Foster’s Fairway: LPGA International - Jones Course

Home to two beautiful golf courses, the Jones and Hills courses, LPGA International offers a great experience for vacationing golfers looking for variety and a challenge.

Beautiful sandy beaches. Daytona International Speedway. Bike Week. These are likely the some of the things that come to mind when most people think of Daytona Beach.  If you play golf though, there’s something else that should come to mind as well, LPGA International. 

Home to two beautiful golf courses, the Jones and Hills courses, LPGA International offers a great experience for vacationing golfers looking for variety and a challenge. We’ll take a closer look at the Hills Course later, while profiling the Jones Course in this post.

As the name suggests, the Jones Course was designed by architect Rees Jones, whose portfolio includes Pinehurst No. 7, Nantucket Golf Club, as well as a renovation of Torrey Pines.  With large expanses of bunkers, undulating greens, and an open layout, Jones’ has created a signature links style golf course that offers a great challenge for golfers of any skill level.

Playing 7,088 yards from the back tees, it quickly becomes apparent why this course is a “favorite of the tour players”.  The course challenges the player in different ways, while also offering scoring opportunities as well.  Intelligently placed bunkers on nearly every hole, for instance, seem to be in just the right position to penalize players that have a wayward tee shot. 

Take, for example the opening hole.  With a water hazard running all of the way down the left side of the par-4, your natural tendency when lining up your tee shot is to keep to the right side of the fairway.  Anything too far right, though, will put you in one of those sand bunkers.  Though this doesn’t make par impossible, it can certainly make an easier hole more difficult. 

There are also several holes that challenge players with not only their layouts, but their length as well.  Playing 457 yards, the par-4 second can certainly be included in this category.  While the fairway is relatively open, the ideal tee shot lands you on the right side of the fairway, giving you much better look into the green, with what is for most, likely to be a longer iron. 

Then there is the beautiful par-5 thirteenth.  At 576 yards, hitting this green in two is a feat for even longer hitters.  Not only do you have to be wary of sand bunkers down the right side of the hole, but large mounds down the left side can make a second or third shot less than ideal.  The approach into the green is by no means easy either.  With a water hazard and bunker guarding the right side of the green, even with a wedge the approach shot can be tricky. In all, this gives the hole a wonderful links feel while making it one of the hardest holes on the course.

The one place where you can make up some ground on the course is on the par-3’s.  Playing as the 18, 16, 15, and 7 handicaps, each of the par-3’s play fairly straightforward and given a good tee shot can offer decent looks at birdie.  That being said, as is with any links course, a strong breeze can change the dynamic of a short par-3 entirely.

If LPGA International didn’t first come to mind when thinking of Daytona Beach, a tee time at the Jones Course will undoubtedly change that.  Depending on how your round goes, you might have seen enough sand to forgo any trip to one of Daytona’s beaches, but it can be said that you won’t have seen enough of this fun and challenging links course.