When circling the rotary leading to the tree-lined Perfect Drive in Port St. Lucie, the anticipation of being at PGA Village—with its stately yellow and green steeple positioned above the regal PGA logo—rivals that of a kid around the holidays. You aren’t exactly sure what your day is going to entail, but you know it’s going to be good.
With four courses to its name, PGA Village is sure to have something to please golfers of every level. The original 54 holes—The Wanamaker, The Ryder and The Dye—were designed by legendary course architects Tom Fazio and Pete Dye. All three courses have been honored with various ‘top courses in America’ lists, and the entire PGA complex is ranked among the ‘75 Best Golf Resorts’ by Golf Digest. Rounding out the foursome of golf courses is St. Lucie Trail Golf Club, owned and operated by the PGA, providing 18 holes with a tremendous sense of community. As if that weren’t enough, there is also a complimentary six-hole practice course—PGA Short Course—that is open to the public (proper golf attire required) and a state-of-the-art PGA Learning Center, for the best in golf training and instruction.
During one of my visits to PGA Village, I had the pleasure of having lunch with Adriana Vizcaya, Director of Marketing, Dick Gray, the Superintendent of Golf, and Holly Taylor, Head PGA Professional. What was immediately apparent from all three was the dedication and commitment to making PGA Village a truly exceptional golf experience for every person who comes to their facility.
While membership is important to PGA Village, they also value the countless visitors who make their golf courses a destination. The public is always welcome, and while they don’t have rooms on site, they have long-standing relationships with nearby hotels to accommodate lodging requirements. Please see the attachment for excellent Stay & Play golf and hotel rates, they are fantastic! For you golfers who played at PGA Village over the summer, you will be amazed at the “Bounce Back” rates included at the end of this article for Labor Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks.
Related to group visits, PGA Village offers a perfect venue for charity events, corporate gatherings, reunions or the like. Experienced on site personnel will work with you to ensure a successful group outing, and tournament services include a welcome banner, custom cart signs, closest to the pin and long drive markers. There are many other amenities available, such as food and apparel options, depending on the wishes of your group.
Now ladies…this paragraph is especially for you. I’ve been a golfer for several decades and have witnessed varied behavior towards women in the sport, some very good and some not-so-much. Trust me when I tell you that PGA Village understands and values women’s golf. They have a ladies group within the membership that plays five days a week. There is an active calendar that includes flighted tournaments as well as ABCD events, and they participate in the Challenge Cup. Head Pro Holly Taylor said that she can find a group for any handicap to ensure a pleasant atmosphere for all levels of play. There are two sets of rated tees for women, blue and green, and I can personally attest that the yardage is fair and the courses are beautiful. Alice Dye, Pete’s wife, was very instrumental in making sure that women “have an avenue to get to the green” so if you and your friends are looking for a women-friendly venue, you’ve found the right place. (What’s also pretty spectacular is the large, quality selection of women’s clothing in the pro shop. So, you will want to come prepared to spend a different type of “green” after your 18 holes. Just sayin’).
After enjoying an incredible burger—including a bun branded with the PGA logo and some amazing banana bread—with my three hosts, Dick gave me a tour of parts of two of the golf courses. We would have liked to have covered more ground but the weather gods were not kind that day. With fifty-plus years in the golf industry, very simply put, Mr. Gray knows his turf. He discussed the “DNA” of the golf courses with the vocabulary of a scientist, and I found myself wishing that Junior High Science had been as interesting. For example, I learned about the Wanamaker’s Celebration Bermuda grass: its beautiful blue/green color, its great density, the fact that is weed resistant, the ability to cut it low, how it’s a good sports turf, and it can heal itself. The Dye course is presently in the process of transitioning to Celebration Bermuda, and well, it truly sounds like something to celebrate.
While winding through the courses, Dick said, “Yesterday’s DNA versus today’s DNA allows for the same conditions January 1 – December 31 each year,” and his goal is to have each course tournament ready every single day. That’s a pretty impressive undertaking and one that he does not take lightly. Dick wholeheartedly credits his staff—he has teams assigned to each course—for the increasing improvements not only from the technical side, but also regarding the esthetics expected at a first class golf facility. He stated that the courses have a bit of a Scottish feel, with layouts that “soften, separate and frame” each hole. He spoke of the natural ambience throughout the golf courses, evidenced along our route by an osprey nest high in a tree near one of the greens. Throughout my tour, he often referred to the area as Port St. Lucky, saying that the Gulf Stream really makes the weather something special in that part of Florida.
Dick constantly reiterated that the goal of PGA Village is for it to stand out as the best of the best, to be extraordinary. He feels that PGA is synonymous with excellence and that those three letters should be associated as being something very special. With his vast knowledge and passion for the sport and its surroundings, I am not at all surprised by the level of success at this exceptional facility. Mr. Gray had a lot of one-liners throughout my visit, but my favorite one from him was, “In the oyster bar of golf, this will be the pearl.”
Less than two hours from Miami or Orlando, PGA Village is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a long weekend destination where you can enjoy world-class golf, service, and food. It’s sure to give you that “little kid around the holidays” feeling every time you enjoy the facility. If you’re a local to the Port St. Lucie area, it’s the logical selection for a golf membership and somewhere you will be proud to entertain friends, colleagues, and family for years to come.
Bounce Back Rates
PGA Golf Club
St. Lucie Trail
Thanksgiving 11/21-28 & Christmas 12/19- 1/2
PGA Golf Club
St. Lucie Trail