There is something to be said about the kid who grows up on the local public/muni track. These people almost have a greater appreciation for what the game is as they progress through life. I love the golf industry as a whole, I’ve been spoiled being able to play some of the most private and exclusive tracks you can find. But, if you’re personally like me who grew up on a small town’s local course, that place becomes a second home. I’ve always has a special bond with the local “greatest hits” that everyone loves. Like I said, this thought isn’t because I’ve not spent much time around the high-end, super exclusive, country clubs. I’ve been in the golf business since I was 16, doing everything from raking bunkers, to mixing cocktails. I’ve been to the Member-Guest events, social events, happy hours, and not just for work but for play also. I love the private club world, but I grew up with Mom dropping me and my buddies off at 8am and picking us up when it was dark out. It was cheap babysitting for our parents, but it gave us a love that will last a lifetime. It takes me home when I pull up into the parking lot, throwing my shoes on while I sit on the back of my Jeep, tossing my clubs on the back of a cart, BS with whoever is in the shop for a second, and taking off. I just want a place that feels like home, not a checklist of things I have to accomplish before I can get on the grass. Throughout the last 10 years golf has taken me to some pretty cool places, College golf, one season working at a beautiful club in our nation’s capital, and now arguably the dream for all golfers!
I’ve lived in Jupiter Florida for a little over 2 years now. I’m not going to lie either, its paradise for a golf nerd like myself (and probably you if you’re reading this). So I figured with all the traveling I have done, places the game has taken me, people I have met, and experiences I’ve had on and off the course. Why not review the side of the game not many people talk about down here in the golf capitol of the world. Everyone wants to talk about the places like Bears Club, Medalist, Seminole, the list goes on. But why not talk about places like Abacoa, Jupiter Dunes, Palm Beach Par 3, North Palm, and Okeeheelee. This is the type of golf that made me the player and person I am today. These few public tracks I have listed have become places I truly enjoy and I think you would too. So here are my top public tracks to tee it up on in the Jupiter/Palm Beach area.
When you talk about that home away from home there is only one place in town that has become that for me and it’s Abacoa, I truly love it here. This place is great, from a players stand point it covers every aspect that you want a great public track to have. An unbelievable staff who has become a family to me, great facility across the board, huge driving range and putting green, and not to mention arguably some of the best greens consistently in Palm Beach County. If I was going to say somewhere is my home course down here it would be Abacoa. The course stretches out to roughly 7200 yards if you take it all the way back, and it will play as difficult as you want. They consistently play host to one of the best developmental tours in south Florida, The Minor League Tour. Abacoa in my opinion is exactly how a golf course should be, this place is a factory. In season they put out more rounds then anywhere I have ever seen, and you would never guess it from the pace of play. Along with that you would never guess they easily do 200 plus rounds a day with how well the course is maintained. The greens are as perfect as you could ask for. I’d say on average rolling anywhere between a 10 and as 12 day to day. The fairways stay better than anyone could expect for how much cart traffic they see day in and day out. This is due to their great maintenance crew. It’s something I have always done, but I judge clubs a bit on if their maintenance crew will interact with me on the course. I typically throw a little wave or thumbs up just to show some appreciation for what they do, and the guys at Coa are great. Some of them will even stop and chat for a second if they have time when I’m out playing with the guys. They hired a new Superintendent out there last fall and it’s amazing not only what he has done in the short amount of time, but also what he intends to do in the future. From greens keeping to the golf staff the level of professionalism doesn’t change. The guys in the shop have become some of my best friends down here. These guys will do anything they can to provide a great experience for you on and off the course. They have a fully stocked proshop, extensive knowledge about all aspects of the game, lessons with top teaching pros, and they truly love the game. From the bar to the back 9, Abacoa checks all the boxes for me. I can’t say enough good things about this place. The only way to get the point across is for you to go out and tee it up yourself. Just be ready for lucky number 13, she usually plays a touch longer then the number, and you definitely need to put a good pass on the ball.
Good luck out there. GK.