Built in 1925, the Renaissance Vinoy Resort in St. Petersburg was taken over by the U.S. Army during World War II and used as a training center.
There's still time in 2012 to see golf's greatest players in Florida.
From Nov. 15-18, the LPGA Tour concludes its season at the CME Group Titleholders at TwinEagles, an outstanding 36-hole golf community in Naples.
TwinEagles' Talon Course has hosted the ACE Group Classic for several years on the Champions Tour, with Kenny Perry winning the latest installment in February. The Eagle Course, designed by Steve Smyers, is the newer of the two layouts, a classical design meant to pay homage to some of the game's greatest architects. The "Smyers tees" on the Eagle play to over 7,600 yards.
If you haven't seen an LPGA event in person, check this one out. The field is compiled through a unique qualifying format where three players qualify from every LPGA event in 2012. In other words, the very best on the circuit are coming to Naples.
For ticket information and more, visit the LPGA's website.
A chocolate chip cookie and a tee time. If I’ve got at least that to look forward to on my travels, I’m set.
That’s now available at the DoubleTree by Hilton Deerfield Beach-Boca Raton, after a recent rebranding. Formerly known as the Hilton Deerfield Beach, the 220-room flagship hotel is located within range of three major South Florida airports (Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Palm Beach and Miami International), situated just minutes from beaches and is an ideal vacation and business property.
"With the reflagging to a DoubleTree by Hilton, leisure and business travelers will find a new relaxed environment that is more fitting to this outstanding destination," General Manager Walter Chapman said. "The fresh and comfortable styles of DoubleTree by Hilton will be experienced throughout the property, from guest rooms to our meeting space."
The hotel is on the grounds of the Deerfield Country Club, a nearly 50-year-old par-63 short course that's perfect for multiple skill levels. It’s well-bunkered but not filled with many water hazards, and has three sets of tees.
Of course, the rebranding to DoubleTree means their famous warm chocolate chip cookies upon arrival. One just can’t underestimate how far a good cookie goes toward enjoying a hotel.
If you're looking to put together a golf package in Northeast Florida, a good place to start is Florida's First Coast of Golf, a not-for-profit that exists to promote all the great golf from Amelia Island to Palm Coast and all points in between.
Pricing is based on midweek rounds, but you can customize your trip through the website.
The Players Pass at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, home of two excellent courses in the Champions and Legends, is now on sale for 2013. It offers 25 percent off the "rack" rate anytime, and once you play five rounds the sixth is free. Also included is the GHIN handicap service. The card costs $259 on Jan. 1 but is available for $179 throughout November. For more information, call 386-274-5742.
Bay Point Resort Golf Club in Panama City Beach, with two courses in the Nicklaus and the Meadows, is offering a six-pack special valid through March 31, 2013. Buy six rounds for $239 and play either course with a cart at any time on any day, with a seven-day advance booking window. Two passes per day may be used, so the pack can be shared. For more information or to order, go to baypointgolf.com and click on the Winter Specials tab.
TPC Sawgrass and the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach have a stay-and-play from Nov. 22-Jan. 31, 2013 that includes two nights of accommodations and two rounds (on the Stadium Course and Dye’s Valley Course) plus a free third night at the hotel and a free arrival round (after 2 p.m.) on Dye’s Valley. A TPC Sawgrass welcome gift is included. Rates start at $599 for a standard room, villas are extra and weekend golf surcharges may apply. Guests must arrive before Jan. 28. For more information, call 866-605-3544 or visit TPC.com.
The Renaissance World Golf Village Resort and Beach Club in St. Augustine is offering a coupon book with $500 in savings for visitors through Dec. 30. Discounts can be used at the World Golf Hall of Fame, PGA Tour Golf Academy and Tour Stop store, plus on food, merchandise and club rentals at the King & Bear and Slammer & Squire golf courses. Call 888-740-7020 or visit the resort’s website for more information and special hotel rates for October and November.