Golfing is a huge draw to Florida where courses are open year round, there’s no snow, or dare we say, blizzards, to squash your tee time. Ocassionally you will have to tackle some dipping temps below 50 degrees and possibly a tropical storm in the fall. Let’s face it, we have amazing weather here in Northeast Florida that beckons the golfers to the course to enjoy more greens and hopefully less bunkers! Golfing is not for everyone though, so with no experience whatsoever to comment on golfing, I enlisted the help of Mike Criswell, an avid golfer, whose recent move to the area has offered many an opportunity for him to delight in the courses of the western part of St. Johns County close to his home in Rivertown.
Meet Mike Criswell – Mike’s Take on Golfing in St. Johns, Florida
I recently retired and moved to St. Johns from South Florida, the golf mecca of the country. I was surprised to see St. Johns County offers golfers a wide variety of courses to choose from. As a golf lover, I play at least once a week and thought it would be helpful to offer other golfers new to the area some information on course conditions, difficulty and pricing.
For the most part I play four different courses: The Golf Club at South Hampton, St. Johns Golf and Country Club, Cimarrone Golf Club and Julington Creek Golf Club all of which are in western St. Johns County. My favorite of the four is The Golf Club of South Hampton.
The Golf Club of South Hampton
About The Golf Club at South Hampton
The Golf Club at South Hampton is located at 315 S Hampton Club Way, St. Augustine, FL 32092. The course was designed by Mark McCumber and is is known as one of the areas most player friendly courses. The course includes 16 large lakes and over 60 bunkers to challenge golfers of all levels. Reserving you tee time is easy with online tee time booking for advance scheduling. Of course, there’s a beer/beverage cart while taking those swings on the course but when you’re done on the greens, The Grille is available to cure that hunger with a wide variety of breakfast and lunch items on the menu. If you’re strapped for time there are “to go” options as well. Membership to the Golf Club at South Hampton features different levels as well as general public rates.
Mike’s Thoughts on The Golf Club at South Hampton: I prefer the course condition of The Golf Club of South Hampton the most. The grounds crew does a very good job of maintaining the greens and course. The course fits all skill sets and has generous fairways. Their greens are very receptive and are not too angulated. Just a suggestion, the putts do not break as much as they look like they do. The encounters I have had with the staff have all been very positive. Pricing is about the average for this time of the year and booking tee times online is very easy.
Cimarrone Golf Club
About Cimarrone Golf Club
Cimarrone Golf Club is located at 2800 Cimarrone Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32259 just across the street from The Golf Club at South Hampton. The course was designed by David Poselthwait creatively through expansive pine areas and marshlands in a rolling terrain full or water hazards to keep you on your toes. Amenities include practice area and short game areas to include bunker and putting green. Cimarrone also includes a lavish clubhouse with restaurant and lounge plus banquet center for events of 140+ people which is also available for use by members. There are several membership options available as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner options at the restaurant.
Mike’s Thoughts on Cimarrone Golf Club: Cimarrone Golf Club is right across the street from The Golf Club of South Hampton and if you like a lot of water to contend with, well this is your course. It is a little tight in areas so be prepared to lose some balls but good shot making will keep you coming back for some more. Last time I played I was a little disappointed in the condition of the greens as putts did not run true and bounced a lot. Staff was very friendly and pricing is in line with what it should be for this time of year.
Julington Creek Golf Club
About Julington Creek Golf Club
Julington Creek Golf Club (formerly Champions Club) is located at 1111 Durbin Creek Blvd, St Johns, FL 32259 and offers 18 holes of championship golf on a well-manicured, nicely landscaped course. The course itself is unique with differences to make every round of golf a bit challenging. It’s easy to book your tee time online in advance and head out to the course for a day of fun, yet challenging, golf. The restaurant, The Parkway Pub, is open from 7:30a.m. til 6:00p.m. with a hearty menu to help replenish after the day on the course!
Mike’s Thoughts on Julington Creek Golf Club: Julington Creek Golf Club is an older course but is very unique and very much a target golf course. The course has a lot of open areas and unique dog legs on the back nine which require precision shot making. The amenities are not as abundant as the other courses but the staff is always very pleasant and friendly.
St. Johns Golf and Country Club
About St. Johns Golf and Country Club: St. Johns Golf and Country Club is located at 205 St Johns Golf Dr, St. Augustine, FL 32092 off CR210 in St. Augustine. The course itself was designed by Clyde Johnston and offers enough challenge for the novice and avid golfer. St. Johns Golf and Country Club was ranked by the National Golf Foundation in customer satisfaction and loyalty. Members can easily book tee times online and make dining reservations for The Bridge at St. Johns as well.
Mike’s Thoughts on St. Johns Golf and Country Club: St. Johns Golf and Country Club is right there with South Hampton for me, if I had to pick which course to play. There is a lot of water but fairways are generous and the greens are big and very nice. The course has a lot of character and does require some skill and good decision making especially if the wind is blowing. Pricing is a little more but in line with The Golf Club of South Hampton. This course is the best when it comes to amenities such as clubhouse, food and bar for after round stories.
For a complete list of Golf Courses on the First Coast click here.
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Jenn Heller is the Operations Manager for The Volen Group, Keller Williams Luxury International, with over 18 years experience in Real Estate. She is a Jacksonville resident via Long Island, NY since 1991, a crafter, chalk painter and an avid fitness enthusiast.