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Why Jupiter Florida's called the 'Epicenter of Professional Golf'

Posted by Lacey Hagler on Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020 at 10:19am.

 

Pictured: PGA National is the home of The Honda Classic

Referred to as “Golf’s Hot Spot” in Golf Digest and the “Epicenter of Professional Golf” by GOLF.com, the sunny beachside town of Jupiter Florida is the place to live for today’s pro golfers.

The current crop of Tour players have flocked to Jupiter Florida, favoring the beachside town for its warm weather, its absence of income tax, its unparalleled lifestyle, and its prevalence for affluent suburbs that allow access to private clubs and games with other pros.

One of the most public additions to the Jupiter scene was Tiger Woods when he completed a $38 million purchase in 2016 of 10 acres of residential property stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Intracoastal Waterway, but 35 PGA Tour pros officially live here. Spending time at his upscale sports bar, The Woods, may lead to rubbing elbows with the likes of Dustin Johnson or Rory McIlroy. In fact, Rickie Fowler toasted there in the wake of his 2017 Honda Classic win, and Justin Thomas celebrated at The Woods after his first major win at the PGA Championship.

The most recent heavy hitter to join the neighborhood, Phil Mikelson, announced at the American Express tournament in La Quinta, California, that he and his wife recently purchased a lot on Jupiter Island. The plan, according to him, is to relocate to the area after his youngest child, Evan, graduates high school in the spring of 2021.

 

Pictured: The Woods is located inside Harbourside Place

Considering the exclusivity and fame surrounding international golf celebrities, Jupiter does not fall under the same category as Miami. Casual yet upscale tiki bars, boating culture, and a small town of 60,000 residents provide the low-key simplistic atmosphere that former and aspiring TOUR pros prefer.

The lifestyle includes paddle-boarding (Stacy Lewis), surfing (Fredrik Jacobson has his own coach), cycling (Camilo Villegas is known to make 100-plus mile rides to Miami and back), weekend boat runs to the Bahamas (Robert Allenby), and dining at laid-back restaurants such as Guanabanas, The Food Shack, The Dive Bar and Reef Grill with their boat-to-table, expertly-prepared seafood. If the pros aren’t hitting balls at Medalist or Bears Club, they’re scuba diving, spearfishing, visiting turtles on Juno Beach, or they’re three miles off Jupiter inlet on sportfishing yachts trolling for dolphin where the gulf stream comes closest to shore.

 

Pictured: Jupiter Inlet

"In Chicago, it's a quicker lifestyle. In Florida, I can relax," U.S.-based English professional golfer Luke Donald, whose family splits time between the two locales, told Golf Digest. "The weather does have an effect on your attitude. When you see blue skies nearly every day and are able to pull on your shorts to practice, it's definitely a more serene atmosphere when I'm in Florida. I don't worry about things so much."

Other pros in the Jupiter area include the greatest of all time Jack Nicklaus, U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka, and Hall of Famers Greg Norman, Gary Player, Ernie Els, and Nick Price, but between rentals and second (or third, or fourth) homes, the true number is certainly higher than 35.

The world’s most famous golfer (or person for that matter) — President Donald J. Trump — also spends his winter weekends on fairways that bear his name in Jupiter and about 15 miles south in West Palm Beach.         

Jupiter isn’t the only South Florida town attracting world-class golfers. With the most public and private golf courses in Florida (160 to be exact), Palm Beach County has more than 60 current or former professional golfers residing within its limits.

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