The PGA Village

Florida is for the Birds. To enter The PGA Village in Port St. Lucie, turn left on Perfect Drive, lined with pin oaks, palmettos and pines. In danger of extinction, tall sand cranes abound as bald eagles soar, along with magnificent blue herons, white cranes, and egrets. Snowbirds contribute to the state economy, hoping as all golfers for the grand birdies on the course.

Golfers, not in danger of extinction, flock to The PGA Village. The onsite PGA Historical Center is a fantastic golf museum, displaying the Ryder Cup, Donald Ross’ 1900’s workbench and much more. Admission is free but the exhibits and trivia are priceless. A good reminder for all is displayed as Walter Hagen’s testimony of ’67: “You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry, and be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”

All three courses at The PGA Village are truly wonderful, starting with the easy Ryder course. Flat like Florida’s overall terrain, the wide fairways are lined with nicely landscaped homes. The Pete Dye course is more challenging, with his expected fairway undulations. Everglades or marshland blend with natural cart paths, frame the course. Depth perception is distorted. Difficulty in determining the best shot placement is a cornerstone of Pete Dye designs. Afternoon play on Wanamaker was a case of saving the best for last. A gorgeous, intriguing course, with natural water hazards, elevation and pot bunkers on steroids, Wanamaker resulted in higher scores and bigger thrills. We “wanna” go back for more.

The learning facility is a wonderland of golf. It features 2 driving ranges with 110 tee boxes, multiple greens from various time periods, 9 practice bunkers with distinct varieties of sand, a fine restaurant and great golf shop. A morning till 9pm day pass for $25 makes this the utopia for golf practice.

Training options are unmatched from a technological and personal experience viewpoint. They say consistency is more important than the putting score. So maybe consistent golf isn’t an oxymoron?  The focus is on individual physical capabilities. One goal is to make hips act like whips. Golfers come from near and far to earn a degree or tweak their game. Several international golf teams have attended the program to prepare for the 2012 Olympics.

The Hilton Garden Inn serves hot morning beverages in the lobby. Their Sam Snead restaurant is a great tribute to the legendary namesake, including a photo of Sam with Andy Griffith, toting birds after a hunting expedition. Just 30 minutes from the beach, The PGA Village is a destination for every true golfer. To vacation, live or to winter, if you ever thought about Florida, now is the time to join the birds. for more information.

Written by Danny and Alice Scott, Couple of Travelers and founders of Butthead Covers, Inc.

The PGA Village Review

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