Ritz-Carlton is legendary for service so effusive it's almost embarrassing—almost. But at two new Florida properties, the Ritz has outdone even itself: It's brought the concierge onto the course. Both Grande Lakes Orlando, a 500-acre resort that opened in July with a 584-room Ritz-Carlton hotel, and the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club & Spa, Jupiter, a private residential club community that debuted this November, feature the company's Golf Caddie-Concierge program. Launched at Ritz-Carlton's White Witch course in Jamaica, the GCC calls for an "attendant" to accompany each group, assisting with what Rob Festino, caddie manager at Jupiter, calls "any unexpressed wishes." In other words, if you're reeling from all the Sunshine State's sunshine, don't be surprised to receive an ice-cold Japanese oshibori face towel soaked in rum and lime juice.
Perhaps the caddies' best move at both tracks would be to keep players off the tips. Designed by Greg Norman, the 7,122-yard par-seventy-two Grande Lakes course winds through wetlands and woodlands, concluding with three dynamic snaking finishers. "It's a classic risk-reward layout designed to play to each golfer's level," said Norman. Indeed, conditions were fast and firm for our preview tour—but the wide landing areas and spacious greens lessened the sting. In Jupiter, Jack Nicklaus has sprinkled eighty-three pot-style bunkers around this immaculate 7,224-yard par seventy-two. "The bunkers are meant to be a penalty, but you've got to be kind of unlucky to get in them," Nicklaus told T&L Golf. Still, keep it in the short grass and the ball seemingly runs forever on the course's rolling, carpet-like fairways. Now, that's what we call service.