How to Play Your Best Golf While in Florida

PGA.com
By
Rick Martino, PGA

Series:

Published: Thursday, November 11, 2010 | 3:31 p.m.

If you are coming down to Port St. Lucie to visit us here at the PGA Golf Club, you are in for some outstanding golf. From our world-class PGA Learning Center (pictured above), perhaps the most advanced and impressive Game Improvement center in the world, to our excellent choices of golf courses for you, you are assured of one of the great golf experiences of your life.

But there are a few things I'd suggest you be mindful of before you pack your clubs. Golf in Florida is not like golf in some areas of the country. In order to make the most of your time here, you should be prepared for what is in store for you.

First, the grass here might be different than what you are used to. We have bermuda grass here, in the rough and the fairway, and champions turf greens. What does that mean for you? Well, the thicker blades of bermuda will mean you will have tight lies on the fairway and the ball will tend to fly further on each shot. Conversely, in the snarly rough, your ball will come out slower.

On the greens, the champions turf grass -- which is a strain of bermuda -- means that your putts will not roll out as much as it would on bent grass greens. So the grain of the grass is stronger, the balls will not trickle out like you would see on greens up north. Of course, no resort facility is going to have their greens cut too short, as the amount of play each day would not allow it. But the greens will run between 8-10 on the stimpmeter, which is a comfortable speed for most golfers.

There is a good bit of water here at the PGA Golf Club, but the fairways at all three courses can be generous. Still, if you can shape your shots to follow the contour of the holes, you will find your game to be much more manageable.

Finally, if you are playing golf in Florida, that means you are playing with some wind. Ideally, if you can keep the ball a little lower than normal, you will do better in dealing with the wind. Another thing to consider is learning how much certain wind speeds affect your shots, whether behind, across, or blowing into you.

Visiting the PGA Golf Club is a trip every serious golfer should make at least once. It is one of golf's premier destinations for those looking to learn, practice, and play great golf. But understanding some of the unique challenges of golf here will only enhance your experience here. I hope to see you on the tee.