If you could pluck nine holes from across Naples and Marco Island’s top golf resorts to create a dream front nine, what might the layout include? We think they might include these demanding, picturesque, and compelling signature holes.
Naples and Marco Island together boast more than 90 top golf courses, consisting of 1,620 holes stretched over 450 kilometers of stunning landscape – no wonder the area is often called the “golf capital of the world.” In honor of that, we scoured the best golf courses across the Paradise Coast to bring you this carefully curated collection of holes that will test all aspects of your game.
Hole #18, The Talon Course at TwinEagles Golf Club
It is a fairly universal opinion that this Jack Nicklaus–designed course’s par-4 18th is one of the area’s most demanding finishing holes. In true Southwest Florida–style, it is the water obstacles that, along with a difficult tee shot to negotiate the fairway bunkers left and right, give it its reputation for being an often fatal end to a good round of golf.
Hole #5, The Flamingo Course
What helps to set this Robert Trent Jones, Sr.–designed course (characterized by hourglass fairways, sand bunkers, and large undulating greens) apart is its par-3, 200-yard 5th hole. The curved and rolling fairway is entirely surrounded by water, with bunkers built along one side and two small bridges being its only connection to the mainland. It’s an ideal island hole for players who welcome a change from the monotony of the usual obstacles.
Hole #15, The Country Club of Naples
This 222-yard par-3 is sited in lush jungle of big trees, foliage, and water. Proving to be treacherous, the obstacles have clearly shown their might through several USGA competitions hosted here over the years, with players rarely scoring under par.
Hole #10, Talis Park Golf Course
One of only two collaborations between famed golf course designers Greg Norman and Pete Dye, this dynamic course boasts terraced hillsides, stone walls, and narrow lakes. The par-4, 422-yard 10th hole is deceiving, with a fairway bunker that appears to be close to the green from a distance…but after your shot, you quickly catch on to how far away the bunker truly is.
Hole #4, Hideout Golf Club
Recognized as one of the premier golf hole designs in Naples (the course was designed by Kelly Blake Moran), this 362-yard par-4 features a narrow fairway surrounded by water, while a bunker frames the hole’s dynamic two-tiered green. If you can stop your approach on the proper tier, you have a chance to make a birdie.
Hole #9, The East Course at Imperial Country Club
This 40-year-old hole has changed over time, particularly after a storm collapsed the tree line on its right side, but it has always maintained its reputation as a superior hole. Rated one of the best par-4s in South Florida, it challenges players with a tee shot that requires a fade to hold a fairway that slopes from right to left into the water (out of bounds and trees await a drive moving too far right). Once on the fairway, a very receptive, but guarded, green is set up for your mid-iron approach.
Hole #2, The Preserve Course at Quail West Golf & Country Club
It is easy to get distracted by the beauty of this hole as the fairway is filled with a gorgeous flower garden and lined by cypress trees. Playing more difficult at a shorter distance (155 yards), the par-3’s green is well protected with three bunkers and many subtle breaks, so try to keep your focus or you could be walking away with a bogey.
Hole #18, Bay Colony Golf Club Course
Having the right side of the fairway entirely stolen away by a water hazard is where the difficulty begins on this 440-yard par 3. Your only hope is choosing your position off the tee advantageously; otherwise, your ball will fall victim to the water of Paradise Bay.
Hole #16, Calusa Pines Golf Club
There is nothing ostentatious about this par 3, but you will find it is more challenging than some of the more stunning holes around the Paradise Coast, given its elevated tee that requires accuracy to make it to the green wrapped around the sides and back by water. The elevation change comfortably accounts for a half-club difference, and perhaps a full club for some players, so you’ll want to adjust accordingly.