Golf courses each have a character of their own. Here in Southwest Florida, I have 8 different courses within 5 miles of my residence. I have played all of them at one time or another. During what we locals call season (winter months) many are members-only but come the first of June you can play on all of them at greatly reduced prices.

If you live in Florida for more than a couple of years you will find that the heat of summer really does not bother you, especially here near the coast where we enjoy an afternoon sea breeze off the Gulf of Mexico each day. If the heat does bother you we have a lighted course that you can play on until 10:00. However, I suggest you bring a good set of eyes with you preferably young eyes to follow the flight of the ball, especially if your ball lands on the edge of the fairway.

Many of my friends are addicted to golf fanatics that will play every day come rain or shine. Afternoon thunderstorms are an everyday threat to all our courses. Golf courses that feature carts with good wide and long roofs will do double duty by keeping the blazing hot sun off you and keep your gear dry during afternoon thunderstorms.

Golf courses with water hazards can be interesting during June when the gators are mating. Most golf courses have the number of the local alligator trapper on speed dial at this time of the year. It is advisable to never wade into a golf course pond to retrieve a ball. Alligators are very deceptive by appearing to be slow-moving but can accelerate to capture prey at incredible speeds. We have had several attacks in our area over the past ten years so you need to give gators a wide birth. In the past, we used to have a good supply of rattlesnakes but due to urbanization and increasing numbers of wild hogs they are now seldom seen.

Hogs on a golf course are a disaster waiting to happen. In just one night your favorite course can have thousands of dollars worth of damage. This is especially true if they do their rooting on greens. Golfers are very picky about the golf course they want to play on and especially critical of any changes to the greens. Hog control and removal is a high priority effort around most golf courses.

There are many quality golf courses located here in Southwest Florida. In fact, you could easily play a different course for each day of the month and not have to travel more than 20 minutes from your home. There are too many to name and more are being built all the time. Southwest Florida has at least one golf course to suit you and your playing style.