TAMPA, Fla. (Oct. 1, 2014) – A century after Tampa Bay golfers first took to the links, golf has become an economic boon for the region and the state. Across the Tampa Bay region, nearly 100 courses challenge golfers with all levels of play.
Now, three Hillsborough County courses have been included on the state’s new Florida Historic Golf Trail.
Secretary of State Ken Detzner unveiled the trail last month through the state’s Division of Historical Resources.
“We are proud to showcase Florida’s rich golfing traditions,” Detzner said when he announced the new trail. “With the help of our partner courses, we look forward to encouraging visitors and residents alike to come play on history.”
Hillsborough County’s contribution to the trail includes Tampa’s Rocky Point Golf Course and Babe Zaharias Golf Course along with the Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club.
Rocky Point opened its first nine holes in 1912. Babe Zaharias opened in 1926 as the Forest Hills Golf and Country Club. Zaharias, one of the greatest female athletes of the 20th Century, bought the course where she was the winter professional in the 1950s. It was named after her in 1974. Temple Terrace opened in 1922; in 2012, it became the second Florida golf course listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“We join the state of Florida in celebrating and honoring all of these golf courses in the state of Florida with rich traditions as being part of the Florida Historic Golf Trail,” said Santiago Corrada, president and CEO of Visit Tampa Bay. “We’re pleased to have three of Hillsborough County’s oldest and most unique courses included on the list and look forward to others, such as Rogers Park Golf Course, possibly being added to the trail at a later date.”
Florida’s first golf courses were built in the 1890s as railroads brought visitors to the state. The Florida Historic Golf Trail celebrates Florida’s early golf heritage, from the 1890s through World War II, by featuring historic, publicly accessible golf courses that can still be played today. More than 50 courses from all over Florida were included in the trail.
Also on the list are the Tarpon Springs Golf Course, the Dunedin Golf Club, Clearwater Country Club and the Vinoy Golf Club in St. Petersburg, all in Pinellas County.
More information about the trail and the courses on it can be found on at http://www.floridahistoricgolftrail.com.
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Visit Tampa Bay leads the effort of economic development through tourism. The mission of Visit Tampa Bay is to create vibrant economic growth for the Tampa Bay area by selling and promoting the Tampa Bay destination. The independent not-for-profit organization represents more than 700 businesses throughout the area and works to ignite interest for Visiting Tampa Bay.