The PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach, FL, in words and photos

PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach, FL

PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach, FL

The PGA National Resort & Spa has recently completed a 100-million-dollar renovation—and boy does it show. No matter what your level of play is, I’m willing to bet you’ll leave this revamped resort with a love for the game and everything it represents. Here are my top reasons to visit the PGA National Resort & Spa:

Perfect

The golf

1. The golf
The golf at the PGA National is like nowhere else. With five amazing courses, including the home of the Honda Classic, this resort should be regarded as the mecca of golf. The Champion, Palmer, Fazio, Squire, and Estates account for some of the best golf in the world and 34,315 yards of playable course. There are various golf outing packages, so be sure to check the site to see what works best for you. An example:

From January 1 – April 30, the Gold Golf Package ($319/night) includes:

  • Luxury accommodations with a private balcony or terrace
  • Full breakfast each day in the Palm Terrace Restaurant
  • One round of golf daily on the Palmer, Fazio, Squire or Estate courses (there’s a surcharge with the Champion)
  • Unlimited range ball and golf bag storage
The pool

Amenities

2. Amenities
The list of amenities provided by the resort goes on for days. So if golf isn’t part of your equation for a day, there are plenty of amazing ways to occupy your time. In addition to the links, the PGA National offers a state-of-the-art health center, private trainers, five USCA-certified croquet lawns, tennis and racquet ball, and a private guest-only pool that could be considered the centerpiece of the resort. And of course, there’s the spa.

Ironwood Steak & Seafood

Ironwood Steak & Seafood

3. Ironwood Steakhouse & Seafood
Don’t want to leave the resort at night? There’s no need to. After putting down a steak with a couple glasses of red at Ironwood you’ll be ready to hit the sack, and nothing tops a great dinner like a short commute to bed. This restaurant embodies everything it should as a steak and seafood restaurant. Great food, a bustling atmosphere and a hospitable staff that goes out of its way to make sure your visit is five-star.

Filet at Ironwood

Filet at Ironwood

If you have a larger group, the restaurant also has private dining areas to suit all of your needs. Whether you’re entertaining clients, having a rehearsal dinner, or celebrating a birthday, reunion or other special occasion, the staff at Ironside has you covered.

The spa

The spa

4. The spa
The four-year, 100-million-dollar renovations at the PGA National also included a revamp its 3,200-square-foot spa and relaxation center. The spa offers over 100 different treatments and is home to the Waters of the World mineral pools. The PGA offers various spa treatment packages so be sure to check out the website for the most current offers. If you’re traveling as a couple and only one of you plays golf, the PGA offers deals tailored to fit your stay. An example:

From January 1 – April 30, the Dual Delight Golf and Spa Package ($299/night) includes:

  • Luxury accommodations with the private balcony or terrace
  • Full breakfast each day in the Palm Terrace Restaurant
  • One round of golf daily on the Palmer, Squire, Fazio, or Estates courses OR one spa treatment
Waters of the World mineral pools

Waters of the World

5. Waters of the World
The exclusive Waters of the World treatment pools, part of the spa, are a collection of outdoor mineral pools recreated using some of the Earth’s most treasured minerals. The relaxing atmosphere is removed from the rest of the hotel so if you choose to unwind in a peaceful pool environment while being served fantastic fruit drinks, you’ll have a great option in this one.

Golf royalty

Golf royalty (and me)

6. Golf royalty
115 professional wins, 6-time Masters champion, 4-time US Open champion, 5-time PGA champion and 3-time British Open champion—there is no name in the game bigger the Jack Nicklaus. Nicknamed “The Golden Bear,” Jack has dedicated much of his life to the preservation and development of the game. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with him while visiting the PGA National Resort & Spa. He’s responsible for much of the course design and redesign so if you’re lucky, there may be a sighting in store for you as well. He’s the definition of golf royalty.

iBar

iBar

7. iBar
Often I prefer eating at the bar and the PGA’s iBar is the perfect setting for a drink before or after dinner—or for a bite. It’s conveniently located in the main clubhouse, next to Ironwood, and is always bustling with life. If you want to catch the current televised golf tournament or football or baseball game, there are four gigantic flat-screens at the bar showing sporting events all day long.

Breakfast at the Palm Terrace

Breakfast at the Palm Terrace

8. Breakfast at the Palm Terrace
Some say it’s the most important meal of the day. Fortunately with many of the packages offered at the PGA, it’s also included with your stay. The Palm Terrace is a perfect way to get things started. They offer a fantastic buffet, and if you prefer, you can order off the menu.

The rooms and suites

The rooms and suites

9. The rooms and suites
The rooms and beds at the PGA National are fantastic. All newly renovated floor-to-ceiling changes will make your stay a memorable one—although with so much to do, you won’t be spending much time here other than when you sleep. In addition to the renovated rooms, the PGA also boasts several fantastic suites to accommodate those looking for even more space or groups.

These include a 1,443-square-foot Presidential Suite with panoramic views of the 18th hole of the Champion course, a 429-square-foot, zen-inspired Spa Suite, a 450-square-foot Media Suite loaded with 55-inch flat-screen televisions and theater seating, and the luxurious Club Cottages.

iPiano Bar

iClub Piano Bar

10. iClub Piano Bar
The iClub Piano Bar is the perfect place to either start or finish you evening. The talent provided by featured vocalist Dawn Marie is fantastic, relaxing and glamorous. The bar is located right next to Ironwood, so after having a pre dinner cocktail you can roll next door for a steak or even have a nightcap there is you choose to.

The iClub Piano is the perfect place to either start or finish you evening. The talent provided by featured vocalist Dawn Marie is fantastic, relaxing and glamorous. The bar is located right next to the Ironwood, so after having a pre-dinner cocktail, you can roll next door for a steak or a nightcap if you so choose.

Pro shop

The pro shop

11. The pro shop
The pro shop at the PGA National has everything you could ask for from a world-class golf club. So if you forget to bring something, they’ve got you covered, and this includes clubs. You can either buy a new set or rent them for the duration of your stay.

Driving range and putting greens

Driving ranges, putting greens and the David Leadbetter Golf Academy

12. Driving ranges, putting greens and the David Leadbetter Golf Academy
With five golf courses on property, you might wonder where everyone warms up prior to hitting the links. The PGA National has two driving ranges and several putting greens so overcrowding is never an issue. They have scheduling literally down to a “tee” so everything moves smoothly. These areas are also home to the David Leadbetter Golf Academy, so if you seek guidance with your swing, the LGA (Leadbetter Golf Academy) is there to help.

The academy also features four spacious classrooms outfitted with the latest V1 golf swing analysis computer technology, the SAM PuttLab and K-Vest. So by the time you leave you’ll be swinging like the pros!

Braised short rib at the Cooper

Braised short rib at the Cooper

13. The Cooper Craft & Kitchen
While the PGA National Resort & Spa boasts several fantastic places to dine, there are some off-site options that are also spectacular. I had the opportunity to head into Palm Beach Gardens to pay a visit to the farm-to-table eatery the Cooper and it too was fantastic. As stated on the website, “Executive chef Adam Brown keeps a simple philosophy” while creating the menu at the Cooper.

The restaurant highlights small plates and signature dishes with seasonal changes. I had the braised short ribs, and they were amazing. The Cooper is a great option and is only about five minutes from the hotel. Shuttles are also available to drop you off and pick you up so no car is needed.

As my experience at the PGA National Resort & Spa could not be captured in just this post, here are the rest of my photos:

 

Tim Gaylord

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