Naples can trace its’ roots to two basic groups, the American Indian and European explorers. There was never much agreement between the two groups as each tried to overtake the other. Eventually imported diseases did to the Native what musketry and mayhem failed to do. Likewise, mosquitoes and malaria did more than clubs and poisoned arrows in driving off the Europeans. As the explorers returned to their home ports they took with them a taste of the harshness of coastal Collier County. The cartographers and pilots of the visiting ships varied from Dutch to Spanish and even Basques. Naples will forever be connected to these venturing seekers. As well, a rich heritage was left behind by each and Naples residents and historians are left with a vast collection of artifacts and relics.
Naples has a long history of golf related activities.
From its’ early beginnings, a golf course of some sort was always present. Early on, the first course was near the heart of what is now Olde Naples and it doubled as a small plane runway! Golfers had to scramble with the sound of approaching aircraft! The Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club was developed by the Watkins family as an offshoot of the Olde Naples Hotel, but that’s another story. Golf remains the number one reason that visitors and residents seek out Naples, Florida. There are more golf holes here per capita here than any city in the United States, and more are on the drawing boards every day! As of this writing some 45 private or semi-private clubs exist in Collier County with many public courses available as well.