Walt Disney World
Disney has three championship courses, plus a 9-hole walking course. Any guest at a WDW hotel who checks in specifically to play golf gets free cab rides to the course.
Greens Fees. Rates change frequently, so confirm when booking. Disney resort guests get a price break, and you should ask about twilight discount rates. If you plan to play only once, leave the gear at home—you can rent shoes, range balls, and clubs at any location.
Tee Times and Reservations. Tee times are available daily from dawn until dusk. You can book them up to 90 days in advance if you're staying at a WDW-owned hotel, 60 days ahead if you're staying elsewhere. You must cancel at least 24 hours out. For tee times and private lessons, call Disney's central World Golf reservations line 407/939–4653.
Where else would you find a sand trap shaped like the head of a well-known mouse? Disney has 72 holes of golf on four championship courses—all on the PGA Tour route—plus a 9-hole walking course. The original Palm and Magnolia 18-hole courses are southwest of the Magic Kingdom near the Grand Floridian and Polynesian resorts, as is the 9-hole Oak Trail walking course. The Lake Buena Vista 18-hole course is northwest of Downtown Disney. The newer 18-hole Osprey Ridge is east of Fort Wilderness Resort.
Tee times are available daily from dawn to dusk. You can book them up to 90 days in advance if you're staying at a WDW-owned hotel, 60 days ahead if you're staying elsewhere. One-on-one instruction from PGA-accredited professionals is available at the Palm and Magnolia. Prices for private lessons vary: 45 minutes costs $75 for adults and $50 for youngsters 17 and under. For tee times and private lessons, call Walt Disney World Golf & Recreation Reservations at 407/939–4653.
There are lots of variables here, with prices ranging from $20 for a youngster 17 or under to play 9 holes at Oak Trail walking course to an adult nonhotel guest paying $169 to play 18 holes at one of Disney's newer courses in peak season. Disney guests get a price break, with rates ranging from $89 for a Disney hotel guest playing Monday through Thursday at the Lake Buena Vista course to $159 for a day visitor playing the Palm, Magnolia, or Lake Buena Vista courses. All have a twilight discount rate, $30–$80 for the 18-hole courses, which goes into effect at 2 pm from October 31 to January 14 and at 3 pm from April 1 to October 26. The 9-hole, par-36 Oak Trail course is best for those on a budget, with a year-round rate of $20 for golfers 17 and under and $39 for golfers 18 and older, and can be played for a twilight rate of $15 for adults and $10 for youngsters under 17 after 3 pm between May 14 and September 27.
Rates at all courses except Oak Trail include an electric golf cart. No electric carts are allowed at Oak Trail, and a pull cart for your bag is $6. If you've got the stamina and desire to play the same course twice in the same day, you can do so for half price the second time around, but you can't reserve that option in advance, and this Re-Play Option, as Disney calls it, is subject to availability. Golf shoes rent for $10 a pair, and range balls are available for $7 a bucket. If you’d rather not pay a baggage fee to haul your clubs onto your plane, you can rent the latest TaylorMade woods, irons, and a putter for $50. If, for some reason, you have to cancel your tee time, they’ll try to fill your spot, but if not, you’ll be charged. Note that golf rates change frequently, so double-check them when you reserve.
One-on-one instruction from PGA-accredited professionals is available at any Disney course. Prices for private lessons vary: 45-minute lessons cost $75 for adults and $50 for youngsters 17 and under.
Disney's Lake Buena Vista Golf Course. A favorite among golfers, the Lake Buena Vista course has hosted the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour, and USGA events. As you play, you'll find the course winds among Downtown Disney–area town houses and villas. Greens are narrow, and hitting straight is important because errant balls risk ending up in someone's bedroom. Be prepared for the famous island green on the 7th. This is a pleasant location surrounded by wonderful scenery. Greens fees range from $39–$165 and includes a cart. Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Florida, 32830.
Four Seasons Golf Course. Sculpted from some of the still-forested portions of the huge WDW acreage, the Tom Fazio–designed course opened in summer 2014 as part of the new Four Seasons Resort Orlando. Known to Disney golfers as the former Osprey Ridge course, the rebranded Four Seasons course has undergone contouring and bunker enhancement. Tees and greens as much as 20 feet above the fairways keep competitive players from getting too comfortable. Amenities include luxury golf carts with GPS, a Cuban-American clubhouse restaurant, driving range, and putting green. Greens fees begin at $195 in season, but drop to $125 after "twilight" play begins at 2 pm. Four Seasons Golf Course, 10100 Dream Tree Blvd., Lake Buena Vista, Florida, 32836.
The Magnolia. The Magnolia has been lavished with four stars by Golf Digest and was certified by Audubon International as a Cooperative Wildlife Sanctuary. The long but forgiving course features extra-wide fairways, and its name stems from more than 1,500 magnolia trees that line the course. While you're working to avoid the woods, try avoiding the water hazards that are found at 11 of the 18 holes. But that's not all. There are 97 bunkers spread throughout the fairway. Greens fees range from $39 to $165. Shades of Green, 1950 W. Magnolia-Palm Dr., Magic Kingdom Resort Area, Walt Disney World, Florida, 32830.
Oak Trail. Located across from the Grand Floridian at the Shades of Green Resort (a resort used primarily by military families), the Oak Trail was designed by Ron Garl to be fun for the entire family. It's noted for its small, undulating greens and affordable fees; from $20 to $38. Shades of Green, 1950 W. Magnolia-Palm Dr., Magic Kingdom Resort Area, Walt Disney World, Florida, 32830. https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/recreation/oak-trail-golf-course/.
The Palm. Although it's not as long as the Magnolia, nor as wide, The Palm has been confounding the pros for years. The course, located across the Grand Floridian Resort, has nine water holes and 94 bunkers—including one in the iconic shape of Mickey Mouse's head. Greens fees, $39–$165, include a cart. Shades of Green, 1950 W. Magnolia-Palm Dr., Magic Kingdom Resort Area, Walt Disney World, Florida, 32830.