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Contact: Brittany Lesser,
850.245.6522

Florida Department of State Launches the Florida Historic Golf Trail

Tallahassee –

The Florida Department of State and Secretary of State Ken Detzner announce the launch of the Florida Historic Golf Trail program. Beginning today, the Florida Department of State’s commercial featuring golf legend Arnold Palmer, produced in collaboration with VISIT FLORIDA, will air on NBC Sports and The Golf Channel over the coming months.

The Florida Historic Golf Trail celebrates Florida’s early golf heritage from the 1890s through World War II, by featuring historic, publicly accessible golf courses that can still be played on today. Developed by the Division of Historical Resources, the Trail highlights the history of partner courses located throughout the state and is designed to enhance public awareness of Florida’s historic golf courses, increase an appreciation for historic preservation and encourage tourism in the Sunshine State.  The Trail’s website provides information about the history and current day contact information for each partner course. A scorecard for the program is available online and at each partner location for players to track their progress across Florida’s historic fairways.

Secretary of State Ken Detzner, State Historic Preservation Officer Robert F. Bendus, Winter Park Mayor Kenneth Bradley, LPGA player Michelle McGann, and were among those who addressed the media at a press conference on Tuesday, September 16, as part of Winter Park’s Centennial Celebration. Additionally, The Golf Channel’s Morning Drive Show was on location at the Winter Park Golf and Country Club and featured their centennial anniversary and interview Secretary Detzner about the Florida Historic Golf Trail.


Secretary Detzner on The Golf Channel’s Morning Drive program.

“We are proud to showcase Florida’s rich golfing traditions with the Florida Historic Golf Trail,” said Secretary of State Ken Detzner. “With the help of our partnering courses, we look forward to encouraging visitors and residents alike to come play on history.”

“I am proud to be a part of the launch of the Florida Historic Golf Trail at the beautiful setting of the historic Winter Park Country Club,” said Mayor Bradley of Winter Park. “This launch coincides with the city’s celebration of the Winter Park Country Club’s Centennial Anniversary and makes our 100th year even more meaningful. By becoming a partner with the Department of State through this new program and adding this historical designation, even more golfers and visitors will come to Winter Park.”

Click here to view Golf Legend Arnold Palmer’s featured spot on NBC Sports and The Golf Channel.

“My passion for golf and history led me to introduce the Florida Historic Golf Trail with the commercial that will soon air on the Golf Channel,” said golf legend Arnold Palmer. “Florida is one of the most beautiful places to play golf, and I’m proud to call it my home.”

"With nearly 1,300 golf facilities in the state, employing more than 167,000 Floridians and generating $13.8 billion in economic impact, golf is a huge component of Florida's overall tourism industry," said Will Seccombe, President & CEO of VISIT FLORIDA.  "Our partnership with the Department of State, NBC Sports, The Golf Channel and Arnold Palmer provides a tremendous platform to showcase the state's rich golfing tradition to a national audience.”

Support for the Florida Historic Golf Trail:

“One of the wonderful aspects of the game of golf is its rich traditions” said golf legend Jack Nicklaus. “As a proud Floridian for close to 50 years, I know the state of Florida has its own storied history in our game—one that should be honored, valued, and, most important, shared with current and future generations. The Florida Historic Golf Trail includes important chapters to our golf story, and I hope residents and visitors to our state will take the opportunity to experience some of this history.”

“As a professional golfer, I am thrilled to be a part of the launch of the Florida Historic Golf Trail,” said LPGA award-winning golfer Michelle McGann. “I enjoy any opportunity to share my love for the game, and through this new program even more golfers will learn about the history behind the courses they play.”

“By collaborating with the Department of State’s Florida Historic Golf Trail program, we are establishing a partnership that will enrich the experience for our players,” said Donna Line, resort owner of the Mission Inn Resort and Club. “We are looking forward to the exciting things to come, and are proud to be a part of the launch.”

Come play on history! For more information on the Florida Historic Golf Trail, visit FloridaHistoricGolfTrail.com.

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About The Florida Historic Golf Trail

Florida's golf history is recognized as one of the oldest in the nation, dating back to the 1890s, when a number of early courses were created along with the development of railroads and hotels in the state. The Florida Historic Golf Trail program is a collection of historic courses through Florida dating back to these first greenways that golfers can still be played today. Through the Florida Historic Golf Trail, golfers can play on courses designed by world-class architects and played by famed golfers such as Gary Koch, Bobby Jones, Walter Hagen, Babe Zaharias, Gene Sarazen, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. 

About The Division of Historical Resources

The mission of the Department of State’s Division of Historical Resources is to promote Florida’s role in regional, national and international history by identifying, preserving and protecting the historical, archaeological, and folk cultural resources of Florida. Find out more by visiting FLHeritage.com.