Hidden Gems: Best Southwest Florida Golf Courses


The Naples area is famous for its golf, and that point is definitely not lost on the professional tour players. Many of the pros have a primary or secondary home in the Marco/Naples/Bonita area, including Peter Jacobsen, Scott Hoch, Chip Beck, Rocco Mediate, John Harris, Wayne Levi, Mark Lye, Fuzzy Zoeller, Kris Tamulis, and others.

Each year, more pros purchase homes after experiencing Naples by playing in the Champion’s Tour Ace Classic and The Shark Shootout, hosted by Greg Norman. They then come home to work on their game with their instructors. Top-100 teachers such as David Leadbetter, Rick Smith, Dr. Jim Suttie, and Tom Patri have academies in the Naples area.

Other sports celebrities have also found their home in paradise, such as Larry Bird, Mike Ditka, Dr. Jack Ramsey, Ara Parseghian, Dave Wannstedt, Chuck Noll, Charlie babb, Mary Carillo, and Johan Kriek. This is by no means ALL of them, but it shows the desirability of Southwest Florida for celebrities who can choose to live anywhere.

Here’s a little of what attracts them to the area. 

1. Old Corkscrew

This course is Jack Nicklaus signature design in Estero, just a few exits north of Naples. With a 7,400 yard course that’s also a certified Audubon Internal Silver Signature Sanctuary, this course has become legendary in South West Florida. Complete with a rough of pine-edged wetlands and it’s own challenging sprawls of sand, the course is definitely able to challenge its players. 

2. Copperhead Course

Earning its claim to fame when four-time major champion Ernie Els named this course the best Tour course in Florida, the Copperhead Course continues to hosts PGA players each year during the Valspar Championship. Located at the Innisbrook Resort near Tampa, this course is a challenge due to its rolling, water, and pine tree lined features. With blue heron, alligators, bald eagles, and fox squirrels making their home in the course and abundant water features, Copperhead is sure to put up an interesting round.

3. Tiburón Golf Club

Featuring two 18-hole courses, Black and Gold, and being home to both the LPGA Tour's CME Group Tour Championship and the PGA TOUR's QBE Shootout, Tiburón Golf Club has earned a name for itself in the professional circuit. It is consistently rated among the top 20 golf facilities in Florida by Golf Digest and GOLF Magazine. Best known for hosting Greg Norman’s Franklin Templeton Shootout, or as it was once called the Shark Shootout, the Tiburón Golf Course is earning itself a household name in the golf community. Nearby the beachfront Ritz Carlton hotel, Tiburón is a must-play course in the area. Located in Naples, the semi-private club is a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. 

4. Jacaranda West

Continuing to maintain its ranking as one of the best courses in all of SouthWest Florida, Jacaranda West’s landscape has minimal natural surroundings in comparison to its competitors. Bunkers, forced carries, and water features, add to the already challenging course, however unlike a majority of courses in the area, there are fewer natural boundaries (like wetlands or woods) making for a more standard golfing experience, and the 5 different tees keep the game moving swiftly and the course fresh for players. The course’s difficulty is complemented by the surrounding mix of greenery and abundance of palm trees throughout. 

5. Riverwood Golf and Country Club

One of the best-kept secrets in Southwest Florida, Riverwood Golf Club has been highly ranked by Golf Week Magazine, Golf Digest, Golf Advisor, and Golf For Women Magazine. This par 72 championship course in Port Charlotte, is a can’t-miss course in the area. With a pine-wooded rough lining the fairways, and a back nine that meanders through wetlands and salt marshes, this course truly takes advantage of its natural surroundings making for a challenging, yet enjoyable round. 


We work diligently to offer the highest level of top notch service with integrity. Discover Naples luxury real estate with premier realty firm, Gulf Coast International Properties.

Contact Us