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Courses

The best courses you can play in Naples

December 06, 2022

With South Florida’s reliable warm temps and a more laid-back vibe than the hustle of the Sunshine State’s Atlantic Coast, Naples is an increasingly popular destination for snowbirds. And for golf-minded Northerners looking for a winter escape, this Southwest Florida hotspot should be near the top of any list, as it boasts more than 100 courses within 30 miles of the city center.

Yet with all the golf, buddies’ trips to Naples aren't as common as the reliable favorites—Orlando, Scottsdale, Myrtle Beach, etc. That’s because of the over 100 nearby courses, the vast majority are private. 

That said, if you’re visiting Naples this winter and don’t have any ins with a private club, you still have some solid options, which we’ve gathered for you in this collection of the Best Courses You Can Play in Naples. These options range from a high-end centrally located resort to a couple lesser-known gems just east of the city.

It’s worth noting that we’d typically include Raptor Bay on a list of must-play courses in Naples, but it is currently undergoing a renovation. It is scheduled to reopen in early 2023 as Saltleaf Golf Preserve, so keep an eye out for this revamped Raymond Floyd design. 

Scroll on to learn more about each course and be sure to expand each course page to read reviews from our course-ranking panelists. We hope you enjoy our searchable course database, Places to Play, our new hub for course reviews, experts’ opinions and star ratings.

Old Corkscrew Golf Club
Public
Old Corkscrew Golf Club
Estero, FL
Old Corkscrew, designed by Jack Nicklaus, is routed through the natural landscape of Southwest Florida (no homes!), serving as a habitat for dozens of exotic animals. The challenging layout plays among cypress trees, tall pines and wetlands, demanding accuracy over distance throughout. Though it's 30 minutes northeast of Naples, Old Corkscrew's absence of homes and tranquil setting make it unique in Southwest Florida—and well worth the drive.
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Tiburon Golf Club: Gold
Public
Tiburon Golf Club: Gold
Naples, FL
Of the public options sprinkled across Naples, Greg Norman's Tiburón courses at the Ritz-Carlton provide the best balance of quality golf and convenience, situated in the heart of North Naples. That ideal combination comes at a cost, though, as green fees can be upwards of $300. The Gold course—ranked on our Best Courses You Can Play in Florida list—features stacked sod wall bunkers and no conventional rough and is home to the LPGA’s CME Group Tour Championship and the PGA Tour’s QBE Shootout.
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Tiburon Golf Club: Black
Public
Tiburon Golf Club: Black
Naples, FL

Nestled among the Florida pines, Tiburón Black uses the natural landscape to feature undulating greens and crushed coquina waste areas. Like its sibling Gold course at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, the Black is featured on our Best Courses You Can Play in Florida list.

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Lely Resort Golf & Country Club: Mustang

If you’re staying close to downtown Naples or on the south side of town, Lely Resort is a great public option. There are 54 holes on property, with two of the three layouts open for public play. The par-72 Mustang, designed by World Golf Hall of Famer Lee Trevino, tips out over 7,200 yards and plays through the South Florida marshlands. We would typically recommend Lely's Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed Flamingo Island layout as well, but the course was recently regrassed and needs some time to grow in.

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Panther Run Golf Club
Public
Panther Run Golf Club
Ave Maria, FL
About 30 miles inland from Naples, Panther Run is a scenic layout situated in the Ave Maria community. The course is a manageable drive from North Naples and provides some of the best value in the area, making it well worth the trek. The front nine plays through a residential community before moving to a far more secluded back side, which has plenty of serene holes. Though there is water in play throughout, the landing areas are generous and the greens are large, making it a manageable course for all handicaps. The course finishes strong, with a Biarritz green at the par-3 17th and an island green (albeit a generous one) at the par-5 18th. We recommend a late afternoon round at Panther Run, as dusk tends to bring out the back nine’s beauty.
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The National Golf & Country Club at Ave Maria
For a course that opened just a few years ago (2020), The National at Ave Maria has grown in quickly, providing quality playing conditions. Though water is in play on just about every hole, the fairways at this Gordon Lewis design are generally wide. There are five sets of tees, ranging from 4,500 yards to 7,300 yards, giving every player options. The par-5 16th plays 701 yards from the tips and is one of the longest holes in Collier Country. Given the course is relatively new, there is still plenty of construction going on as homes are being built throughout the course.
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Valencia Golf & Country Club
Public
Valencia Golf & Country Club
Naples, FL
Valencia is a staple in the Naples public golf scene for its value and reliable course conditions. The course is forgiving off the tee, with few forced carries and wide fairways framed by palm and cypress trees. The greens have plenty of undulation and are a welcome departure from the large, flat surfaces of many Florida public layouts. As part of a 2018 renovation, the fairways were reseeded with Celebration Bermuda and the greens were converted to TifEagle. In addition to an all-grass driving range, there is a short-game area with a practice bunker adjacent to the first tee.
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