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Sports & Leisure in Orlando

While Florida's tourism industry stemmed from its breathtaking beaches and world-renowned theme parks, it has established itself as a first-class golf destination. Although there are top golf courses to be found throughout the state, the city of Orlando and its neighboring cities are making the largest impact on the state's golf industry.

Orlando Sport & Leisure
Full of top-rated golf courses and resorts.

Although, historically, Walt Disney World and other theme park attractions have overshadowed the Orlando golf scene, the area is full of top-rated courses and first-rate golf resorts. There are between 100 and 150 courses in the area and Orlando is host to two PGA tour events. In an article about Orlando golf, one cannot overlook the Bay Hill Club and Lodge.

One of the most prestigious semi-private clubs in the country, it has been a part of the PGA tour since 1979. The club has three nine-hole courses, the Challenger, the Champion, and the Charger. Bay Hill makes an effort to provide top of the line service by enhancing the smallest details. For example, each foursome at the club gets a forecaddie with no extra charge to haul clubs, rake sand traps, and provide tips on difficult shots. You must be a guest or resort member to play these courses with greens fees of $175 per round during peak season.

The North-South course at Grand Cypress Villas, designed by Jack Nicklaus, is one of the most well groomed courses in Florida. This combined with man-made rolling fairways and turtleback greens makes for very enjoyable play. The course has been labeled as roomy but challenging and is a must visit for any golfer in the Orlando Area. Greens fees run from $115 to $180, well worth a day away from The Mouse.

Golf Clubs in and around Orlando.

Grande Pines Golf Club
6351 International Golf Club Road
Orlando, Florida 32821
Telephone: 407.239.6909
Website: www.grandepinesgolfclub.com

Popular golf course architect who's got already three designs on Golfweek's 100 Greatest Modern courses, Steve Smyers has designed one of Central Florida's most dynamic new golf courses. Teaming up with player consultant Nick Faldo, Smyers has created a thinking person's dynamic golf course. From its lakes and tall pines, through its oaks and palms to its Tif Eagle greens, the features and contours at Grande Pines make shot selection as important a consideration as any other aspect of your game. Nestled in the heart of all the action on S. International Drive lies this magnificent fairway.

The golf club is owned and operated by Marriott. You take your pick. This golf club takes a more modern and bolder approach. The contoured, rolling fairways will accept most tee shots, and the well-bunkered, multi-tiered greens will reward accuracy on approach shots. This golf course will challenge the best in each player-pro or otherwise.

Hawk's Landing Golf Club
88 Hawks Landing Circle
Verona, WI 53593
Telephone: 848-4295 (golf shop & tee times)
848-5445 (pool)
848-5446 (tennis)
Website: www.hawkslandinggolfclub.com
Email: info@hawkslandinggolfclub.com

Hawks Landing Golf Club is gently winding its way around Marriott's Orlando World Center Resort complex. This full-service private golf club offers a lush tropical 18-hole challenge and a typically exceptional Marriott golf experience. Originally designed by Joe Lee in 1986, an entire re-design of the course in 1999 by Robert E. Cupp III provides exquisite, superior playing conditions and a wide variety of native trees, landscape, and floral scenery. At 6600 yards from the Championship tees, this now-par 71 facility features large Tifdwarf greens, water in play on 15 holes (including the entire back nine), distinctively undulating fairways, and four sets of tees. Centrally located just off I-4 in the Lake Buena Vista area, this resort course is recognized for exemplary customer service as noted by Golf Business Magazine's "Top 100 Golf Shops" ratings. Visually appealing and meticulously groomed, it's a great experience and a very fun, challenging and memorable course to play.

Metrowest Golf Club
Orlando, Fl
2100 S. Hiawassee Road
Orlando, FL 32835
Telephone: (407) 299-1099
Website: www.metrowestgolf.com
Email: info@metrowestgolf.com

MetroWest Golf Club has been embracing golfers since 1987. Robert Trent Jones, Sr. wove a masterpiece in Central Florida that creates a fair and demanding test of golf, enjoyed by golfers no matter what their handicap. With its spring-fed lakes and mature native trees bordering expansive, rolling fairways , this is truly one of Orlando's most solid mainstays. It is considered by Links Magazine to be "the Southeast's finest example of the Master's work." Bordered by mature trees; water on just 7 holes, and strategically surrounded by sculpted bunkers a fair yet demanding test of golf faces you with every shot, this is simply a wonderful golfing arena.

With meticulously maintained fairways and immaculate greens, this masterpiece provides tournament playing conditions every day all year round. Their newly decorated clubhouse features an expansive brand new golf shop (now upstairs) and a cozy TV sports bar/ grille downstairs overlooking the course. Located just three miles from International Drive, it is also easily accessible from I-4 and only 20 minutes from the Lake Buena Vista and attractions area, no wonder it has hosted over 2,500 Orlando golf tournaments.

Orange Co. National - Crooked Cat
16301 Phil Ritson Way
Winter Garden, Florida 34787
Telephone: (407) 656.2626
Toll free: (888) PAR.3672
Fax: (407) 656.4045
Website: www.ocngolf.com
E-Mail: info@ocngolf.com

Orange County National - Crooked Cat is a phenomenal complement to its more highly acclaimed sister course, Orange County National - Panther Lake. The two have already played host to the 2003 and 2005 PGA TOUR Qualifying School Finals and have been awarded 4.5 stars by Golf Digest's "Places to Play" every year since 1999. Truly not an easy feat as there are only 52 courses in Florida with an equal rating, and no course in the state has yet earned five stars. With an entourage now of newly planted trees, wide terraced fairways, and native redtop heather grass in the rough, this 7277-yard course is meticulously groomed and features a distinct Scottish "links" flavor. It's got significant elevation changes, rolling fairways and large, contoured greens. Inviting golfers to grip it and rip it off the tee, this definitely is a "home" to them.

At the onset of the year all throughout Dec 31, 2007, guests get to take home a Free Nike Golf Glove, $10 merchandise credit (min purchase required), pre-round range balls, GPS yardage & scoring system, & bottled water.

Crooked Cat presents golfers more of a links-style look and its open feel encourages golfers to take a more relaxed stance, and there is certainly more room for error and multiple options for playing a hole-both off the tee and into the greens. All is fair in golf and chance.

The Crooked Cat is more exposed and the routing twists and turns, so the wind comes at you from everywhere anytime and is a real factor. Players who appreciate the challenge of working the ball-up, down, left, right-to counteract or ride the wind will get a chance to showcase their mastery and get the most out of the golf course.

You will never get tired of Crooked Cat as you'll never have to play any of the holes the same way twice. The back nine of Crooked Cat may be the best nine in the area and is the favorite of many low handicap golfers due to its length and challenge

Shingle Creek Golf Club
9939 Universal Blvd
Orlando Fl 32819
Telephone: (407) 996-9933
Toll-Free: (866) 996-9933
Fax: (407) 996-9932
Website: www.shinglecreekgolf.com

The home of the Brad Brewer Golf Academy is designed by international architect David Harman, Harris Rosen's Shingle Creek provides lush terrain, significantly undulating fairways, interconnecting waterways, large, rolling greens and magnificent panoramic views from the 23,000-square-foot clubhouse. Peripherally bordered by dense oaks and pines in a backdrop along historic Shingle Creek, it is situated on a natural 230-acre site, just 10 minutes west of Orlando International Airport - great for first/ last day play, and just around the corner from International Drive and numerous attractions. You've got to take a peek at the Creek!

Experience this remarkable new golf course, which takes its name from the pristine creek, which traverses the property. Early Central Florida settlers, circa 1800, were drawn to the area by the abundance of game, fishing, ancient cypress trees, and of course, the beautiful creek.

Those early pioneers used the creek well, logging the cypress trees, which were floated down stream to a nearby mill and eventually made into shingles for their homes. Thus the name - Shingle Creek. Today we know that Shingle Creek is part of the natural headwaters of the Florida Everglades, located some 140 miles south of Orlando. The ancient waters of Shingle Creek wind through the elegant new mega resort like a dowager's necklace - slinky, shiny, and sparkling with hidden treasure. You may even add something round, dimpled and expensive to her cache, making you a contributor to historic bounty! (A nice way of saying you shanked one into the water, eh?)

Golf at Shingle Creek is many things, but ordinary is not one of them. Why choose Shingle Creek Golf Club instead of our competition? It's simple. We have no competition.

Sure, the amenities are nice - and we have them all in rich abundance. You'll be treated like a V.I.P., including valet parking, and you'll experience great customer service that is a Rosen hallmark.

The Club House is important too - ours is stylish, new, elegant, comfortable - everything you'd expect in a world-class resort where millions have been spent assuring the best of everything. But it's not why you come. You come for the golf course, of course.

It's the course itself that makes the difference between a game of golf and a true golfing experience.

The future of your best golf game may just be waiting on the sandy banks of the historic Shingle Creek, where stories of the past burble mysteriously beneath the silken black waters.

Yes, it's here, and waiting for you to experience the natural beauty and joy of the game. Experience it for yourself - true Florida style golf in an historical, lush, natural setting.

It's the course, it's the history of the Shingle Creek, and it's the experience. And we're giving you "fair way" warning. Once you experience golf the Shingle Creek way, you'll never be satisfied with ordinary golf again!

Ridgewood Lakes Golf and Country Club
200 Eagle Ridge Drive
Davenport, FL 33837
Phone: 863-424-8688
Tollfree: 800-684-8880
Email: info@golfridgewoodlakes.com
Website: www.golfridgewoodlakes.com

Rated by Golf Digest as the Best New Course in 1994 and one of the Top 50 Courses in Florida by The Florida Golfer in 1999, this Ted McAnlis layout is a truly diverse test of golf.

Both nines at Ridgewood Lakes feature strategically placed hazards and fairways framed by sparkling white sand bunkers. Par-4 and par-5 holes have generous landing areas, each of which is plainly visible form the tee.

Golfers appreciate Ridgewood is not one of those courses with "gimmicks" or hidden trouble; just a great layout made for an enjoyable golfing experience.

Ridgewood Lakes' greens are among the finest of any Orlando-area golf course meticulously maintained by the grounds crew staff which each year goes to the time and expense of over-seeding the entire course to ensure peak playing conditions during the entire winter season.

The Ridgewood Lakes course is "user-friendly" for ladies and seniors too. Only one hole a forced carry over water in front of the green with every other allowing players room to run the ball onto the putting surface from the fairway.

Perhaps the best way to describe the high regard that Ridgewood Lakes is held is in addition to the numerous golfers who have come back many times to play, Ridgewood is a host venue for several of the Orlando area professional golf mini-tours achieving consistent rave reviews from these budding tour players.

Among the many memorable holes at Ridgewood Lakes, golfers often talk about the par-3 fifteenth, Ridgewood's signature hole playing to 185-yards from the back tees and 122-yards from the most forward tees. The view from the elevated tee is striking; a sloped green situated between greenside bunkers with a large pond to the left. Depending on the pin location and direction of the wind the club needed to "hit it close" may vary from a mid-iron to a wood and three is always a good score on the fifteenth.

Visitors may also take advantage of Ridgewood Lakes superlative practice facility. Many golfers use it for both pre-round warmup and longer sessions improving their swing. The range area also has a large bunker and chipping area reserved especially to hone your short game in addition to a practice putting green.

Events for groups of up to 150 players are a Ridgewood Lakes specialty with outings packages tailored for every need. Should you like information on the many outing options available or for tee times call 863-424-8688.

Celebration Golf Club
701 Golf Park Drive
Celebration, Florida 34747
Telephone: 407-566-GOLF
Toll Free: 888-2Play18
Fax: 407-566-1037
Email: proshop@celebrationgolf.com
Website: www.celebrationgolf.com

Opened in 1996, Celebration is an upscale daily-fee resort course designed by the father & son team of Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and Jr. The renowned father-son team sculpted a park-like atmosphere within the natural wetland environment, creating a truly serene golf experience. The course boasts rolling terrain that weaves through a series of pristine lakes and periodic clusters of native oak, pine and magnolia.

Designed with shot-making strategy in mind, the championship caliber course demands accurate approach shots and consistent putting. Featuring strategic hazards and challenging greens, and sporting five sets of tees on every hole, the course invites competition for many skill levels. Host to prestigious events such as the 2002 U.S. Senior Open Qualifier, 2003 Florida State Public Links Championship, 2004 & 2005 Buick Scramble National Championships, and the 2004 - 2006 Robert Gamez Celebration Invitational.

Celebrating golf at every level, Celebration Golf Club is an acclaimed venue for promoting the love of the game to future champions as well as to the established golfer, and is listed as one of PGA Magazine's Junior Friendly courses. Recognizing that serious golf commences early in a player, Celebration offers unparalleled programs targeted to the junior golfer, including the Celebration Golf Academy with specialized junior clinics and a challenging 3-hole Junior course.

Southern Dunes Golf & Country Club
2888 Southern Dunes Blvd
Haines City, FL33844
Telephone: (863)-421-4653
Toll-Free: (800)-632-6400
Email: shane@southerndunes.com
Website: www.southerndunes.com

Southern Dunes G&CC is one of the best public golf courses in Orlando Florida and has been ranked #7 in the state of Florida by GolfWeek. Southern Dunes is not only recognized as one of Orlando's finest golf courses, but has been nationally ranked as well. Southern Dunes has been awarded a place in GolfWeek's "Top 100 Modern Courses" from 1997 - 2000, a 4 ½ Star ranking by Golf Digest and "Top 10 Courses Built In America 1987-1997" honors by Links Magazine.

If you are vacationing in Orlando and want to play golf, you cannot pass up the opportunity to play the best golf course in Orlando, FL. This dramatic hillside layout stretches over 7,200 yards and features 100 feet of elevation changes which offers spectacular views of the expansive fairways that are flanked by over 180 bunkers. The topographical features include high grasses and ornamentals that form the borders for holes that tumble with the terrain.

This spectacular design encourages golfers to use their imagination as the use of the slopes and contours can help maneuver the ball around the massive high-lipped bunkers and closer to the hole. Southern Dunes is well known for its large, fast and undulating greens that will test even the most seasoned of golfers. The distinctive look, imaginative design and impeccable playing surfaces of this Steve Smyers masterpiece has kept Southern Dunes consistently ranked among the nation's best.

Whether you are planning an Orlando golf vacation or just a round of golf with some friends, Southern Dunes will be sure to excite and challenge even the most seasoned of golfers. Located only 15 miles from the Walt Disney World Resort, you don't want to miss this great Orlando golf experience.

Orange Lake Golf Resort - The Reserve
The Family of Orange Lake Resorts
8505 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy.
Kissimmee, FL 34747-8201
Telephone: 407 239 0000
Toll-free: 800 877 6522 (Domestic)
Website: www.orangelake.com

Now when you visit Orange Lake, you'll have a brand new golf experience waiting for you. Architect Mike Dasher transformed the former Resort Course , designed by Joe Lee in 1982, into this all-new, exciting golf experience. The Reserve at Orange Lake is now an 18-hole, par 71 course winding through a myriad of water, sand and rolling greens. It was named The Reserve at Orange Lake to highlight the harmony between the perfectly manicured greens of the course and the carefully preserved surrounding wetlands, home to a variety of native plants and wildlife.

Improvements to the layout and course conditions-including new water features and bunkering-make the course even more challenging than before.

The "Hole" Picture: What's different about this course

The design and routing of 7 of the 18 holes were changed and improved.

Hole 5 on The Reserve is one of the most challenging holes. It's been changed from a long par 4 to a long par 3. From the championship tee this hole plays to nearly 215 yards.

The design of Cypress 9 remains unchanged, although it now plays as hole 8 on The Reserve. Orange 9 plays as hole 9 on The Reserve, although the design of this hole has been changed significantly.

Holes 10 and 11 have been constructed near the location of the former Resort Course driving range and former Cypress 1. These two newly designed golf holes-each of them a par 4-require accuracy off of the tee as well as a strategically placed second shot.

One of The Reserve's most unique holes is hole 12, located close to where Cypress 3 was once played. This newly designed par 3 is the shortest on the course, requiring an accurate tee shot for par. Surrounding this green are two deep bunkers to the left and water hazards to the right and front of the green.

Hole 15 on The Reserve has a new fairway bunker as well as "false front" to the green. The changes to this green complex provide you with many options from which to attack the pin.

There's even an opportunity for you to finish your round with a birdie!

Be sure to check out the new practice facility, which includes a lighted driving range with an expansive hitting area, a putting green that's lighted for nighttime practice, and two chipping greens-one that features a bunker for golfers who'd like to work on their sand play. The Reserve practice facility is also home to The McCord Academy at Orange Lake. The McCord Academy is recognized by Golf Magazine as one of the Top 25 Golf Schools in America. Golf Magazine has also recognized Rick McCord, Orange Lake's Director of Instruction, as one of the Top 100 Instructors in America.

Falcon's Fire Golf Club
3200 Seralago Boulevard
Kissimmee, FL 34746
Telephone: 407-239-5445
Email: proshop@falconsfire.com
Website: www.falconsfire.com

Falcon's Fire Golf Club is recognized both regionally and nationally as one of the finest Orlando golf courses. The Rees Jones Signature Designed championship golf course and the spacious Clubhouse offers guests the highest in service excellence and amenities from dining at the Falcon's Nest to perusing the latest technology, equipment and apparel at the award-winning Golf Shop. Falcon's FireGolf Club is a premier Florida golf vacation destination with a convenient location just steps from the Walt Disney World Resort, International Airport and Orlando Convention Center.*

Offering a variety of Florida golf vacation packages, you're invited to experience the flawless craftsmanship and unparalleled service and amenities at this award-winning Orlando golf course. This Rees Jones Signature Designed championship golf course features classic architecture, an exquisitely maintained course and year round playing conditions. Stretching nearly 7,000 yards from the back tees and providing golfers four sets of tees, Falcon's Fire offers a challenging yet playable course for a relaxing round with friends or a competitive tournament. All guests enjoy complimentary valet parking, club cleaning and golf carts equipped with GPS navigation. Be sure to ask any member of our staff for information on special Florida golf vacation packages.

Among its recognitions and achievements are a Four Star Award from Golf Digest, "Florida's 50 Finest Golf Courses" by Golf & Travel and "America's Top 15 Women Friendly Courses" by Golf for Women. Additionally, Falcon's Fire hosted the Senior PGA Tour Regional Finals for four years and the Oldsmobile Scramble National Finals for eight years.

Orange Lake Golf Resort - The Legends
The Family of Orange Lake Resorts
8505 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy.
Kissimmee, FL 34747-8201
Telephone: 407 239 0000
Toll-free: 800 877 6522 (Domestic)
Website: www.orangelake.com

Opened in 1998 as a tribute to golf legend Arnold Palmer and hotel business legend Kemmons Wilson, Orange Lake's Legends Course has quickly become one of Orlando's most popular courses. It is reminiscent of old Scottish-style courses, and its wide-open nine will bring windy conditions into play that can make club selection challenging. Strategically contoured greens require well-placed approach shots and precision putting. The longest of Orange Lake's challenging golf holes at 610 yards, The Links hole #4 is a good warm-up before venturing into The Pines.

Towering pines, majestic oaks, winding fairways and flowing water create a serene setting complementing each hole on the back nine. Tee shots are fired between strategic openings cut through the trees. A wayward shot here could result in a ball pushed deep in the woods. Much like the classic courses of North Carolina, proper club selection and accuracy are required to successfully navigate through The Pines. The Island Oak, hole #13, is the feature hole at The Legends course.


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