South Florida Escape – Day 1

(October 22, 2012) Palm Beach Gardens -It’s a struggle every year.  Each Fall Flagstick Publisher Jeff Bauder and myself set out on a golf trip that is both a combination of fact-gathering mission and rest and relaxation after a long summer.  No, the struggle is not taking the vacation, the strife comes when we try to decide where we will go.

It’s not unlike the decisions any golfer goes through, trying to find the perfect golf vacation destination can be a challenge.  Many prefer to return to the same spot again and again but for us, exploring new locales allows us to share more with Flagstick readers while adding a little more texture to our own lives.

This year was no different.  At times we talked about San Francisco, Branson, Missouri, Washingston State, Alabama’s Gulf Shores, and the Florida Panhandle. In the end though, we settled on South East Florida.

Why, you may or may not ask?  Well, each of us has been to Florida dozens of times yet we both had never teed it up in one of the most fertile golfing grounds in all of North America.

Which leads me to where I am tonight.

I type this out in one of the 379 spacious rooms at the PGA National Resort & Spa.  Recently renovated to the tune of $65 million, we’ll spend the next three nights here before heading up the road to Port St. Lucie and the PGA Village for a couple more.

Both these locales come highly recommended and for that alone they proved attractive.  That, and the 90 degree weather this time of year!

Throw in five golf courses at PGA National and three more at PGA Village and you can see why we have made the flight from Ottawa to the well-heeled south-east Florida coast.

Tomorrow we have 36 holes lined up.  As glad as we are about that it does not come without a price.  The first course we face will be The Champion Course at PGA National.  It’s renowned as the host of the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic and the home of “The Bear Trap.”  The “Trap” is a trio of formidable holes deep in to the courses back nine that gives fits to even the best players in the world.

We’re sure to find our share of trouble tomorrow; there is water on 32 of the 36 holes we will play.  But even so, as Canadians golfing in late October, we’ll take whatever the course cares to serve up for us.

Lumps or otherwise, we’ll be enjoying the sunshine of Florida with golf clubs in our hand.

No matter what happens in the next few days those are great ingredients to work with as we cook up another batch of golf memories between friends.

Tune in tomorrow as I’ll share my assessment of the golf here at PGA National and a little insight in to the Resort’s deep golfing pedigree.


A big thanks goes out to the team at Buffalo Communications helping us to coordinate this trip.  A special nod to Janeen Driscoll, David Wood, and Glenn Gray. If you are on Twitter be sure to give them a follow.  Janeen (@travelbuf) , David (@AuthorDavidWood) , and Glenn (@glenncgray)