IF VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE, then the golf courses in Orlando are hot, hot, hot.
There are more than 90 courses within a 30-mile radius of downtown Orlando and the diversity available is astounding. With talented designers such as Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, and Tom Fazio represented, the courses in the Orlando area are among the best in the nation, offering a variety of playing styles, terrains, and settings. You’ll find hilly layouts (yes, hilly in Florida!) and wetlands layouts, links-style and parkland-style designs, in addition to a good selection of traditional Florida palm-dotted courses.
Combine that extensive course line-up with one of the world’s most exciting tourism infrastructures and you have an unparalleled mix of phenomenal lodging possibilities, top-notch dining, and world-renowned entertainment at a price level you’ll thoroughly enjoy.
Whether you choose to stay in a spacious home or condo, multi-amenity resort, or conveniently located hotel, you’ll instantly recognize the exceptional quality and value available in one of the world’s most-visited tourism destinations.
After a satisfying day roaming the fairways, you can relax in a home or condo where you can spread out, grab a cold beverage from the fridge and count up the birdies on your scorecard. Or you can head out for a night of dining and entertainment. It’s your choice. Tough call, eh?
Homes & Villas
If staying in a home or villa complete with kitchen, spacious living room, laundry facilities, and even a private pool (and, of course, is near superior golf courses!) meets the needs of your group, Orlando has several you’ll really enjoy.
Highly recommended is Paradise Palms Resort, one of the most popular communities located in south Orlando near Walt Disney World® Resort and numerous top-notch golf courses. Here you’ll find four-, five-, and six-bedroom homes and villas with fully equipped kitchens, plus a sprawling clubhouse with a 5,000-square-foot pool, waterfall and slides, fitness center, and Tiki Bar and Grill.
In the beautiful new Global Resort Homes at ChampionsGate, a 900-acre master planned community, you’ll have easy access to one of the area’s newest courses, ChampionsGate Country Club, and can enjoy private homes that range in size from four to nine bedrooms with a screened pool. Amenities include an on-site 20,000-square-foot clubhouse with a massive resort-style pool, fitness center, movie theater, and volleyball courts.
Nearby ChampionsGate Golf Club is home to 36 holes of golf, including Norman’s International course that offers a definite Australian feel thanks to dunes sprinkled with tall grasses and expansive greens; after golf at this facility, stick around to hear the bagpiper who plays every afternoon at sunset.
The great courses at which you can tee it up just minutes away from these communities include the superbly maintained and challenging Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course; Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course, the longest of the Disney layouts which hosted the PGA Tour for many years; and Disney’s Palm Golf Course layouts.
Celebration Golf Club, a design collaboration by the father-son duo of Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Robert Trent Jones Jr., is also nearby and highly recommended; as are Falcon’s Fire Golf Club, a lake-laden Rees Jones course stretching to more than 7,000 yards from the back tees; Hawk’s Landing Golf Club, a Joe Lee design that is also a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary; and Southern Dunes, a dramatic hillside course with elevation changes up to 100 feet, massive high-lipped bunkers, and dunes dotted with high grasses.
One of the newest designs in the area is the highly regarded Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort, an 18-hole Tom Fazio layout; and you cannot go wrong at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club® Orlando, Grande Lakes, where 18 Greg Norman-designed holes are found.
The Resort Option
For resort golf lovers, world-class properties with luxury amenities, great service, and highly ranked golf courses abound in and around Orlando.
If you enjoy properties with multiple courses and exemplary maintenance standards — and who doesn’t — check out Reunion Resort, the only resort in the world to have three signature golf courses by legends Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Tom Watson. A day on any of these memorable courses (or at the onsite Annika Academy) is enhanced by a stay in the luxe accommodations at Reunion Grande, where one- and two-bedroom estate villas are exquisitely decorated and will make you feel right at home.
Near International Drive and the main tourism corridor, Rosen Shingle Creek boasts a lovely Dave Harman design that features large, undulating greens, and abundant wildlife that thrives in the meandering waterways and lakes. Elegant hotel accommodations and an eclectic choice of cuisine make Rosen Shingle Creek a popular choice.
Another popular option is The Villas at Grand Cypress, where Mediterranean-style one- to four-bedroom villas are nestled adjacent to 45 holes of renowned Jack Nicklaus-designed golf. And Holiday Inn Club Vacations at Orange Lake Resort is part of a 1,450-acre recreation wonderland with the Arnold Palmer-designed Legends Course and a second 18-hole layout called The Reserve, nine restaurants, and a beautiful 12-acre pool area with a lazy river.
In the upscale category are Waldorf Astoria Golf Club at Waldorf Astoria Orlando, where in addition to 18 distinguished holes of Rees Jones-designed golf, guests stay in elegant accommodations and have access to a number of tempting restaurants and a spa; and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, set within the 482-acre Bonnet Creek Nature Preserve. Hilton guests have access to the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club.
Other popular and highly recommended courses include El Campeón and Las Colinas at local favorite Mission Inn Resort & Club, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015, and Panther Lake and Crooked Cat at Orange County National, often mentioned as being the top pure golf facility in the region.
While Orlando enjoys a well-deserved reputation as one of the best family destinations in the world, a great variety of stellar golf courses, combined with an array of outstanding accommodations choices and exciting after-golf activities, truly makes Orlando hot, hot, hot for golf trips too!