Palm Cove Golf & Yacht Club, Palm City
The Confidant: Shane McGuire, general manager
Rookie mistake: Playing the tips. Unless you’re long and consistently straight, you can get into a lot of trouble that way.
Most treacherous hole: Eight is a longish par-3 with a good bit of carry and hazards on all sides. Approach this hole with a straight iron aimed at the center of the green, but land it in front and let it feed up.
Personal fave: Nine—because it is a great risk-reward hole. Place your tee shot in the right place, and it leaves you a clear shot over the water and onto the green.
Bonus tip: Every hole on this course allows for a safe layup. Most golfers hate to lay up, but on this course, it could be the difference between a birdie or a bogey.
St. Lucie Trail Golf Club, Port St. Lucie
The Confidant: Steven Barney, head golf professional
Rookie mistake: Choosing the wrong tee box to play. Whatever yardage you typically play, move up one tee box for the first round.
Most treacherous hole: Hole 6 is our number-one handicap hole. If you hit your tee shot left of center, you’ll end up in the water or have an awkward lie.
Personal fave: Sixteen is a typical Fazio risk-reward hole. The conservative approach: Hit a long iron and only have about 80 yards to the green. Or risk hitting a driver and fly the marsh onto the green, or just left of the green, with only a chip shot left.
Bonus tip: With a narrow fairway, water down the left side, and out of bounds on both sides, hole 1 is one of the most intimidating starting holes in the area.
Lost Lake Golf Club, Hobe Sound
The Confidant: John Bolton, head golf professional
Rookie mistake: Playing from wrong tees, as yardage is not long but hitting fairways is at a premium.
Most treacherous hole: Five is our number-one handicap hole. To combat the challenge, make sure to be conservative off the tee.
Greatest potential for ball loss: Hole 1. Play the tee shot down the left center of the fairway, as everything kicks the ball toward the water.
Personal fave: Fifteen. It’s a very tough, very scenic hole that plays into the wind most of the time. To make par, keep it down the left side to stay away from the water.
Bonus tip: A critical club for this course is a wedge. All the greens are
elevated, so a great short game is a must.