St. Petersburg Golf Courses: 7 Area Hot Spots for Golfers

Florida, a mecca of surf and golf, has more than 1,250 private and public golf courses lining the Sunshine State landscape. One top city for scenic courses is St. Pete located in the Tampa Bay metro. Within the area — where Bob Goalby set the PGA Tour record for most consecutive birdies (8) in the 1961 St. Petersburg Open — lies an array of some of Florida’s finest golfing experiences. See our picks for the top St. Petersburg golf courses and accept the challenge.

Top 7 St. Petersburg Golf Courses to Test Your Skills

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TPC Tampa Bay, Lutz, FL

Named one of the top five golf courses in Florida by Florida Golf Magazine and host to a PGA TOUR Champions event for 21 consecutive years, this course awaits just 35 minutes north of downtown St. Pete. It greens wind through natural wetlands, cypress heads and lagoons, providing a challenging championship course that gives golfers the chance to play well within their game.

A variety of teeing areas allow the course to be played from 4,990 yards to just under 7,000 yards, with water on almost every hole. But that’s what makes TPC Tampa Bay fun as well as demanding. Fun fact: Former PGA legend Chi Chi Rodriguez consulted on the building of this elite course.

Isla Del Sol Yacht and Country Club, St. Petersburg, FL

This St. Pete country club is private in the winter but open to the public in spring and summer months. Nestled between the southern tip of St. Petersburg and St. Pete Beach on Boca Ciega Bay, this first-class 18-hole par-71 course features 6,392 yards of golf from the longest tees.

With 29 courses in the state of Florida to his credit, the late Mark Mahannah designed Isla Del Sol, which opened in 1977. Today, it provides the services of a four-man golf staff. Isla Del Sol’s narrow, condominium-lined fairways and abundant palm trees come into play throughout the course. All 18 holes feature water hazards, and for a challenge, the course’s signature 8th hole — a 343-yard, par 4 — requires an approach shot over water to an island green.

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Mainlands Golf Course, Pinellas Park, FL

This tranquil course lies under the watchful gaze of the legendary though largely mythical Uncle Julio, a late 19-century relative of longtime course owner William A. Blair. Mainlands Golf Course golfers can ride 18 holes for just $35, or walk it for $30.

Not far from Pinellas Park, the establishment — family owned and operated since 1971 — has a well-stocked pro shop in addition to magnificent views and challenging play for golfers at every skill level. Most golfers will use every club in their bag. Shoot or break par 67 and get a free round of golf! Uncle Julio still shouts out directives from above, like offering half-off greens fees and discounts on golf ball purchases at certain times.

Mangrove Bay, St. Petersburg, FL

This par-72 municipal layout located on 180 beautifully maintained acres in northeast St. Petersburg features 18 holes of championship golf on USGA modified platinum paspalum greens. The course’s mangroves also provide a bounty of diverse bird species for golfers who enjoy a glimpse of wildlife.

Mangrove Bay was named one of the Top 100 Most Women Friendly Golf Courses by Golf for Women magazine, and Golf Digest’s Best Places to Play ranked Mangrove Bay as a three-star course, lauding the well-maintained facility as an excellent value. PGA professional golf lessons are available for groups and individuals, and junior golf programs feature lessons for ages 6 to 18.

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Seminole Lake Country Club, Seminole, FL

This club offers a semi-private facility set among native Florida landscaping and scenic views of Long Bayou near the popular vacation communities of Reddington Beach. Seminole Lake Country Club sits on a peninsula surrounded with water on three sides and emits the old Florida feel on its 18-hole, 6,501-yard, from the back tees, layout.

Gentle breezes and a wealth of bird life indicate the presence of the Gulf nearby. The course even has its own family of bald eagles nesting on site. Seminole Lake’s firm and fast seadwarf paspalum greens contain much less grain than traditional Florida Bermuda grass greens, and the club’s Member for a Day program is popular, allowing non-club members to get out and play.

Rocky Point Golf Course, Tampa, FL

Historic Rocky Point, just 20 minutes northeast of St. Petersburg City Hall, was one of the first golf courses in Florida, originally opening as the Tampa Automobile Club in 1911. During World War II, the federal government closed the course and built barracks on the property to house prisoners of war. The grounds were turned over to the city of Tampa for a mere dollar in 1953, reopening in 1954 as Rocky Point Golf Course.

The layout provides a fair challenge, with water hazards coming into play on 11 holes and sand bunkers strategically placed throughout. Abundant wildlife teems through the course’s surrounding lakes, which also serve as a bird sanctuary.

And if the mood suits, couple’s can get married at Rocky Point Golf Course! Which of course includes a wedding golf package.

Bardmoor Golf and Tennis Club, Seminole, FL

Bardmoor houses broad, generous fairways that invite players to hit past water and other features that add sparkle to a round. Some heavy hitters from the past — Arnold Palmer, Payne Stewart, Fred Couples and Tom Kite, among other PGA Tour greats — competed here back in the days of the PGA/LPGA JCPenney Classic, from 1977-89.

A renovation by Gary Koch brought Bardmoor’s overall conditions up to consistently excellent. The club sports Tif-Eagle greens that rival tour status, state-of-the-art practice facilities, an award-winning shop, and personal service complete a great golfing experience. In addition, a renovated event venue featuring a stylish ballroom and an outdoor patio accommodates events for up to 200 guests, making Bardmoor an attractive option for corporate meetings and social events.

It’s time to plan a golf getaway. Get started with these St. Pete vacation rentals.

Need something for the kids to do? Check out these top attractions.