By Matthew Lewis, Contributing Reporter
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA – Palm Beach County offers 160 golf courses according to Discover Palm Beaches tourism council, with year-round play and courses designed by the greatest architects in the game. There are almost twenty courses in the Delray Beach area, but only a handful within the City, and just two are open to the public.
The public courses in Delray Beach are Delray Beach Golf Club and Lakeview Golf Club. Ronnie Dunayer, Golf Professional and Sports Psychologist shares, “There are numerous really fine golf courses in Delray. Many of them are private and may not be accessible to many, however, there is a variety of public facilities in our city.”
For those new to the area or just starting to explore the game, Dunayer explains, “Delray Beach Golf Course is the only public 18-hole championship course and it has a really fine layout. If a player is looking for a shorter and less demanding course, Lakeview Golf is an excellent executive course.”
In terms of cost, typically peak season in South Florida is from November 1st to April 30th, when the golf rates will increase. The off-season is May 1st to October 31st. The average cost for a round of golf in-season is around $65, depending on the time of day, and about $35 in the off-season, and the public courses are little less.
Delray Beach Golf Club – 2200 Highland Ave, Delray Beach, Florida 33445
The 18-hole Delray Beach Golf Club (DBGC) is a public golf course that opened in 1926. Designed by Donald Ross it measures 6907 yards from the longest tees and has a slope rating of 119 and a 72. In 2018 the Delray commissioners unanimously supported funding a renovation at the city owned course.
Estimates for work on the course was approximately $7.2 million, which was to include updated irrigation, new tees, fairways, bunkers, greens and cart paths and new maintenance equipment and facilities.
Also the Florida Department of State has designated the DBGC as a historic golf course on the Florida Historic Golf Trail. This status celebrates active, public courses that exemplify Florida’s early golf heritage.
Lakeview Golf Club – 1200 Dover Rd, Delray Beach, FL 33445
Designed by Bill Dietsch, Lakeview Golf Club is Palm Beach County’s premier ‘executive’ golf course, at a par 60 and spaning 3,006 yards. This 1972 classic is in exceptional condition with phenomenal greens and is a favorite for beginners, senior golfers and juniors.
In the City of Delray Beach there are also a couple country clubs which require membership, or being a guest of a member. The country clubs offer substantial investments in resident and non-resident membership, and then guest fees per game. Also note that in West Delray there are a number of other clubs providing greens.
The Seagate Country Club – 3600 Hamlet Dr, Delray Beach, FL 33445
Legendary golf architect and gentleman of the game, Joe Lee, designed what was originally known as the Hamlet Country Club course in 1973. The championship 18-hole course features 300 acres with stocked bass ponds and natural wildlife nearby. For non-members, they offer a ‘Stay and Play’ option, for every two overnight stays, receive a complimentary 18-hole round of golf.
Delaire Country Club – 4645 White Cedar Ln, Delray Beach, FL 33445
The Delaire Country Club golf course was also designed by Joe Lee, and offers manicured greens and ‘dramatically undulating fairways’ for players of all levels with 27 holes of Championship golf. For members there are weekly Women’s and Men’s 9 and 18-hole tournaments, and also features walk-on golf with no tee times.
Ronnie Dunayer adds, “As far as learning the game it is important to get instruction from a professional instructor who communicates clearly and understands that people learn differently. There is not one method that works for everyone.”
“Then improvement works well when a student knows how to practice efficiently,” she says. “That means not just hitting balls on a driving range but learning how to identify a flaw and how to intervene with a drill designed to assist fixing the error.”
In regard to the 2020 coronavirus closures, Dunayer says, “The pandemic has had a strong effect on players. Most courses are reporting that the number of rounds is down, however, people are returning and as long as safety methods are observed, most players report feeling pretty confident.”