The Country Club Course at PGA Country Club – Port St. Lucie, Florida Guru's Rating: 7.8
Non-Resident Weekend Rate (with cart): N/A
While “first class” isn’t generally associated with organizations that have affiliates in Port St. Lucie, Florida (READ: The New York Mets), PGA Country Club is an exception. The private club of nearby PGA Village (which features three other terrific public courses just down the road), PGA Country Club is top notch: solid amenities, practice facilities, food, maintenance, and an attentive and friendly staff. Most importantly, it’s not the stereotypical Florida golf course: pine trees line fairways which are actually NARROW (novel concept in Florida), and there’s an elevation change here and there. In fact, if you took a nine-iron to the head and lost track of your bearings for a moment (here’s hoping that doesn’t happen), you might think you were in Carolina.
There was one slight drawback to PGA Country Club: a dingy, crowded locker room and lounge. To make matters worse, the day we played, the club was home to a wedding, which spilled into that locker room. The groom and his friends used the space to shower and primp, making for a very uncomfortable situation for us (unless you’re into watching a guy you don’t know bathe in front of you, moments before his nuptials). A little pre-wedding nudity might have scarred me for life, but it wasn’t enough to sour me on this course.
Most Memorable Hole: I love the view from the tee-box at #10. You’re shaded by pine trees, driving onto a sloped fairway with traps and a substantial hill on the right, and a water hazard on the left. Your approach is downhill and with a potentially uneven stance. Fourteen is also special: short dogleg left with an elevated green.
Most Difficult Hole: #3 requires a bear of a drive towards a narrow, bunker-lined fairway. The green is guarded by daunting traps with steep lips – and it’s so big that if you miss, you might feel like you’re putting from Boca.
The Bottom Line: The quality of PGA Country Club is probably enough of a reason to drive the most boring sixty-to-ninety minutes of your life up I-95 (if you’re staying in Palm Beach or Broward County). Lord knows, the sorry excuse for a Major League Baseball team that trains there in February and March certainly isn’t (in case you’re wondering, this type of bitterness is cathartic for a Mets fan).
Guru’s Tip: It’s the little things that make a difference: you’ve got a cooler with complimentary bottled water on each side of your cart, plus towels. The staff is both affable AND knowledgeable: take the advice the rangers generously offer as they pass by.