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Florida's Hidden Gems

Golf Club at Fleming Island Plantation, Orange Park
Shortly after this Bobby Weed design outside Jacksonville opened in 2000, it was deservedly hailed as one of Florida's best new public courses. After a relatively open front nine, the course turns into the woods, weaving through thickets of ­palmetto and myrtle and stands of pine and live oak.
Yardage: 6,801. Par: 71. Greens Fees: $30–$56. Tee Times: 904-269-1440, flemingislandgolf.com.

Jacaranda Golf Club (east), Plantation
A twenty-minute drive from the beaches of Fort Lauderdale, this venerable thirty-six-hole complex recently hired Bobby Weed to refurbish the East course, the tougher of its two eighteens. Weed regrassed the tees and fairways, replacing an uneven bermuda mix with tighter-knit and drought-resistant paspalum. He also redid the bunkering to make it more strategic. The course reopens Thanksgiving Day.
Yardage: 7,195. Par: 71. Greens Fees: $39–$119. Tee Times: 954-472-5836, golfjacaranda.com.

Rock Springs Ridge Golf Club, Apopka
The twenty-seven holes here, designed by the team of Clifton, Ezell & Clifton, rollick along the border of Orlando's sleepy northwestern "outback." The most adventurous of the nines is the North, roaming the property's deserted oak barrens, followed by the West, which traverses similar terrain.
Yardage: 3,618 (North); 3,517 (South); 3,565 (West). Par: 36 (North, South and West). Greens Fees: $26–$60. Tee Times: 866-285-4653, rockspringsridge.net.

Victoria Hills Golf Club, DeLand
Ron Garl routed the holes here through stands of towering oaks and Augusta pines, with waste and pot bunkers thrown in for good measure. A half hour north of Orlando, the course serves as home to the Stetson University golf teams.Yardage: 6,989. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $49–$85. Tee Times: 386-738-6000, stjoegolf.com.

 

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