Joe Lee-designed Palm Beach National Golf and Country Club: A prime example of Florida golf
LAKE WORTH, Fla. -- You hear the term a lot -- traditional Florida golf. Palm Beach National Golf and Country Club is certainly a prime example of the best of traditional Florida golf. It can wear that badge with pride.
There's nothing particularly fancy about this 1960s design, which the late course architect Joe Lee later redesigned. There are a couple of signature holes: The island green third and the par-4 18th, which features a fountain and a lake that comes into play both off the tee and the approach.
But what sets Palm Beach National apart is that not only are the rest of the holes pretty good, but this former private club excels in conditioning, hospitality and value.
Golfers who play here can expect well conditioned TifEagle greens, wide fairways and plenty of intrigue. The course can play as long as 6,736 yards or as short as 5,086. There are five sets of tees, and the forward tees are positioned such that forced carries are kept to a minimum.
Besides the par-3 third, which plays 165 yards from the tips, there are plenty of other interesting holes.
The fifth, for example, is a 430-yard par 4 with water on the right. It's the No. 1 handicap hole. The ninth has a large palm tree in the middle of the fairway and two palm trees in one of the greenside bunkers. Then there's the 14th and 15th.
The 14th is a great birdie opportunity. It's just 509 yards from the back tee with a lone fairway bunker out to the right. Hit a good drive, and you'll have a chance to hit this green in two or at least get near it.
The 15th is a little harder. It's just 390 yards, but there's water on both sides of the fairway of this dogleg right. The key is to hit a good tee shot to set up a short approach into a green guarded by three bunkers.
As for the rest of the golf course, it's a mixture of more doglegs, undulating greens, water hazards and bunkers that set visuals off the tee and provide occasional trouble around the greens.
Although Palm Beach National still retains a membership component, it's inviting to the daily-fee player. Inside the clubhouse, guests can enjoy full locker rooms, complete with shower facilities. There's also a full-service grill, serving favorites such as Caesar salads, chicken sandwiches and the signature cheeseburger. The main dining room can accommodate up to 150 guests, and the patio overlooks the golf course.
Practice facilities are also top-notch, with a large grass range, putting green and short-game area. And lessons are available from Palm Beach National's professional staff. They offer clinics and individual lessons.
Palm Beach National Golf and Country Club: The verdict
Palm Beach National Golf and Country Club is good ole traditional Florida golf at an affordable price. The course is well conditioned, interesting and very playable for golfers of all abilities.
The facility also has a very welcoming atmosphere. While it retains a membership component from its former private-club days, daily-fee guests get the member treatment as well, whether it's in the pro shop or the dining facility.
On advantage to visiting a semi-private facility are its locker room and shower facilities, making it perfect for play on getaway day to the airport. For a good value and fun golf experience, Palm Beach National delivers.
June 6, 2012