Orlando Golf – Golf Courses in Florida

As well as the obvious draw of Disney World and the other parks and attractions, many visitors are drawn to the Orlando region of Florida for the opportunity to play at some of the best golf courses in Florida. Whether purely visiting the area to play golf in the Florida sunshine or hoping to take in a couple of golf courses between visits to Disney or lying by the pool, our villa is ideally situated with dozens of fantastic golf courses within easy driving distance.
 
As well as apparently being home to more professional golfers than any other city in the world (who worked that out!) the Orlando golf scene boasts numerous top quality courses, designed by some of the most famous names in the sport.
 
The following are just a small selection of the near 200 golf courses in the area and are in no particular order ;

Villas of Grand Cypress

Location – Lake Buena Vista Area
Distance from Disney World – 6 miles
 
Overview –  45 holes of golf, play on the Jack Nicklaus designed tribute to the original home of golf,  the Old Course at St Andrews
 
Website -  Villas of Grand Cypress
 

Hawks Landing 

Location – Lake Buena Vista Area
Distance from Disney World – 9 miles
 
Overview –  Based in central Florida, this course claims to be the top golfing venue in the region, even laying on Valet parking, free of charge, for golfing visitors
 
Website -  Hawks Landing
 

Mystic Dunes Golf Club 

Location – Kissimme area
Distance from Disney World – 10 miles
 
Overview –  Designed by professional Gary Koch, the course is famous for offering a distinct difference between the front and back nines, with the latter featuring many of the characteristics of a classic British links course
 
Website -  Mystic Dunes

Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill  

Location – Sand Lake Road
Distance from Disney World – 14 miles
 
Overview –  Claims to offer a world-class golfing experience, drawing on the name of its famous designer, but the course is only open to those who stay in one of their 70 odd lodges.
 
Website -  Bay Hill Club

 
 

If you are looking for a florida villa to rent, look no further. Check our booking calendar to see if your dates are available and give us a call to confirm your booking.

Selected Golf Articles

Orlando Golf - Following the Nature Trail

Every year a multitude of visitors arrive in Florida looking for the Disney experience but while here a significant number want to take part in the Florida golfing scene. This is the second in a series of articles looking at various aspects of the Florida golfing scene, with this feature looking at what is on offer on Florida’s Nature Coast.

The Nature Coast can be found at the upper western coast of the state and boasts an abundance of wildlife and areas of outstanding natural beauty. Florida has one of the largest concentrations of freshwater springs in the world, with over 350, and nearly 200 of these can be found in this region. If you are looking to enjoy your golfing alongside other outdoor pursuits including fishing, walking or boating, the nature Coast offers it all. The Nature Coast is only an hour and a half north of Tampa and there are numerous attractions besides golf including a must-see in the manatee population of Crystal River (the largest in Florida) and the option of a visit to Cedar Key, an historic fishing village nestling on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico.

Nature Coast Golf

As well as the attractions of mother nature, there is a thriving golf scene to be enjoyed. A varied diet of different course types are on offer designed by top architects including Tom Fazio and John Sanford. The following are just a selection of golf courses on offer;

Brooksville – home to World Woods Golf Course (in most people’s Florida Top 10), which contains two Tom Fazio designed courses, Pine Barrens carved through a pine forest, and Rolling Oaks which is notable for its giant oak trees.

Crystal River – where you can find the Plantation Inn and Golf Resort, a well established institution oozing southern charm and hospitality. Plantation Inn is a PGA standard course and there is Lagoons nine-hole course for those with less experience.

Dunnellon – lying a few miles northeast of Crystal River can be found Juliette Falls, designed by John Sanford a stunning venue with rolling parkland and a number of waterfalls.

All in all, the Nature Coast is a fantastic destination for those who like their golf, mixed in with an encounter with nature.

Orlando Golf - What to Bring

Anyone coming to Orlando for golf is also likely to be taking in some of the other attractions to be found in the area or a short drive away, whether visiting theme parks like Walt Disney World or Universal Studios or driving over to some of the beaches on the Space Coast. Regardless it can be difficult to know what weather conditions to expect and therefore what to bring.

The climate in the Orlando area of Florida is generally suitable for golf all year round, certainly compared to what you would find in the UK! However, it isn’t constant with strong variation through the seasons. It gets very hot and humid during the summer months but will be a lot cooler during the winter months. Some specifics;

Wet weather gear

Central Florida, including Orlando, with its tropical climate has a rainy season, which approximately covers the months of June, July, August and September. These months average seven or more inches of rain, several times more than the rest of the year, most of which materializes in sharp downpours rather than UK style drizzle. During the rainy season you would expect at least one sharp shower per day. You have been warned!

Correct clothing?

Florida is a relaxed destination and casual clothing, including shorts is acceptable just about everywhere. As mentioned Florida gets very hot during the summer and is still pretty hot during the day the rest of the year, so bring plenty of shorts and tee shirts. During November thru March the evenings can get a little chilly, so bring a jacket or a jumper. Although temperatures close or below freezing are almost unknown in the state, an occasional cold front does pass through requiring some slightly warmer clothing. If you are venturing out to one of the theme parks for the day, some decent footwear is advisable. You might also consider a change of clothes for the kids as they tend to find the many water features and attractions irresistible.

Bring your SatNav

Although Florida’s roads are sensibly laid out and easy to navigate, it makes sense to bring your portable SatNav if you have one as some of the golf courses you want to play may be some distance away. Hire cars will include SatNav as an option but this can be very expensive.

Suntan Lotion

It almost goes without saying that you need to protect yourself from what can be the scorching Florida sun. Suntan lotion is cheaper in the USA than in the UK, so buy it when you get there. You might also want some insect repellent if you are venturing into the swampier regions of the state. A decent sun hat is also advisable.

 

If you are looking for other suggestions for things to do in Florida try our article What is there to do in Florida?

Orlando Golf - For Winter Refugees

Florida attracts millions of visitors every year, the majority of whom are primarily looking to visit Disney and the other outstanding theme parks. However, there are a group of regular visitors who are less interested in the parks probably because they have already visited them at least once. This group are normally retirees who return to Florida for part or all of the winter months and whose main aim is to escape the worst of the weather offered by North America. For this reason they are commonly referred to as Snowbirds.

For the Snowbirds, as well as regular holidaymakers who are looking for an alternative to a non-stop diet of theme parks, touring the Florida golfing scene is a major ambition during their stay. Here we will cover a few courses that are not too demanding, but which have enough of a challenge as well as excellent amenities, to make a great day of golf.

Orange Lake Resort – home to two golf courses, the Legends Course and The Reserve Course. The former was designed by Arnold palmer and offers a contrasting experience between the front nine which is pure Scottish links golf and the back nine which is all pine and oak trees. There is also a smaller nine-hole course, fully lit to allow play at night. The Reserve Course was renovated about 10 years ago and is a relatively short course with enough water and sand hazards to make a round interesting.

Celebration Golf Club – located in the town of the same name developed by Walt Disney, this is a beautiful course which offers a challenge to players of all abilities. Each of the holes on the course has a name that is supposed to reflect the nature of the hole, including the easy first (Shirley Temple) and the hard to escape from 16th (The Houdini).

Falcon’s Fire Golf Club – this is a championship standard course and is immaculately maintained, boasting generous fairways and manicured greens. The course starts off friendly enough, allowing a player to build some momentum, before becoming increasingly challenging.

Harmony Golf Preserve – built on a wildlife preserve, the club boasts of its commitment to protecting the environment and any round is likely to expose you to a variety of wildlife including bald eagles, deer and turtles. Without being too easy, the course is not too taxing allowing you a chance to enjoy all the wildlife.