Golfing on Florida's Forgotten Coast: Our Favorite Courses near Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, & More

Nestled along Florida's Forgotten Coast, Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, and Mexico Beach all beckon with sugar-soft sand and water so clear it seems bottled!

But it's not all about the beach activities. With blue skies and great weather year-round, taking a break from the wind and surf to enjoy a round on the nearby green is always a great idea. Even if there are too many options, there are still places you can go for a tee, some close to the towns and some just a short drive away — hey, there's nothing wrong with taking a drive in this stunning scenery, is there?

If you're considering a game of golf near Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, or Mexico Beach, this blog is for you. Below, you will find a selection of the best courses near these cities.

Calling on all golfers — get ready to tee off by the sea and feel the coastal breeze guide your swing!

Best golf course near Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, and Mexico Beach

St. Joseph Bay Golf Course, Port St. Joe

This 18-hole, par-72 course is a golfer's dream come true, about an 8-minute drive from the center of town. Nestled amidst 90 acres of lush greenery, it boasts a traditional layout that's challenging without being overwhelming. Mature trees, strategically placed water hazards, and sloping greens will keep your game interesting.

Still, don't worry if you're a beginner – the course offers forgiving aspects that will make your round enjoyable. You can warm up your swing with the on-site driving range, practice bunker, chipping, and putting green.

After a great round, it's a great idea to refuel at the full-service bar and restaurant, perfect for a delicious lunch or dinner. Wondering about your non-golfing companions? They can unwind by the pool while you hit the course.

Overall, St. Joseph Bay Golf Course offers fantastic value for the price, with beautiful scenery and a fun challenge for golfers of all skill levels.

Just a heads-up: The course can get a bit soft after rain, so check the weather forecast and course conditions before you go. There have also been reports of alligators – keep a safe distance and admire them from afar!

Best golf courses within an hour's drive of Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, and Mexico Beach.

Bay Point Golf Club, Panama City

Located in Panama City Beach, about 45 minutes away from Mexico Beach, Bay Point Golf Club, also known as the Nicklaus Course, is the only Nicklaus Design course in Northwest Florida — a world leader in golf course design known for their challenge, strategic elements, and often incorporating beautiful natural surroundings.

In this challenging 18-hole, par-72 championship layout, you can expect rolling hills, water hazards, and strategically placed bunkers throughout the course — in other words, a memorable round!

Still, this is a course for all skill levels. Beginners can enjoy the shorter tees, while more experienced players will find a good test on the back tees.

Besides, this full-service practice facility offers a driving range, chipping green, and putting green.

The course boasts panoramic vistas of St. Andrew's Bay and a marshland wildlife sanctuary, and since this is Florida, you can expect beautiful natural surroundings throughout your round.

There's a restaurant on-site, a convenient option for grabbing a bite or drink before or after your round.

St. James Bay Golf Club, Carrabelle

About an hour's drive from Port St. Joe, St. James Bay Golf Club offers a beautiful 18-hole layout with stunning scenery, water features, and natural surroundings. The layout is quite challenging, with narrow fairways that demand precise shots. However, hitting the ball in the right spots is incredibly rewarding!

Several natural areas come into play, limiting visibility on some shots, and as there's water and marshland throughout the course, so be sure to bring extra balls. After your round is over, the on-site restaurant is a great place to enjoy a post-game meal or drink.

Overall, it's a very enjoyable course in a beautiful natural setting. And if you're looking for a different activity, the resort also boasts pickleball courts with complimentary equipment - that's a paddle sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis.

Extra tips to enhance your golfing experience in Florida

Because of the climate, topography, and amazing coastal environment, golfing in Florida is a one-of-a-kind experience. To make it even better, consider the following factors:

  • The weather is mostly great in Florida all year round, but it can also be hot and humid, especially during the summer months. Always check the weather forecasts, dress appropriately, and don't forget the sunscreen.

  • Florida also experiences frequent rain showers, especially during certain seasons. So, besides checking the weather forecast before heading out, it's a good idea to consider the drainage quality of the golf course you're visiting.

  • Pay attention to tee times and ensure you book them in advance, especially during peak seasons, to secure your preferred slot.

  • Wherever you play, it's always a great idea to read about any local rules specific to the Florida courses you'll be playing. Besides this, always adhere to golf etiquette, such as repairing ball marks, raking bunkers, and maintaining the pace of play.

  • The state is rich in wildlife, and this usually enhances the golfing experience. Still, nature can be dangerous, so be aware of local wildlife species, such as alligators in water hazards or birds on the course. Also, respect their habitats and observe them but from a safe distance.

  • Florida often hosts golfing events and tournaments. So, if you're an enthusiast, it's always a good idea to check the calendar for exciting happenings in the area.

With these tips in mind, it's all about enjoying breathtaking views, with the natural beauty surrounding you seamlessly blending into the courses.

Other great outdoor activities besides golfing in Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, and Mexico Beach

Besides golfing, the Forgotten Coast brims with outdoor activities you can enjoy amidst stunning natural beauty.

Let's explore some other great things you can do outdoors in Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, and Mexico Beach:

  • Enjoy Beach Bliss: The crown jewel of the region is undoubtedly its pristine beaches. Cape San Blas boasts miles of sugar-white sand, perfect for swimming, sunbathing, seashell collecting, or simply soaking up the serene coastal vibes. Venture to Mexico Beach for its calm waters ideal for families, or head to St. Joseph Peninsula State Park for a more secluded beach experience.

  • Go Paddling: The calm, protected waters along the Forgotten Coast make it a kayaker's paradise. Explore the extensive network of waterways, including St. Joseph Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway. You might encounter playful dolphins, majestic birds, and a variety of marine life during your paddling adventure.

  • Go Fishing: The Forgotten Coast is an angler's haven, offering a diverse range of fishing opportunities. Cast your line inshore for trout, redfish, and snook. Head a little further out for nearshore fishing, where you might catch Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, and cobia. For the ultimate fishing adventure, venture offshore and battle mahi-mahi, tuna, and sailfish.

  • Nature Hikes: Indulge in the beauty of the Forgotten Coast's natural landscapes. Hike through the T.H. Stone Memorial St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, exploring nature trails that wind through lush forests, scenic dunes, and along the waterfront. Explore the park's diverse ecosystems, spotting a variety of birds, wildlife, and plant life.

  • Delightful Dining: The Forgotten Coast offers a delightful culinary scene. Savor fresh, locally sourced seafood at beachfront restaurants. Explore the charming downtown areas of Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach for hidden gem cafes and bistros serving everything from casual pub fare to upscale international cuisine.

  • Lighthouse Legacy: Learn about the region's maritime history by visiting the historic Cape San Blas Lighthouse. Originally built in 1888, this decommissioned lighthouse offers stunning panoramic views of the coastline and surrounding areas. Explore the lighthouse grounds and visitor center to discover its fascinating past.

Looking for more tips on Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, and Mexico Beach? Check out our local destination blog. We've covered everything from the best places for a night out to where to take your furry friends and where to grab the best cup of coffee in town. There's always more on the way, so keep your eyes peeled for new blogs!

In addition to our blog, we've also included tips and suggestions on what to bring on your trip, some information on local weather, as well as on wildlife ordinances and regulations. Visit our website for more information and to see our wonderful rentals.

Where to stay when visiting Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe, & Mexico Beach?

Stay like a local by booking a vacation rental with Pristine Properties. We are proud to offer a selection of Cape San Blas Vacation Rentals, Port St. Joe Vacation Rentals, and Mexico Beach Florida Vacation Rentals.

Our properties are well-located, just steps away from beautiful beaches, great dining options, and an array of outdoor pursuits. That's the secret to a perfect holiday on the Florida Gulf Coast!

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