Whether you’re driving the beach or driving the fairways, Florida’s Daytona Beach has everything you’d want in a vacation destination. Located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean 55 miles northeast of Orlando, Daytona Beach features 23 miles of world-famous white sand, ideal for running, walking, cycling, riding and driving—your car, that is.
The Daytona Beach area offers 23 golf courses, with enough variety to appeal to all skill levels. One of the showcase facilities is LPGA International, which boasts two championship tracks: A Rees Jones course and an Arthur Hills course. Since 1994, the signature Rees Jones golf course has been a favorite of tour golfers. At 7,088 yards, it’s a traditional links-style design that features strategic mounding, numerous expanses of sand bunkers, natural marsh areas, beautiful lakes, and undulating greens. Golfers will find challenges at every turn on the companion signature Arthur Hills Course built in 1997. Hills used a superb natural setting to create a masterpiece in playability and variety, a par-72 layout that measures 6,984 yards. The course features natural wetlands, narrow pine corridors, small greens, and strategically placed water hazards.
Here’s a brief overview of other Daytona Beach area courses.
The Daytona Beach Golf Club has been in existence since 1921. The South Course is the original 18 holes and was designed by Donald Ross. The tee shots are very forgiving but the approaches are demanding. Florida oaks and tall pines with a little water are a great feature on this golf course, a short par 71 that stretches to only 6,229 yards. The North Course, the most demanding of the two courses, was designed in 1946 by Slim Deathridge, the head professional and club manager at the time. It was redesigned by Lloyd Clifton and reopened in 1997. Today, the North Course is a par 72 that measures 6,338 yards.
The par-72, 7,072-yard Venetian Bay Golf Club is in a picturesque New Smyrna Beach setting. This turf farm turned golf course features a wooded front nine and links-style back nine offering challenging play at every turn.
The par-72 golf course at New Smyrna Golf Club measures 6,567 yards from the back tees. It was designed by Donald Ross in 1948, opening for play in 1953. In 2006 Bobby Weed completely renovated this beautiful course. You’ll find excellent course conditions year-round.
The New Smyrna Beach Municipal Golf Course, a Donald Ross design, is a par 72 stretching to 6,450 yards. In 2006, Bobby Weed completely renovated the course, which offers excellent year-round conditions.
Located in Daytona Beach’s premier country club community, Pelican Bay North is a Lloyd Clifton designed course, winding around sparkling waterways and lush greens, and providing a truly enjoyable, relaxing golf experience. The par-72 North Course measures 6,836 yards from the tips.
Pelican Bay South, also a Lloyd Clifton-designed course, is just as visually appealing. This par 72 measures 6,350 yards and features many doglegs, with water coming into play on 13 holes.
Renowned course architects Arthur Hills and Mike Dasher were commissioned to use the abundant Florida topography of thick forests, wetlands and water to create Cypress Head Golf Club, a fair but challenging layout. This public golf course is owned by the City of Port Orange just minutes from Daytona Beach and the Daytona International Speedway. The golf course is versatile with a variety of tee boxes allowing play from under 4,900 to just over 6,800 yards with many risk/reward options. The golf course and restaurant are undergoing a renovation and will reopen to the public on November 1.
Crane Lakes Golf & Country Club features an extremely well-manicured, semi-private 18-hole golf course located in the heart of Port Orange. Secluded from the busy life, Crane Lakes offers a tranquil setting and picturesque backdrop. It’s tucked away among tall pine trees and 23 bucolic lakes. This surrounding landscape affords Crane Lakes Golf & Country Club visitors a view of various wildlife while enjoying a round of golf. The par 66 is a short 5,001 yards.
Après Golf Options
Florida’s tallest lighthouse: Completed in 1887 and visited by more than 170,000 people each year, the Ponce De Leon Inlet Light Station was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1998. The lighthouse tower and museum are 10 miles south of Daytona Beach and are open to the public year-round. The lighthouse is close to Orlando attractions, historic St. Augustine and the Kennedy Space Center. Visitors can climb 203 steps to the top of the 175-foot tower and enjoy magnificent views of the “World’s Most Famous Beach,” Ponce Inlet, and surrounding inland waterways from the lighthouse gallery deck. Every month, when the moon is at its fullest, visitors ascend to the top of the lighthouse for the Climb to the Moon event to witness the setting sun and rising full moon.
Old Sugar Mill Ruins: This ruin is one of 16 sugar plantations built between New Smyrna and St. Augustine in the 1830s. The sugar mill supplied molasses to make rum and refined sugar, but was destroyed during the Seminole War of 1835. A popular attraction on the grounds is the Old Spanish Sugar Mill Grill and Griddle House, which features griddles right at your table! You cook the pancakes and eggs on the griddle, while the server brings you the ham, bacon, sausage, toast, coffee, etc. It’s a delightfully fun dining adventure.
Daytona International Speedway: Home of the Daytona 500 —“The Great American Race”—the Daytona International Speedway is a must-visit. The enormous 480-acre motorsports complex offers 30-minute to three-hour tours of the facility, including the 2.5-mile tri-oval whose turns are banked at 31 degrees. Premium infield RV parking is available during races.
The Daytona Beach area has nearly a dozen RV options. For comprehensive information on everything in Daytona, including campgrounds and RV parks, visit daytonabeach.com.
Rick Stedman is an avid golfer, RVer and writer. Rick writes a weekly golf blog, “The 19th Hole,” which is published every Saturday at rvlife.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.