PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens is golf glamour.

Its name conjures up glamorous visions of Atlantic Ocean sunshine, but many visitors to Palm Beach prefer to avoid the sand altogether. That’s because those who come seeking golf glamour avoid bunkers at the area’s famous golf resorts.

PGA National Resort and Spa, 10 minutes drive from Palm Beach Airport, has hosted golf stars for decades by serving as venue to the PGA Championship and Senior PGA, Ryder Cup, and the PGA Tour’s annual Honda Classic, won last winter by top-ranked Rory McIlroy who fended off Tiger Woods down the stretch on the Jack Nicklaus-designed Champion course the rest of us can play too. “We have over 100 touring pros practicing and playing out here regularly,” said Joel Paige, PGA National’s VP and managing director, so keep your eyes peeled while you’re putting! “It’s a great place for amateurs from Michigan to get ready for golf season, too.” Golf academies by the acclaimed David Leadbetter and Dave Pelz are on site for tune-ups or instruction.

Five total courses, including designs by Tom Fazio and Arnold Palmer, are spread over 800 tropical acres while the entire facility, club cottages, spa suites, media suites, contemporary guest rooms, nine restaurants, and a spa have undergone $100-million in renovations. PGA National’s Spa retained its’ famed Waters of the World mineral pools, with salts imported from the Dead Sea and French Pyrenees.

“Tom Watson, the current Ryder Cup captain, was 4-1 when he played in the matches here in 1983,” said Paige. The PGA of America selected Watson as captain in December at their on-site national headquarters, and PGA National is one of very few American Ryder Cup venues open to the public. Visit www.pgaresort.com or call (800) 863-2819.

Want 54 more holes? PGA Village, 40-minutes’ drive north in St. Lucie on Perfect Drive (no joke), has two Fazio courses and a striking, unique Pete Dye course blended into a very natural, relaxed setting adjacent to I-95. The casual clubhouse evokes a classic, Florida feel and allows golfers to let their hair down. A 35-acre, state of the art practice facility often features PGA teaching professionals from across America tutoring their club members on holiday and then touring the PGA Museum for more inspiration. Stay and Play packages are available at adjacent, comfortable hotels, including the Residence Inn by Marriott in Port St. Lucie.

Visit www.PgaVillage.com or call (800) 800-GOLF.

Michigan-based travel writer Michael Patrick Shiels may be contacted at InviteYourself@aol.com or via www.TravelTattler.com

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