Designation certificate in the Florida Green Lodging Program.

All rooms feature private balconies and terraces. Amenities include luxury bedding, high speed internet access, remote control color flat screen TV with cable service and in room pay movies, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, coffee maker, refrigerator, safe and mini-bar.

Major amenities and offerings:

--Two championship golf courses
--4-court tennis complex (Red Har-Tru Hydrogrid Clay Courts)
--White sand beach steps away from the swimming pool
--Beach chair/umbrella rentals and Beach Chickee Huts
--2 swimming pools and whirlpool/cabanas
--Children's wading pool and playground
--On-site boutique shopping
--Spa with 24 treatment rooms
--Fitness Center
--Rentals for sailboats, catamarans, aquabikes and kayaks
--Paddleboard rentals
--Beach volleyball and basketball 
--Bicycle rental and tours
--Waverunner tours of the Everglades 
--Offshore and back country fishing tours
--Sailing and shelling tour
--Dolphin watch tour
--Beach BBQ on weekends 
--Sunset entertainment
--60,000 square feet of business event and meeting space
--Hertz car rental counter on-site 
--Valet parking
--Self parking
--In-room dining

10 Little Things I Like

1. The amazing sunsets you can enjoy from Quinn's on the Beach, 400 Pazzi's or the balcony of your room; and the fire dancer performance on the beach.

2. The large palm trees planted in the swimming pool.

3. Cafe San Marco, which serves illy coffee, the Italian coffee that's one of my favorites.

4. The awesome beach and pool panoramas from the balcony of my room.

5. The oh-so-crispy and delicious coconut shrimp at Quinn's on the Beach.

6. The Hummus Platter I enjoyed at 400 Pazzi's overlooking the beach.

7. The outstanding sushi bar at Korals, a great bar adjacent to the lobby.

8. The chilled mango scented towels that are passed out unannounced at the swimming pool in the middle of the day.

9. The walkable beach where you can collect all sorts of sea shells.

10. The resort's two golf courses, which are beautiful, well designed and provide a private club experience without pretentiousness.


Cafe San Marco--Serves illy coffee. Great place to grab your morning espresso or coffee before you head out to the course.

Quinn's on the Beach--Great coconut shrimp, burgers and island fare at this casual dining restaurant where the sunsets are phenomenal accompanied by live nightly entertainment.

Korals--A great bar adjacent to the main lobby. It has an excellent sushi bar, cocktails and appetizers.

Kurrents--The resort's gourmet room features fresh seafood, prime steaks and live nightly entertainment.

Tropiks--A family-oriented restaurant that serves a breakfast buffet daily.

400 Pazzi's--Features al fresco dining overlooking the beach and swimming pool with a Mediterranean inspired menu with pasta, brick oven pizzas, flatbreads, salads and sandwiches. It's convenient if you're spending the day at the pool or beach because you quickly order at the counter and a server delivers your selections to your table.

Tiki Bar & Grill--A pool-side bar with light fare and full bar.

The Rookery Grill--An upscale restaurant located at The Rookery Golf Club.

Hammock Bay Restaurant--It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner (Friday and Saturday only).   


Marco Island is situated 18 miles south of downtown Naples, Florida. Southwest Florida International Airport is located 45 miles from Marco Island Marriott Resort. Major airlines serving the airport, include Air Canada, American/American Eagle, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, United, Spirit and US Airways. 

By automobile, heading south on Interstate-75, take exit 101 onto County Highway-951/Collier Boulevard, which leads to the resort (about 15 minutes). The address is 400 South Collier Boulevard, Marco Island, FL 34145


To find out more about the resort, click to Marco Island Marriott Resort, Golf, Club & Spa. For reservations, call 1-800-GET-HERE. For golf packages, click to Golfpac Travel.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

5 Reasons Why The Masters is Bigger Than Tiger Woods

When Tiger announced his bad back would keep him out of the 2014 Masters, you would of thought some media members wanted to cancel the whole thing and just tee it up next year.

Not so fast, my friends. Like most fans, I can't celebrate my spring without a healthy dose of azaleas, Magnolia Lane and the dulcet tones of Jim Nantz waxing poetically about this golf nirvana.

Let's face it, Tiger is a huge draw, but this is the Masters. It's the most important golf tournament on the planet and even Tiger has to take a backseat to this celebration of the game in the Georgia pines.

Here are 5 reasons why the 2014 Masters is bigger than Tiger:

1. The Masters is Never Boring
Whether it's Bubba hitting an impossible hook shot off pine straw in a playoff in 2012 or Phil pulling off some straw magic through the pines on the 13th hole in 2010, the Masters inspires golfers and brings out their best. Oh, Tiger's hit some great shots (the unbelievable chip shot at the 16th in 2005), but just about everybody in the field gets the adrenaline flowing so you never know what miraculous feat you're going to witness. For instance, Louis Oosthuizen's double eagle shot from 260 yards out on hole number two in 2012 is one of my favorites.

2. The Masters Celebrates Golf History and Family
The Masters is timeless and absolutely none of the traditions change without Tiger's presence. They were there before Tiger played his first Masters in 1995 and they'll be there long after he stops playing the PGA Tour. Treasured traditions like the ceremonial honorary starters, the family-oriented par three tournament with the players' small children wearing mini-size caddie outfits and the Champions Dinner on Tuesday of Masters Week are cherished by every golf fan.

3. Lefthanders, Not Tiger, Grab the Spotlight and Have An Advantage
The design of Augusta National favors southpaws, not Tiger. Woods doesn't bomb it off the tee like he used to and the design of some holes call for approach shots more receptive to lefthanders. In fact, in the past 11 years, five of the winners have been lefties-- Phil Mickelson is a three-time Masters champion (2004, 2006, 2010), Bubba Watson (2012) and Mike Weir (2003).

4. The 2014 Masters Has Other Great Story Lines
While Tiger winning the Masters with a creaky back would've have been the ultimate story, this year's Masters has no shortage of interesting story lines. Among the more intriguing are: Craig Stadler and son, Kevin Stadler, as the only father and son to play in the same Masters; Aussie Adam Scott tries to repeat and if he succeeds, he'll ascend to the No. 1 golfer in the world; 23 first-timers in the 2014 Masters; following the ever-confident Patrick Reed, a three-time PGA Tour winner this year, to see if he can capture a major; and watching Rory pursue the Green Jacket.

5. It's the Masters, Enough Said
No corporate signage. No goofballs yelling "in the hole" on the tee boxes at par fives. No rip-off concessions prices. No goofy trophies... The Masters is different and we like it that way. It's the most popular golf tournament in the world. Make no mistake, Tiger has added a lot to Masters lore, but the tournament doesn't need him. He needs the Masters every spring, just like the rest of us.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Everything You Need to Know About Playing Golf in Tampa, Florida

Almost forgotten in the mad rush to play more celebrated Florida destinations like Orlando, Naples and Ponte Vedra Beach is Tampa, the dynamic city by the bay on the state's west coast.

There are nearly 100 golf courses in Tampa and you can tee it up 365 days a year.

I recently wrote a series of articles on Tampa for The Golf Channel's GolfAdvisor site.

Check out my articles and discover everything you need to know about Tampa golf:

A Beginner's Guide to Golf in Tampa/St. Petersburg

Play Tampa Bay's Most Scenic Golf Courses

Tampa's Tournament Tested Golf Courses

Tampa's Best Golf Resorts

Tampa's Most Unique Golf Courses

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Etiquette Tips by the TPC Network Pros

TPC Scottsdale Champions Course

I don't want to be a negative Ned, or some golf version of Mr. Manners, but golf course etiquette these days is showing some serious slippage.

From cell phones ringing in my backswing to unraked bunkers, untended divots and discarded cigar butts on tee boxes, let's just say things have gotten a bit interesting on the golf course.

Head golf professionals, no doubt, have seen it all. Thus, I've solicited the advice of the head golf pros of the TPC Network, which is comprised of 32 premier daily fee, resort and private golf properties designed specifically to host PGA TOUR events. Among their high-profile courses are TPC Sawgrass, TPC Harding Park, TPC Scottsdale and TPC San Antonio. 

“The old saying tells us it isn’t about winning or losing, but how you play the game. Being a gentleman or lady truly embodies the spirit of our sport, so these tips are meant to help be the best you can be on the links,” says Brian Riddle, head golf professional of TPC Sawgrass.

Here are 10 great etiquette tips:

1. “Play from the tee box where you'll have the best chance for success. Don't be shy or embarrassed.  Playing the ‘tips’ when your ability level isn't suited for them will be frustrating not only to you, but to those around you as well.”
– Rob Nader, TPC San Antonio

2. “There is no need to rush shots – efficient play consists of getting ready to hit every shot without wasting time. Take several clubs to your ball and hit a provisional ball if you feel you need to.”
– Brian Riddle, TPC Sawgrass

3. “Respect your playing partners; talking and playing music at an appropriate volume should be taken into consideration. Ask others in your group if music is welcome. Players should always be aware that it relaxes some and disturbs others. These distractions could not only delay your group but also the play of all other golfers behind you.”
– Michaelyn Bradford, TPC Southwind / Jim Calhoun, TPC Craig Ranch

4. “Silence your cell phone. Nothing is more of a nuisance to a golfer than a ringing phone while in mid-swing.  In some cases calls are unavoidable; if one needs to be answered – or made – do so away from the group.”
– Tom Smith, TPC Harding Park

5. “Allow staff to do their job, including carrying clubs, giving out information, etc. The great majority of people want to do their job well and they take pride in their work. Let them make your time on the course enjoyable.”
– Greg Wolf, TPC Scottsdale

6. “Always be aware of your pace and never be the slowest player in the group. The best way to remedy slow play is to play ‘ready golf’: be prepared to play your shot when it's your turn – whether you're on the tee, fairway or green.”
– Brian Long, TPC Louisiana

7. “Always take care of the course you're playing.  Repair your ball mark and at least one other on the green, replace divots (or fill divots with seed mix if supplied), and rake bunkers after every shot. Care of the course will make the round much more enjoyable for the golfers behind you.  Also, if you have decided to pick up or not play a hole, speed up play by taking it upon yourself to rake bunkers for others playing the hole.”
– Andy Stoterau, TPC Deere Run

8. “Presentation is key on the course. Take pride in your appearance. Arriving with a shirt un-tucked, hat turned backwards or attire meant for jogging is no way to dress on the golf course.  A golfer's attire or appearance leaves a lasting impression – make certain it's a positive one.”
– Chris Weinhold, TPC Twin Cities

9. “Observe the good habits of seasoned golfers. Those that play often will know when it's their turn to play a shot, where to stand when others are hitting, and how to take care of the course throughout the round.  Following their lead and learning from them will form good habits for the less experienced golfer.”
– Mike Messner, TPC Summerlin

10. “Always enter and exit bunkers at the lowest point, never climbing the face of a bunker. Although it’s very temping to jump in, every bunker is shaped in a manner specific to its course; if the sand is dis-positioned it could alter the lay of the course.”
–      David Corrado, TPC Boston

If you like attending PGA TOUR tournaments, I highly suggest you attend one at a TPC course, which are designed to enhance the experience for spectators.

The TPC hosts THE PLAYERS Championship at the PGA TOUR’s flagship property, TPC Sawgrass, (one of my favorite tournaments for spectators). Let's face it, we're not all getting into Augusta National to watch the Masters. This just might be the next best thing. Nothing quite like sitting on the hill left of the number 17 island hole and watching the pros sink or swim while you sip on a frosty brew.
TPC Scottsdale Champions Course

The Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale (arguably the most high-energy event on Tour with its party-like atmosphere), the highest attended tournament on the PGA TOUR. During the current 2013-14 season, 18 PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Tour tournaments will be held at TPC facilities so you've got lots of choices.
TPC Louisiana

For more information, visit www.TPC and follow TPC Network on Twitter @PlayTPC, Instagram @PlayTPC, and Facebook at
TPC San Antonio

Thursday, March 6, 2014

5 DON'TS on International Golf Travel

Do you want to spend thousands of dollars and screw up your dream international golf vacation?

Uh, no, of course not.

Side-stepping some of the most common golf travel mistakes can help you avoid a nightmare.

I've traveled internationally numerous times and I've compiled a list of the some of the worst mistakes. These aren't bad decisions like selecting a shabby hotel (gee, it sure looked good in the brochure), a goat ranch golf course or a restaurant on a first name basis with the health department.

No, these are less obvious mistakes that might seem insignificant, but they can greatly impact the success of your trip.

Believe it or not, the Guru has made everyone of these mistakes, so I speak from experience. To be sure, though, if you make any of these bad choices once, I bet you'll never do it again.

1. Failure to print reservation details--I made this mistake on a trip a few years back and never again. The fact is, your phone, tablet or computer might not work with the local network upon your arrival. Yes, it's a hassle, but print the darn thing out and place it where you can retrieve it easily. Chances are, you won't need it, but, if you do, you'll be so happy you've got a hard copy.

2. Under-budgeting--Let's face it, nowadays everyone has their hand out.  Don't forget about caddie fees, gratuities, Internet fees, hotel service charges, ATM charges...the list goes on and on. Keep track of these fees on a trip and you'll be amazed at the total by the final day. You've also got to budget in ill-advised spending on golf logo gear you may never wear again and worthless souvenirs that looked a lot better on the store shelf than in your home.

3. Cheap luggage choice--I've gone the cheap route with the crappy zippers and tiny plastic wheels and luggage is one of the worst items to try and save a few bucks. Generally, what happens is you need a new piece of luggage before your big trip and you've got money flying out everywhere so you decide to skimp on a bag or golf club travel bag. DON'T.  Purchase lightweight luggage comprised of good, quality exterior material, sturdy zippers and inline skating quality wheels. For a golf clubs travel bag, I prefer Club Glove, but there are some other good ones like Bag Boy, Ogio and Sun Mountain.

4. Choosing bad travel partners--You absolutely need to have the same attitude and love toward the game of golf. If your travel partners want to play 27 to 36 holes a day and you want to go sightseeing and smell the roses along the way, you need to reconsider.  I prefer balance in a trip with golf and lots of time spent in pubs, restaurants and seeing some sights, while others could care less and just want to tee it up sunrise to sunset. Neither approach is necessarily wrong, but you'll have lots of disagreements if you don't fully discuss the itinerary and trip goals before you leave the U.S.

5. Too much activity, not enough down time--Hey, ya gotta get some sleep. Too many people try and play golf all day, party at the pub and sing karaoke all night and stagger to their 8 o'clock tee time. Playing 36 holes with a hangover and jet lag is not really all that enjoyable. Keep in mind, too, that you'll be walking a lot of golf courses outside the U.S., which is more strenuous than riding around in a cart. Pace yourself and build in time to just relax in your room or go to the spa to recharge so you can fully enjoy the great golf courses you've traveled thousands of miles to play and enjoy.

Friday, February 7, 2014

On Location: TPC Sawgrass/Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa

Do you want to know the status of your golf game?

Seriously, are you ready for a thorough test of your golf skills?

If so, I highly suggest you play THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

It's a green grass SAT exam without the number two pencils and timer clocks. The Stadium Course provides a four-hour test that will expose any and all deficiencies in your game. This Pete Dye masterpiece challenges and confounds everyone from pros who play here every year to the once-a-month hacker who boldly believes he can break 90 and par or birdie the famous No. 17 island hole. 

Unlike college entrance exams, this test is fun and memorable, even though you might return to the clubhouse after a round with some high numbers on your scorecard.

Enhancing the experience is one of the world's most amazing clubhouses and the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa, a multi-amenity resort designed for golfers.


THE PLAYERS Stadium Course 
Its narrow fairways with tiny target areas, immense waste bunkers, railroad tie barriers, grassy mounds and knolls and pool table-fast greens make it a supreme challenge.

Designed by Pete Dye and built in 1980, the 7,215-yard, par-72 layout is referred to as “The Stadium Course” because of its unique “built in” spectator bleachers. To accommodate spectators, many fairways are framed by high, banked slopes upon which crowds can sit. There are also bowl-shaped natural grass amphitheaters around many greens for the spectators.

An in-your-face challenge in which every shot requires patience, daring and skill, the Stadium Course has trouble with subtle and eerie regularity on almost every hole. From bunkers to lakes and undulating mounding, Dye strategically placed hazards that will gobble up errant shots faster than one of those tractor driven machines at a driving range. 
Undoubtedly, the most recognizable hole and one of the most publicized in the world, is the par-3, No. 17 island hole, which makes golfers hit 132 yards over a lagoon often into a stiff Atlantic Ocean breeze. It looks like a nice, easy pitching wedge or 9-iron shot. Forget that. 

Each year, more than 120,000 balls are hit in the water, an average of just less than three balls per players based on approximately 44,000 rounds played per year on the TPC Sawgrass course. The number is somewhat skewed because some players hit as many as a dozen balls into the water in an attempt to reach the green.
Even if you have a ball or two left to play the finishing hole (pictured below), it presents its own shake-in-your-golf-shoes view from the tee. A lake frames the entire left side from tee to green on the 462-yard par 4. Even if you keep your tee shot right, there’s not much space for a safe landing.

Dye's Valley Course
When you get done with Stadium Course, or it gets done with you, this 6,938-yard, par-72 layout is another legitmate Pete Dye golf test with winding fairways, large greens and lots of undulation.

Sawgrass Country Club
The Scuba guy that retrieves balls from the water on 17 at the Stadium Course probably does pretty well here as well. Water comes into play on 24 of the 27 holes at this Ed Seay design. 

Marsh Landing Country Club
Tall pines, intracoastal marshes and lagoons dominate the terrain at this layout, which is often described as "a nature preserve with golf holes."

Ponte Vedra Golf & Country Club
A par-70, Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay design with tight fairways and water on every hole.

TourAcademy TPC Sawgrass 
If you need a tune up or want to elevate your game, this 2,800 square-foot instructional facility with indoor hitting bays, private practice areas, chipping greens and bunkers is located adjacent to the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse. 


Don't leave TPC Sawgrass without spending some time at the clubhouse, a spectacular 77,000 square-foot Mediterranean-style structure open to the public that looks like an Italian mansion air-dropped in from Tuscany. Dripping with the opulent appointments, it's an experience not to be missed.

I thoroughly enjoyed viewing the paintings on display in the lobby that depict famous happenings in TPC Sawgrass history.

A nice touch are the storyteller docents who conduct tours and weave stories about past tournaments and key moments in the history of the club.

There are two dining options:

Nineteen serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. If the weather is good, dine on the outdoor veranda, which affords fantastic views of the presentation lawn, 9th and 18th holes. For dinner, I suggest the Pan Seared Red Snapper or Pesto Roasted Chicken Breast topped off with a signature dessert, the Double Chocolate Chip Brownie S'mores (pictured).

Traditions is a fine-dining room open to the public for lunch and exclusively to club members for dinner.


The Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa has 510 guest rooms, including 21 suites. Earth tone fabrics, wood furnishings and wall art featuring beautiful color photographs of the golf settings highlight the room decor. In addition, there are 80 villa suites, each with two bedrooms, which are ideal for golfers and small groups up to eight guests.

In-room amenity highlights:

* Internet browser/Web TV
* Down/feather/foam pillows
* Wet bar
* Luxury bedding
* High-speed Internet Access
Villa Accommodations

Resort amenity and services highlights:

* Full-service business center
* Concierge desk
* Access to Cabana Beach Club, a private, oceanfront club
* Complimentary resort shuttle to golf courses and Cabana Beach
* Nine restaurants, lounges, cafes and coffee shops
* 25,000 square-foot spa
* Sawgrass Kids Klub
* 56,000 square-feet of meeting and event space with 36 meeting rooms      
* Jogging/fitness trail
* Two fitness centers
* Miniature golf
* 3 swimming pools  

10 Little Things I Like

1. The huge, expansive, comfortable lobby of the hotel where you can stretch out and check your smart phone or work on your laptop in a relaxing environment.

2. The amazing wall art at the clubhouse in the front lobby.

3. The shuffleboard table, darts and pool table at Alice & Pete's Pub.

4. The large (I guess about 5 inches wide) shower head in my shower in my room.

5. The plush, Euro style bedding.

6. The large work desk in my room.

7. The locally brewed Killer Whale cream ale on tap at Alice & Pete's Pub.

8. The Starbucks near the front lobby where you can grab a cup of coffee on the way to the golf course.

9. The roasted chicken served on a bed of garlic mash potatoes at Alice & Pete's Pub.

10. The lobby bar with views of a waterfall and the par-3, 13th hole of THE PLAYERS Stadium Course.


TPC Sawgrass/Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa are located in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, 18 miles from downtown Jacksonville and 22 miles from the historic city of St. Augustine. Jacksonville International Airport is located 35 miles from the resort.


Click for more information on Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa

Click to research TPC Sawgrass

Click for more information on other TPC courses and resorts The TPC Network

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

On Location: Renaissance World Golf Village Resort

Talk about convenience for the golf vacationer. Step out the back entrance of the Renaissance World Golf Village Resort hotel near St. Augustine on Florida's east coast and the Murray Bros. Caddyshack restaurant is only about 100 paces to your right. 

To the left, is a less than a minute walk to the World Golf Hall of Fame. Best of all, the first tee of The Slammer and The Squire golf course is less than a football field away.

The PGA Tour Golf Academy is within walking distance of the hotel and the World Golf Village Spa overlooking the The King and The Bear golf course is just a few minutes shuttle away.

Away from the World Golf Village resort complex, there are two exceptional outlet shopping malls (180 stores) about five miles away and the historic city of St. Augustine, with its quaint shops, bed and breakfast inns and dozens of excellent restaurants, is about a 20 minute drive.


The 10-story, 4 Diamond Renaissance World Golf Village Resort has 301 guest rooms and suites. Appointed with tasteful wall art, the rooms exude a "Colonial Asian" ambiance with muted color fabrics on furniture. Amenities are plentiful with 37-inch flat-panel televisions, spa-inspired bathrooms with a walk-in showers, designer toiletries, Euro-style bedding and a wet bar and refrigerator.

Hotel amenities include:

--Complimentary shuttle service to St. Augustine
--Walking and jogging trails
--Swimming pool and hot tub
--Villagio Italian Grille Restaurant
--Starbucks at Resort Shop
--101,000 square feet of meeting space
--Villagio lobby bar   


World Golf Village offers two superb designs fashioned by some of the biggest names in golf. The King and The Bear, by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, has intriguing features like  beach bunkers, massive sandy fairway hazards spilling into the adjoining lakes without a lip, just like a beach.

The Slammer and The Squire, designed by Sam “The Slammer” Snead, Gene “The Squire” Sarazen with consultation from Bobby Weed has generous landing areas, contoured greens and spectacular views of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Nearby Golf

Other exceptional resort play opportunities in the region include the Sawgrass Marriot Golf Resort in Ponte Vedra Beach, home to THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, The Conservatory and Ocean courses at Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast and the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, a AAA Four Diamond Resort, a multi-course complex with several oceanside holes.

10 Little Things I like about the Renaissance World Golf Village Resort: 

1. The phenomenal spacious atrium lobby with comfortable chairs and sofas, fountain and babbling brook that make it a great place to sit and check messages on your smart phone.

2. Great wine by-the-glass choices at Villagio Restaurant.

3. The superb Chicken Saltimbocca and Grilled Asparagus with prosciutto, radish and lemon aioli I had at dinner at Villagio Restaurant.

4. The plush European style bedding.

5. The Starbucks at the Resort Shop just off the lobby where I had a blonde roast with a swirl of carmel a few minutes after my arrival.

6. The oversize executive desk in my room that made it easy to work.

7. The short walk to the first tee of the Slammer and Squire.

8. The pods where you check-in, which are much less intimidating than a long, ominous counter.

9. The comfortable lobby bar in front of the Villagio Restaurant.

10. The outdoor patio with comfy couches and chairs where you can soak up some Florida sun and enjoy a cappuccino in the morning or cool libation in the evening as you gaze at the lake and World Golf Hall of Fame Tower.

World Golf Hall of Fame

Just a short one-minute walk from the Renaissance World Golf Village, the World Golf Hall of Fame is different in style than its counterparts in football, baseball and basketball.  If your image of a sports museum is a dark, cave like structure with bronze plaques and static displays, you’ll need to readjust your thinking at the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Combining a Disneyesque flair for entertainment, cutting-edge design and innovative display techniques, the exhibits in the World Golf Hall of Fame appeal to casual observers as well as golf fanatics.

Visitors can walk across a life-size replica of the famous Swilcan Burn Bridge from the 18th hole on the Old Course at St. Andrews and putt on an old-style surface with an antique putter as they celebrate the history of golf.

To honor recent inductees, the Hall features an array of memorabilia plus large plasma televisions showcasing highlights from their careers on and off the course.
One of the World Golf Hall of Fame’s most visited areas is the Trophy Tower, which holds a collection of golf’s major championship trophies as well as The PLAYERS Championship, U.S. Amateur and World Golf Championship trophies.

The epicenter of the museum, so to speak, is Shell Hall where members are honored on an 88-foot-long “Wall of Fame”.  Equally entertaining is the Member Locker Room, which features authentic, life-like lockers, one for each World Golf Hall of Fame member. The lockers are filled with items like golf bags, clubs, scorecards, trophies, badges and other golf memorabilia as well as personal items like fly rods, baseball bats, and photos to name a few.
Among the current featured exhibits are “Nancy Lopez: Pride, Passion, and Personality” and “Bob Hope: Shanks for the Memory.”


Renaissance World Golf Village Resort is situated just off Interstate-95 about 12 miles northwest of St. Augustine and 20 miles south of Jacksonville.

Contact Information 

You can click to the Renaissance World Golf Village website or call 888-740-7020 or 904-940-8000.