Golf in Florida
The game of golf has a long and storied history in the Sunshine State.
Golf was first introduced in the late 1800s during the state’s early tourism boom, and Florida is now a global mecca for the sport. This guide explores golf in Florida, then and now.
Materials are generally available through interlibrary loan from the circulating collection of the State Library.
Links within the bibliographies take you to information in our State Library catalog or to more information on external sites.
Florida golf in history
- Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company. Tropical Trips, Golf Courses and Hotel Directory: Atlantic Coast Line Service to Florida and Cuba. New York: Redfield-Kendrick-Odell, 1925.
- Braden, Susan R. The Architecture of Leisure: The Florida Resort Hotels of Henry Flagler and Henry Plant. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2002.
- Caldwell, John W. Mountain Lake: A History. Lake Wales, FL: Mountain Lake, 1984.
- Doral Beach Hotel and Country Club. Doral Beach Hotel and Country Club: The Best of Both Resort Hotel, Miami Beach, Miami, Florida. Miami, FL: Doral Beach Hotel and Country Club, 1962.
- Florida Bureau of Immigration, Florida Department of Game and Fresh Water Fish, and Florida Shell Fish Commissioner. Sports in Florida. Tampa, FL: Florida Grower Press, 1928.
- Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative. “Burgert Brothers Photographic Collection.” hcplc.org. Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative.
- Historical Association of Southern Florida. Making Golf History in South Florida. Miami: Historical Association of Southern Florida, 1993.
- Hollis, Tim. Florida’s Miracle Strip: From Redneck Riviera to Emerald Coast. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2004. 88–114.
- Louisville & Nashville Railroad. Golf Courses and Hotel Directory: Winter Resorts in the South: The Gulf Coast, Florida, Cuba, Bahama, Isle of Pines. Louisville, KY: Gibbs-Inman, 1924.
- Moorhead, Richard, and Nick Wynne. Golf in Florida, 1886-1950. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2008.
- Seaboard Air Line Railway. Winter Resorts in the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Cuba and Nassau (PDF). Norfolk, VA: Edgell Press, 1918.
- State Archives of Florida. “Golf in the Sunshine State.” Florida Memory. Florida Division of Library and Information Services.
- State Archives of Florida. “Their Game Is Golf.” Florida Memory. Florida Division of Library and Information Services.
- Youngs, Larry R. Golf in Palm Beach County: Enduring Elite Enclaves, 1897-1987. Diss. Florida Atlantic University, 1994.
- Youngs, Larry R. “The Sporting Set Winters in Florida: Fertile Ground for the Leisure Revolution, 1870-1930.” Florida Historical Quarterly 84.1 (2005): 57–78.
Florida golf today
- Armstrong, Rob. Golfing: Florida’s Best. Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing, 2001.
- Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Best Management Practices for the Enhancement of Environmental Quality on Florida Golf Courses (PDF). Tallahassee, FL: Florida Department of Environmental Protection, 2007.
- Florida Division of Historical Resources. Florida Historic Golf Trail. Tallahassee, FL: Florida Department of State, 2014.
- Florida Golf Foundation, Florida Sports Foundation, and Executive Office of the Governor. The Official Florida Golf Guide. Haines City, FL: Florida Golf Foundation, 1991.
- Haydu, John J., and Alan W. Hodges. Economic Impacts of the Florida Golf Course Industry. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 2002.
- Hollis, Tim. Minibook of Minigolf. St. Petersburg, FL: Seaside Publishing, 2015.
- McCarty, L. B., and J. L. Cisar. Cultural Practices for Florida Golf Courses. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 1991.
- McCarty, L. B., and J. L. Cisar. Putting Green Construction for Florida Golf Courses. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, 1992.
- Moore, Alan K. Florida’s Fairways: 60 Alluring and Affordable Golf Courses From the Panhandle to the Keys. Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2006.
- Phillips, Dennis J. Golfing Communities in the Southeast: Places to Live and Play in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2004.
- Ramos, Ronnie. Florida’s Best Golf Courses: A Guide to the Top-Ranked Courses You Can Play. Kansas City, MO: Andrews and McMeel, 1995.
- Stevenson, Sara A. Open Space in Broward County Florida: A Geographic Analysis of Parks and Golf Courses in the Urban Fabric. Diss. Florida Atlantic University, 2002.
- Strawn, John. Driving the Green: The Making of a Golf Course. New York: HarperCollins, 1991.
- Swancar, Amy. Water Quality, Pesticide Occurrence, and Effects of Irrigation With Reclaimed Water at Golf Courses in Florida (PDF). Tallahassee, FL: United States Geological Survey, 1996.