Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, Palm Harbor
Innisbrook's courses are open only to members and resort guests, but here's a secret: Two of the restaurant/bars at this top-notch course — home to Tampa Bay's only PGA Tour event, the Tampa Bay Golf Championship — are open to the public. Both the Market Salamander Grille and Packard's Steakhouse feature top-notch food and drinks in settings both stately and sophisticated. Reservations are recommended at both places (especially Packard's), but during the slower summer months, odds are you can just show up and get a seat. Market Salamander Grille features a window-walled barroom with a sprawling, secluded patio, including two fire pits and live entertainment on weekends. And the mixology menu is as modern as the decor. In addition to full and detailed high-end rum, tequila and cigar menus, they offer a rotating selection of creative cocktails, such as the Salamander Crush (Casa Noble blanco tequila, Chambord, crushed raspberries, mint, simple syrup and club soda). Packard's is the resort's signature restaurant (the Kona Crusted Lollipop Lamb Chops are a favorite of PGA pro Rocco Mediate), and it has a jaw-dropping signature cocktail: the barrel-aged Packard's Manhattan made with Palm Ridge Reserve bourbon and Vya sweet vermouth. The icing on the cake? Dine at Packard's and you might get a visit from the restaurant's cognac cart. Louis XIII, anyone?
Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club: 36750 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor. For hours and reservations call (727) 942-5222 (Market Salamander Grille) or (727) 942-5240 (Packard's Steakhouse) or see innisbrookgolfresort.com.
Fox Hollow Golf Club, Trinity
Fox Hollow is out in the boonies of Trinity, and it's surrounded by housing developments, and the clubhouse bar and grill, Windows on the Green, has a slightly Country Kitchenish atmosphere. But it also offers an airy, panoramic view of the course, and the cocktail menu shows a modicum of inventiveness, with a dozen mojitos, margaritas, martinis and sangrias. True, all the margaritas are made with sour mix, but a refreshing Cuban Blue Mojito (Cruzan light rum, Hpnotiq cognac, lime, mint, soda and a rim of raw sugar) is a sweet and refreshing treat. One caveat: The array of Monin flavored syrups behind the bar is a bit of a red herring, as none of the drinks on the menu call for exotic flavors like dark chocolate or cucumber. But if you're mixologically inclined, maybe the bartender will make you a drink to order.
Fox Hollow Golf Club: 10050 Robert Trent Jones Parkway, Trinity. Bar hours: 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. (727) 376-6333 ext. 2; golfthefox.com/fox-hollow.
Pebble Creek Golf Club, Tampa; Wentworth Golf Club, Tarpon Springs
Mulligan's Irish Pub is an easy and obvious name for a 19th hole, and there's one at both of these courses, which are owned by the same company, Ace Golf. (Ace also owns Crescent Oaks Golf Club in Tarpon Springs, which doesn't have a Mulligan's.) The decor of both is inviting and decidedly Irish, with dark, polished wood furniture and fixtures; and the public is welcome in both, even though Wentworth is located inside a gated community. Both serve a full food menu and have an array beers and ciders on tap, from Guinness to Smithwick's to Cigar City, with weekly and monthly specials. There's also a full food menu, team trivia nights and large outdoor verandas. Tampa's Mulligan's has a copper-top bar as well as pool and table tennis (free with any $5 purchase) and Tarpon Springs has a pair of giant plaques listing all the holes in one at the course.
Pebble Creek Golf Club: 10550 Regents Park Drive, Tampa. Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. (813) 973-3870; pebblecreekclub.com.
Wentworth Golf Club: 2990 Wentworth Way, Tarpon Springs. Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday-Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. (727) 942-4760 ext. 28; wentworthgolfclub.org.
Quail Hollow Golf & Country Club, Wesley Chapel
Shaded outdoor seating, a full performance stage and even poolside cabanas make Quail Hollow's Restaurant, Pool and Patio and attractive happy hour destination. The full dining menu features a cross section of American classics and fusion foods. Open to the public, the bar hosts events such as live music on Friday nights and Sundays for brunch, a weekly karaoke night on Tuesdays and a pool party on Saturdays. No signature drinks grace the menu, but Quail Hollow's bartenders succeed with Florida favorites such as the mojito. Service is quick and thoughtful and a good crowd can be found throughout the evening.
Quail Hollow: 6225 Old Pasco Road, Wesley Chapel. Hours: Breakfast 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Lunch 10 p.m. to 3 p.m., Dining room opens at 5 p.m., and happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. (813) 333-0033, quailhollow.com/restaurant.
Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club, Temple Terrace
Recently named a historical designation, the jewel and center of Temple Terrace still has living members from the its incorporation in the 1950s. A place for family gatherings, Temple Terrace Golf and Country Club offers social memberships starting at $39 per month that allow the initiated to relax at the poolside bar, test your knowledge on trivia nights and attend club cookouts and activities. For special events and holidays, the club hires a DJ to keep the pool party rocking into the evening. Menu and drink prices differ based on memebership status.
Temple Terrace Country Club: 200 Inverness Ave., Temple Terrace. For hours, see templeterracegolf.com.
The Clubhouse Restaurant at the Vinoy Golf Club
Although the Vinoy Club in St. Pete's Snell Isle neighborhood is a private facility, guests at the nearby Vinoy Hotel are welcome to visit during their stay. After 18 holes on the Vinoy's lush, tropical course, many golfers unwind at the Clubhouse Restaurant, a casual second-level kitchen and bar with large, plate glass windows offering a panoramic view of the palm tree-lined course, as well as an outdoor veranda overlooking the club's swimming pool. The Clubhouse serves a selection of light fare and entrées, with a wide variety of drinks to wash them down. The Clubhouse offers several craft and imported beers both on draft and in bottles, and draft beers are available by the pitcher, should your entire golfing party be thirsty. In addition to beer, the Clubhouse has a wine list as well as a full liquor bar, complete with golf-themed signature cocktails, such as the Long Drive, a Long Island Iced Tea variant boosted with an addition of melon liqueur and lemonade; and the 19th Hole Margarita, a classic Margarita made from Cuervo Gold and Grand Marnier.
The Clubhouse Restaurant: 600 Snell Isle Blvd. NE, St. Petersburg. Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 6 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday. (727) 824-8045 or vinoyclub.com.