This week marks the start of my favorite time of the year: springtime in Florida — the epicenter of golf and baseball. The entire month of March sports fans can experience both PGA TOUR golf on the “Flordia Swing” and the MLB’s Grapefruit League at Spring Training. I love both and wanted to share my tips and experiences making the most of this exciting time of year!
So this week I’m throwing it back to a blog post I wrote back in 2017, detailing how you can plan yourself a professional golf and baseball-themed vacation.
But, what’s so exciting is that I’ve updated the post because the PLAYERS has moved to March for the first time since 2007. So there’s even more golf to enjoy this month in Florida!
Favorite pastimes collide
Right now, two of my favorite pastimes are converging in the Sunshine State for golf’s Florida Swing and baseball’s Spring Training — I plan to take full advantage and so should you!
For those of you just now following my journey, before the PGA TOUR & CBSSports.com, I was with my hometown team — the St. Louis Cardinals and have been surrounded by baseball my entire life. So I’ve been fortunate enough to visit several of the Grapefruit League’s stadiums in Florida, along with most of the stops on the Florida Swing (including the former site of the WGC- Cadillac Championship at Trump National Doral).
Lucky for us sports fans, ALL the stops on the Florida Swing allow us to take in both golf AND baseball!
Honda Classic – Cardinals, Marlins, Nationals, Astros & Mets
Starting with the Honda Classic this week, you can pay a visit to four MLB teams in one stop. FOUR! Of course you have to go by Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter to see my beloved Cardinals play, but they also share the complex with the Miami Marlins. Catch a game at the Nationals & Astros brand new complex while you are at it too!
All are within miles of each other in the West Palm area and if you are feeling overzealous you can also take a short drive up to Port St. Lucie to see the New York Mets in action.
Arnold Palmer Invitational – Braves, Tigers
Here’s where the rest of the Florida Swing schedule has been adjusted. Now directly after the Honda Classic, the PGA TOUR heads to Arnie’s place at Bay Hill in Orlando for the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
While in Orlando, you can make a trip to Disney World to see the Braves play at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex. Just a few miles southwest, the Detroit Tigers play in Lakeland, FL.
The PLAYERS Championship
In its new position on the PGA TOUR schedule, the PLAYERS Championship is the next stop on the Flordia Swing after Mr. Palmer’s tournament. Though there aren’t any Spring Training teams in Jacksonville, FL, this is my favorite tournament of the year — so I think it’s safe to devote most of your time to TPC Sawgrass and the surrounding Jacksonville area.
I’ll have your Guide to Jacksonville and the PLAYERS Championship up on the blog next week. So stay tuned! Or signup for my newsletter, to get an email each time a new post goes up on my blog.
Valspar Championship – Blue Jays, Phillies, Yankees, Pirates & Orioles
The final stop on the Florida Swing, but, perhaps, not your final stop on your Grapefruit League adventure. There are several teams to visit in the Tampa area and even more as you make your way south to Fort Meyers!
Directly in the downtown Tampa Bay area, the Blue Jays, Phillies and Yankees are all a short drive from Innisbrook Resort — where the Valspar Championship is played.
But if you do decide to make your way to Ft. Meyers, where one of my favorite Spring Training facilities in Flordia resides, then you have opportunities to hit up the Pirates in Bradenton, FL, and Orioles in Sarasota, FL.
The final inning — Rays, Twins & Red Sox
If you are wondering where the Tampa Bay Rays do Spring Training, then you’ll have to go a little further south to Port Charolette, FL.
Then you can end your trip with a bang, visiting the Twins and (it pains me to say this as a Cardinals fan) one of my favorites, Boston’s “Little Fenway” — one of the coolest Spring Training stadiums I’ve ever been to and is a stellar tribute to the real thing.
Play (golf) ball!
Whether you do your own Spring Training tour all in one swoop or visit each tournament site individually over time, it’s definitely worth squeezing in some baseball to get the full effect of springtime in Florida. You won’t be disappointed, I know this time of year holds a special place in my heart.
What Spring Training sites or Florida Swing tournaments have you visited. OR which stops are on your bucket list? Let me know in the comments below or join the conversation on my Instagram page!