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Jacksonville one of Florida's best cities for a bachelors' golf trip

By S. Adam Cardais,
Contributor
TPC Sawgrass - Stadium golf course
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Precision is a must at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course. (Courtesy of Visit Florida)

Looking for a great destination in Florida for a bachelors' golf weekend? Orlando and Miami aren't the only games in town.

Jacksonville is the sleeper city for buddies' golf trips in Florida, if not the southeast. Though it's often overshadowed by Orlando, or farther up the east coast, Atlanta and Charlotte, Jacksonville has plenty to offer when it comes to golf and off-course entertainment.

Its proximity to the World Golf Village in St. Augustine puts it close to great golf courses such as the Jack Nicklaus- and Arnold Palmer-designed King & Bear. And nightlife? Well, need we say more than The Riverwalk — more than a mile of restaurants and shops in downtown Jacksonville.

"You don't have to be a golfer to experience cultural shock and awe in Jacksonville," golf writer and Jacksonville native Tim McDonald wrote in a story for FloridaGolf.com. "You can find just about anything on the cultural barometer, including an NFL team, enough barbecue joints to stuff a hog factory, an equal amount of upscale and downscale bars and restaurants."

So if you and your buddies are looking for the next great place for a bachelors-only golf trip, give Jacksonville a shot. Its on and off course attractions will not disappoint.

Jacksonville golf courses: Hitting the links

The King & Bear course at World Golf Village has two of the greatest names in golf attached to it: Nicklaus and Palmer. It is described as one of the few true collaborations between great golfers. Arnie and Jack reportedly walked the layout together and even played it together. The result is a course with aspects of both men.

Designed by the demonical Pete Dye, the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass is home to The Players Championship. Here the pros are faced with three of the toughest finishing holes in the business, so this course is a great place to take-on your buddies.

Trickery is the name of the game at The Stadium Course. Shots you thought were solid, right on - well, God knows where they could end up here. This makes precision a must. It also means you'll have to keep your cool, which might be hard with your buddies busting your balls all afternoon.

If you're feeling a little rough in the morning after a long night out, World Golf Village's Slammer & Squire course is a good option, as it's the easier of the two courses on the property. That's not to say this Bobby Weed design is a breeze, but its large greens and manageable rough make it accessible to a range of skill levels.

Jacksonville nightlife: Hitting the town

The Riverwalk: If you and the guys are looking for a place to go for some great nightlife after your round, head to The Riverwalk. The area is more than a mile of shops, restaurants, hotels theaters and bars, making it one of Jacksonville's most popular downtown destination. McDonald described it as the place to be for nightlife in Jacksonville.

Morton's: For a great steak you know you can trust, hit up Morton's. Dig into a double porterhouse or, if you don't want to be dragging all that extra weight around next day, might be better to stick to the single-cut filet mignon.

The Wine Cellar: If you and the guys meet any ladies on the course, invite them for dinner and drinks at The Wine Cellar. They'll be impressed. Consistently rated a top 300 restaurant by Florida Trend Magazine, this is a great place to go for an upscale dinner. The menu boasts eclectic, yet classic continental cuisine that doesn't shy away from Asian and European influences. Try the lobster and asparagus ravioli with fresh cilantro broth, or break out the plastic and get the broiled lobster tail.

The wine list features a wide range of red and white wines and Champagnes.

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