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Golf Travel: Florida’s First Coast Earns North American Award

Amelia Island Plantation (Ocean Link) Photo: Omni Hotels

Northeastern Florida’s Coast was recently awarded the Golf Destination of the Year for North America for 2017 by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO).

With five distinct coastal regions, each with their own championship golf offerings and luxury southern charm, Amelia Island, Jacksonville and The Beaches, Clay County, Palm Coast and Flagler Beaches, and St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra Beach makes Northeast Florida’s Coast a premier golf destination.

Northeastern Florida’s Coast is globally recognized as the home of THE PLAYERS Championship played each May on TPC Sawgrass’ THE PLAYERS Stadium Course. The region is also home to the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum, PGA TOUR and Champions Tour. Northeast Florida, and its 196 kilometre stretch along Florida’s Atlantic Coast, is home to some of the world’s finest coastal golf courses, resorts and teaching academies in the USA.

IAGTO is the global trade association of the golf tourism industry, comprised of 600 golf tour operators from more than 60 different countries who cast their vote for this award. Each operator is asked to nominate the best performing golf destinations enjoyed by their clients, resulting in five Golf Destination of the Year winners from each of the five regional categories – North America, Latin America & Caribbean, Europe, Africa & Gulf States & Indian Ocean, Asia and Australasia. Criteria under consideration include customer satisfaction, quality of courses and accommodation, value for money, professional conduct of suppliers, support from local tourism industry and accessibility to tee times.

Visiting golfers have many choices to select from boasting 44 travel friendly courses stretching over 196 kilometers of Florida Atlantic coastline. Accommodation choices are abundant featuring 7 luxurious golf resorts with four and 5 diamond ratings as well as upper mid-scale accommodations. Apart from the fantastic golf, accommodations, beaches and Florida sunshine – the region’s people have a hospitable culture and southern charm that has visiting golfers returning year after year. Shopping, local seafood dining and popular local breweries and wineries are also part of the local flare our guests partake.

For golf aficionados and leisure travellers alike, Northeast Florida’s travel access points are easy to navigate. The award winning Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) has up to 14 daily flights connecting from all international gateways within the United States and direct service from Toronto. By car, the regional motorways are brilliantly positioned for efficiently navigating the region and is just a short 1.5 hour drive from Orlando.