Orlando Area in Walt Disney World Orlando
- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Annika Academy. Named for world-renowned pro golfer Annika Sorenstam (its owner and chief golf guru), Annika Academy offers golf instruction, fitness training, and nutrition counseling. Some package prices are steep. Personalized instruction starts at $150; higher-level packages allow guests to play golf with Annika herself. At the Reunion Resort, which has three championship courses by Nicklaus, Palmer, and Watson, the academy has its own driving range and putting green. 7450 Sparkling Ct., Reunion, FL, 34747. 407/662-4653 or 888/266-4522. www.theannikaacademy.com..
Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge. The course is the site of the annual Arnold Palmer Invitational, and the 18th hole is considered one of the toughest on the PGA tour. Courses are open only to those who have been invited by a member or who book lodging at the club's 70-room hotel. But with double-occupancy rates for rooms overlooking the course running as low as $325 for a double room in summer, including two rounds of golf, many consider staying at the club an interesting prospect. 9000 Bay Hill Blvd., Orlando, FL, 32819. 407/876-2429 or 888/422-9445. www.bayhill.com. Greens fees included in resort package. 18 holes, 7,207 yards, par 72; 9 holes, 3,409 yards, par 36. Restaurant, spa, tennis, private lessons, club rental.
Barnett Park Golf Practice Facility. Besides having an attractive course, Barnett Park has a great asset: it's free. You just show up at the Orange County park to use the net-enclosed driving range (with 10 pads), the three chipping holes with grass and sand surroundings, and the small putting green. 4801 W. Colonial Dr., Orlando, FL, 32808. 407/836-6248. Free.
Celebration Golf Club. In addition to its great pedigree (it was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Sr.), Celebration Golf Club has the same thing going for it that the Disney-created town of Celebration has: it's 1 mile off the U.S. 192 strip and a 10-minute drive from Walt Disney World, yet it's lovely, wooded, and serene. 701 Golf Park Dr., Celebration, FL, 34747. 407/566-4653. www.celebrationgolf.com. Greens fees $49-$119, depending on time of year, time of day, and whether you're a Florida or Celebration resident; daily discount rates begin at noon. 18 holes, 6,783 yards, par 72. Restaurant, pro shop, private lessons, club rental.
ChampionsGate Golf Club. The two courses at ChampionsGate were designed by Greg Norman, and there's an onsite David Leadbetter Golf Academy. The 7,406-yard International has the feel of the best British Isles courses, whereas the 7,048-yard National course is designed in the style of the better domestic courses, with a number of par-3 holes with unusual bunkers. The club is less than 10 miles from Walt Disney World at Exit 58 on I-4. 1400 Masters Blvd., ChampionsGate, FL, 33896. 407/787-4653 ChampionsGate; 407/787-3330 Leadbetter Academy; 888/633-5323 Leadbetter Academy. www.championsgategolf.com. Greens fees $39-$139, depending on time of year and time of day. Golf lessons at Leadbetter Academy are $225 per hr and $1,750 per day for private lessons; group lessons are $325 for 3 hrs; a 3-day minischool is $975; a 3-day complete school is $2,400. International: 18 holes, 7,406 yards, par 72. National: 18 holes, 7,048 yards, par 72. Pro shop, restaurant, golf school, private lessons, club rental.
Falcon's Fire Golf Club. Designed by Rees Jones, Falcon's Fire has strategically placed fairway bunkers that demand accuracy off the tee. This club is just off the Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway and is convenient to the hotels in the so-called Maingate area. 3200 Seralago Blvd., Kissimmee, FL, 34746. 407/239-5445. www.falconsfire.com. Greens fees $59-$109, $39 after 3:30 pm in summer. 18 holes, 6,901 yards, par 72. Tee times 1-90 days in advance. Restaurant, private and group lessons, club rental, lockers, driving range, putting green.
Faldo Golf Institute by Marriott. A team effort of world-famous golf pro Nick Faldo and Marriott Corp, Faldo Golf Institute is an extensive-curriculum golf school and 9-hole golf course on the grounds of the corporation's biggest time-share complex, Marriott's Grande Vista. Here you can do anything from taking a one-hour, $119-$169 lesson with a Faldo-trained pro to immersing yourself in a three-day extravaganza ($999-$1,499) in which you learn more about golf technique than most nonfanatics would care to know. The Faldo Swing Studio offers high-tech teaching methods. The course, designed by Ron Garl, is geared to make you use every club in your bag—and perhaps a few you may elect to buy in the pro shop. You can also play the 18-hole course across the street at Marriott's Grande Pines Golf Club ($39-$124). Marriott Grande Vista, 12001 Avenida Verde, Orlando, FL, 32821. 407/903-6295 or 888/463-2536. www.gofaldo.com. 9 holes, 2,400 yards, par 32.
Grand Cypress Golf Resort. Fashioned after a Scottish glen, Grand Cypress comprises three 9s: the North, South, and East courses, and the 18-hole New Course. In addition, the Grand Cypress Academy of Golf, a 21-acre facility, has lessons and clinics. The North and South courses have fairways constructed on different levels, giving them added definition. The New Course, designed by Jack Nicklaus, was inspired by the Old Course at St. Andrews, and has deep bunkers, double greens, a snaking burn, and even an old stone bridge. 1 N. Jacaranda, Orlando, FL, 32836. 407/239-1909 or 800/835-7377. www.grandcypress.com. Greens fees $125-$175. North: 9 holes, 3,521 yards, par 36. South: 9 holes, 3,472 yards, par 36. East: 9 holes, 3,434 yards, par 36. New: 18 holes, 6,773 yards, par 72. Tee times New Course 8-5; all others 7:30-5. Restaurant, club rental, shoe rental, locker room, driving range, putting green, free valet parking.
Hawk's Landing Golf Club at the Orlando World Center Marriott. Originally designed by Joe Lee, The 220-acre Hawks' Landing course includes 15 water holes, lots of sand, and exotic landscaping. Orlando World Center Marriott, 8701 World Center Dr., Orlando, FL, 32821. 407/238-8660 or 800/567-2623. www.golfhawkslanding.com. Greens fees $59-$144. 18 holes, 6,602 yards, par 71. Tee times 60 days in advance for public, 90 days in advance for World Center guests. Restaurants, private and group lessons, club and shoe rental.
Orange Lake Resort. About five minutes from Walt Disney World's main entrance, Orange Lake has two 18-hole courses (the Legends and the Reserve), two 9-hole courses (Crane's Bend, Legends Walk), and pro instruction at the McCord Golf Academy (rates start at $65). The Legends is a signature Arnold Palmer-designed championship course; the Reserve was designed by Mike Dasher and has unique land and water challenges. Crane's Bend is family-friendly. Legend's Walk is an executive walker's course open until 9 pm nightly, where children 15 and younger play free. The signature hole for the entire group of courses is the Island Oak, No. 13, a 432-yard, par-4 hole in the Pines section (the back 9) of the Legends Course. 8505 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy., Kissimmee, FL, 34747. 407/239-1050 or 888/640-6522. www.orangelakegolf.com. Greens fees $35-$110 for resort guests; $60-$140 nonguests. The Legends: 18 holes, 7,072 yards, par 72. The Reserve: 18 holes, 6,670 yards, par 71. Crane's Bend: 9 holes, 1,901 yards, par 30. Legend's Walk: 9 holes, 1,581 yards, par 30. Advance tee times preferred. Restaurant, private and group lessons, club rental, lighted driving range, putting green.
Rosen's Shingle Creek Golf Club. Rosen's Shingle Creek Golf Club, designed by David Harman, lies alongside a lovely creek, the headwaters of the Everglades. The course is challenging yet playable, with dense stands of oak and pine trees and interconnected waterways. The golf carts even have GPS yardage systems. Universal Studios and the Orange County Convention Center are within a few minutes' drive. 9939 Universal Blvd., Orlando, FL, 32819. 407/996-9933 or 866/996-9933. www.shinglecreekgolf.com. Greens fees $69-$135. 18 holes, 7,205 yards, par 72. Tee times 7-dusk. Restaurant, club rental, shoe rental, driving range, putting green.
Waldorf Astoria Golf Club. Rees Jones maintained natural elements while enhancing the land's existing contours when he designed Waldorf Astoria Golf Club. Majestic stands of pine and cypress line the fairways, and it winds through a scenic wetland preserve, with bunkers reminiscent of century-old hazards.It has a five-tee system for all playing levels. 14224 Bonnet Creek Resort La., Orlando, FL, 32821. 407/597-3782 or 888/924-6531. www.waldorfastoriagolfclub.com. $65-$195 (seasonal). 18 holes, 7,113 yards, par 72. Tee times 7:30-6. Restaurant, club rental, shoe rental, locker room, driving range, putting green, free valet parking.
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