Seminole - Florida - USA

Seminole Golf Club,
901 Seminole Blvd,
Juno Beach,
Florida (FL) 33408,
USA


  • +1 561 626 0280

  • 7 miles N of West Palm Beach

  • Members and their guests only


Donald Ross originally designed Seminole in the 1920s and it was the first outstanding course to be built in America’s deepest South. Situated on the Atlantic side of Florida’s coastline, Seminole Golf Club is considered by critics to be one of the finest examples of golf course routing. With small greens and serious trouble lurking beyond the flagstick, this is not a course to attack.

The site chosen for the course features a number of sand dune ridges that were carefully brought into play with some fairways directed towards elevated green sites while others drop down from sandy peaks to flatter terrain. Both nines set out from the clubhouse on level ground before veering into the 40-foot dune ridge that runs alongside the western edge of the property.

The greens at Seminole are the main line of defence for the course and many of them are cleverly angled, narrowing towards the back, which makes rear pin positions a very tough proposition. Fairway bunkers are generally shallow but flash-faced sand traps adjacent to putting surfaces are often deep and troublesome.

The par four 6th is a wonderful hole on the outward half, played to an offset putting surface that’s protected by bunkers on both sides of a long, narrow green. Holes 11 and 14 are memorable for the uphill approach shots to be played to the pin and the all-carry second shot to the par four 12th is another highlight on the inward half.

Seminole was one of 18 “Gourmet’s Choice” courses selected for The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses Volume 2 – The Americas (winter destinations). Tom Doak commented as follows:

“The faces of the bunkers, flashed up by Dick Wilson in the early 1950s, were returned to grass by Brian Silva a decade ago to cut down on the washouts from summer rains here, but the club keeps the faces mowed tight so that a ball that finishes short of the green (or rolls back off) will roll down into the sand. Only one new tee has been added: and extension of the 1st and 10th tees that connects the two back by the prop shop, which Ben Crenshaw had noticed on Ross’ original drawing for the course.

Otherwise, there has been no concern for adding length to the course. At 6,800 yards, the coastal breezes make Seminole plenty for any golfer to handle. Unlike many clubs, the members here understand that the professionals are their guests, and you don’t build new features for the guests.”

A few extra yards were found for the TaylorMade Driving Relief event in aid of Covid-19 charities. The Seminole card measured 7,265 yards for the skins fundraiser and the layout proved to be a decent challenge when Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson needed to win a nearest-the-pin tiebreaker to beat opponents Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff.

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Reviews for Seminole

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Description: Situated on the Atlantic side of Florida’s coastline, Seminole Golf Club is considered by critics to be one of the finest examples of golf course routing. Rating: 9.2 out of 10 Reviews: 13
TaylorMade
Larry Berle
Seminole was designed in 1929 by Donald Ross and sits right on the ocean in North Palm Beach, Florida… I’ve played many Donald Ross courses now, and some are outstanding (Seminole, Oakland Hills, Salem Country Club, for example) and others are just so-so. Ross was a very prolific designer with 413 golf courses to his credit. So many, in fact, that it is doubtful that he actually had time to visit and design all the courses he is credited with in his lifetime. Ross, who died in 1948, probably designed one-third of his courses from photos or topographical maps and never actually saw the land or visited the sites. Another one-third he visited only once or twice. Therefore, there is great variation in the quality of Donald Ross courses across the United States. I am sure Seminole is one where he spent some time…

The locker room may be the best I have seen so far. Tradition just screams out at you when you walk in. Its walls are lined with dark, old wooden lockers and pictures and placards that depict the history of the game in America. The names that surround you are Bobby Jones, Gene Sarazen, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, and Ben Hogan. In fact, Seminole became Hogan’s winter digs…

Scott told us an amazing story as we stood on the 4th tee, a par 3 of 161 yards. His wife had been a five-time Tennessee amateur champion and had played in the Curtis Cup. One day, years earlier, he and his three buddies were playing at Seminole, while his wife and her three friends played in the foursome in front of him. Number 4 is 141 yards for women, and the four women had a combined score of six. Think about it; two birdies and two holes-in-one. Scott saw the entire thing and says he heard one of the women who had scored birdie walking away from the green mumbling, “What do you have to do to win a hole around here?” The odds against such a feat are astronomical. Larry Berle.
November 02, 2014
6 / 10
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Keith Baxter
November 02, 2014
The above review is an edited extract from A Golfer’s Dream, which has been reproduced with the author’s kind permission. A Golfer’s Dream, by Larry Berle, tells the story of how a regular guy conquered America’s Top 100 Golf Courses (following Golf Digest’s 2001/2002 list). Larry has exclusively rated for us every course in the hundred, using our golf ball rating system. However, Larry did not rate the 100 courses against every golf course he has played, but instead he rated them in relation to each other within the hundred. Consequently, in some cases, his rating may seem rather low. A Golfer’s Dream is available in Kindle format and also on Kindle Unlimited via Amazon... click the link for more. 
Alex presley
October 15, 2015
Sorry to nitpick but the 4th hole is the par 4 no1 hcp. 5 is the par 3
Mac Plumart
Without question the most difficult course I have ever played. According to the grounds crew, the greens were running at a 13 on the stimp meter the day I played it. Seminole - Photo by MacNow that is okay, but these are Donald Ross greens (think Pinehurst #2). Throw in a 20 to 30 mph wind off the beach and a vast amount of bunkers, and you've got one tough test of golf. Along those lines, I see Seminole as a great test of golf for the championship caliber golfer. But wasn't it a common saying among the great golden age golf course architects, that a GREAT course is a challenge for the championship gofler, but fun to play for the high handicapper? I think so. I am an 11, and Seminole was all I could handle and then some. Throw an 18 or more out there and there is no way they will enjoy it. So, is Seminole great? Not according to the Golden Age gurus. However, it is a very, very stern test of golf.
May 12, 2010
8 / 10
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isutcliffe
I was fortunate enough to play Seminole last January and you can almost feel the spirit of Ben Hogan when you walk through the unasuming clubhouse doors. This is golf from a bygone era when the old money from the North East came to winter in Florida. The course is laid out in a rectangular piece of flat land that is disected by two dune ridges. The Donald Ross design is a classic, varying direction and using the dunes to their maximum, the 4th and 5th holes were my favourites. Palm trees and sandy waste areas provide the defence, together with the sea breeze. The last 3 holes by the ocean are a dramatic finish, but the best is saved until last with the wood panel locker room, that is so steeped in history you expect it to be in black and white. An absolute classic golf experience.
July 15, 2006
10 / 10
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Andy
February 08, 2009
Just played Seminole last week. I believe the course is hugely underrated, as I was told that the course leaves something to be desired by those who have played it. Besides Merion, I've yet to visit a course that is so well routed. The course was in fantastic shape and the wind was whistling. The staff was first class and it seemed that every time I needed something it was right in front of me. The locker room was exactly as expected, the coolest place in golf. I can only imagine the stories that have been told in there. I've played multiple Top 100 courses in the past few years, but the day at Seminole goes down as the best "pure golf experience" to date.