Golf Course Reviews





By Ken Liebeskind
Yalesville, Connecticut

Orlando is home to Walt Disney World, but it makes a case as America's golfing capital as well as its tourism capital with 150 courses in the area, including two that host PGA Tour events. Orlando's best golf courses include links designed by Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Greg Norman and many more, which offer challenging golf amidst the splendid scenery.

Orlando's best golf courses start with Bay Hill Club and Lodge, which has hosted the Arnold Palmer Invitational since 1979. The 7,157 yard course, situated on the site of a former orange grove along the Butler Chain of Lakes, was converted to a par 70 in 2007, when two par 5s became 4s. The signature hole is the 558 yard par 5 6th that bends around a massive pond that John Daly hit six tee shots into in 1998 and scored an 18.

Jack Nicklaus's North-South Course at Grand Cypress Villas, another one of Orlando's best golf courses, features sharply ledged fairways, tall shaggy mounds and plateau greens perched above water or sand that is a demanding target-style test.

The Shingle Creek Golf Club, designed by David Harman plays over 7200 yards from the tips and features dense tree lined fairways with water in play on 15 holes.

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Falcon's Fire Golf Club is
one of Orlando's best golf courses

The Sanctuary Ridge Gold Club in Clermont is called Florida's Mountain Course because of its hillside locale. Unlike most of Orlando's best golf courses there is practically no water in play, but there are many ravines to shoot over, which makes club selection extremely important. A signature hole is the 3rd, a 355 yard par 4 that plays downhill with a large waste bunker on the left and additional bunkers on the right.

Orange County National offers the Panther Lake and Crooked Cat courses, with Panther Lake playing almost 7,300 yards with a rating of 75.7 with water on 12 holes and Crooked Cat a wide open links style course. Panther Lake's signature hole is the 550 yard par 5 7th with water in play on every shot. Crooked Creek features the 375 yard par 4 9th that plays around a small lake.

Falcon's Fire Golf Club, designed by Rees Jones, is one of Orlando's best golf courses that plays over 6,900 yards, with the 13th, a long par 4 called Bunker Hill, a dog leg right around a lake with an array of bunkers on the left side of the fairway.

Disney's Palm Course was ranked by Golf Digest as one of the Top 25 resort courses in the nation. It plays to a slope rating of 140 with big greens and a brutal par 4 finishing hole that has been ranked as one of the country's toughest 50 holes.

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