This week, the Honda Classic is at PGA National Resort and Spa, which is also home of the PGA of America headquarters. What many don't realize is that the PGA does not own or operate PGA National, which is in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., just north of West Palm Beach.
The PGA merely licensed the name to PGA National in exchange for locating its building there (since 1981) as well as limited use of the facilities.
I bring this up because if you travel to play golf there, you should know that the PGA does, indeed, own nearby golf facilities. Just 45 minutes north of PGA National in Port St. Lucie is PGA Village, which encompasses PGA Golf Club's three excellent golf courses, a huge learning center, villas, homes and a PGA golf museum. PGA members have special privileges there, of course, and they often bring down groups in the winter.
The golf courses include the Dye Course (designed by Pete Dye) and Wanamaker and Ryder courses (designed by Tom Fazio). Green fees there can be fairly reasonable, especially in the summer. There's also cool little short course, excellent for juniors or warming up on before a round.
Particularly impressive, though, is the 35-acre PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance (shown above), where you can buy passes that allow for unlimited use from open to close. It might be the best golf practice facility in America. It's also a great place to attend a golf school or get a lesson with some of the best teachers in the country.
What makes the learning center unique is that it allows for every shot in golf. You can work on hanging lies, uphill lies, etc., among the 100 stalls on the lighted range. You can also hit bunker shots out of four different varieties of sand and putt on different types of grasses. There's even a putting course that's about as much fun as playing golf, as well as chipping and pitching greens.
Simply put, if you like to practice, the PGA's learning center is heaven.