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Play Away: 21st Century Florida

Looking to introduce a worthy new layout to your Florida golf rotation?Thanks to a flurry of turn-of-the-millennium course construction, there are many from which to choose. Here are our picks of the Sunshine State's ten best new daily-fee and semiprivate courses to have opened since the year 2000.

1 Camp Creek Golf Club, Panama City Beach. ARCHITECT: Tom Fazio, 2001. YARDAGE/SLOPE: 7,159/145. GREENS FEE: $125. TEE TIMES: 850-231-2019. Fazio communed with nature before fashioning this unusual dunescape-with-wetlands layout, his best work in state since World Woods.

2 Victoria Hills Golf Club, DeLand. ARCHITECT: Ron Garl, 2002. YARDAGE/SLOPE: 6,989/142. GREENS FEES: $45-$95. TEE TIMES: 386-738-6000. Sandy waste areas, sparkling lakes, and mature oaks and pines ring this hilly (for Florida) yet walkable layout that appears grafted from the Carolinas.

3 Ocean Hammock Golf Club, Palm Coast. ARCHITECT: Jack Nicklaus, 2000. YARDAGE/SLOPE: 7,201/148. GREENS FEES: $185-$215. TEE TIMES: 800-654-6538. A links-style creation with six holes fronting the Atlantic plus crafty interior holes angled around ponds, bunkers and scrub-covered dunes. Florida's first oceanfront course since Seminole.

4 Golf Club at Fiddler's Creek, Naples. ARCHITECT: Arthur Hills, 2002. YARDAGE/SLOPE: 7,157/149. GREENS FEES: $100-$150. TEE TIMES: 239-732-7332. This stunning $19 million layout is a high-toned private club open to guests of Marco Beach Ocean Resort. Littoral waterways flow beside beautifully landscaped fairways on this strong test.

5 Naples Grande Golf Club, Naples. ARCHITECT: Rees Jones, 2000. YARDAGE/SLOPE: 7,078/143. GREENS FEES: $60-$185. TEE TIMES: 239-659-3710. A traditional layout with great risk-reward par fives and superb greens. Three miles of rolling berms shield the housing-free course from civilization.

6 SouthWood Golf Club, Tallahassee. ARCHITECTS: Gene Bates and Fred Couples, 2002. YARDAGE/SLOPE: 7,172/ 133. GREENS FEES: $50-$65. TEE TIMES: 850-942-4653. The home to Florida State University's golf teams flows across a terrain of moss-draped live oaks. A killer from the "Boom Boom" tees.

7 King & Bear, World Golf Village, St. Augustine. ARCHITECTS: Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, 2000. YARDAGE/SLOPE: 7,279/143. GREENS FEES: $125-$175. TEE TIMES: 904-940- 6088. Old rivals Arnie and Jack blended their styles to turn out a solid, versatile test near America's oldest city. The front nine is open; loblolly pines, saw palmettos and oaks hem in the back.

8 Harmony Golf Preserve, Harmony. ARCHITECTS: Johnny Miller and Fred Bliss, 2002. YARDAGE/SLOPE: 7,428/136. GREENS FEES: $75-$105. TEE TIMES: 407-891-8525. A strategic layout with doglegs carved from pines, meadows and wetlands. Even Johnny steers clear of the back tees when he's in town.

9 Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Grande Lakes, Orlando. ARCHITECT: Greg Norman, 2003. YARDAGE/SLOPE: 7,122/ 139. GREENS FEES: $99-$149. TEE TIMES: 407-393-4900. At the headwaters of the Everglades, this layout proceeds through a wooded preserve of lakes and wetlands. Norman's shaved green collars, skimpy rough and dramatic waste areas mark the design.

10 Eagle Creek Golf Club, Orlando. ARCHITECTS: Ron Garl and Howard Swan, 2004. YARDAGE/SLOPE: 7,198/130. GREENS FEES: $40-$110. TEE TIMES: 407- 273-4653. A stern test, with bulkheaded water hazards and many revetted bunkers—the "auld sod" look with better weather.


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