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 - Alaqua Country Club

Every year vast numbers of visitors arrive in Florida looking for the Walt Disney experience but while here a lot of them want to take part in the Florida golfing scene. This is the third in a series of articles looking at various aspects of the Florida golfing scene, with this feature looking at the Alaqua Country Club.

The Alaqua Country Club can be found 14 miles north of central Orlando. It was one of Gary Player’s early course designs in a career that numbers around 300 courses in total (as well as designing golf courses Gary also found time to win nine majors!).

Unveiled in 1988 the Alaqua Country Club golf course is the focus of an exclusive, luxury, gated community and has been designed to reflect its surroundings, which include Wekiva Preserve State Park as well as the Little Wekiva River. As a result the course is notable for the narrow fairways stretching between corridors of tall trees as well as the ubiquity of water with nearly every hole including a water element in one way or another. The landscape, as well as providing a perfect backdrop for golf, is an ideal environment for wildlife and it is not uncommon for a round of golf to include the occasional sight of an alligator or deer.

The generally accepted approach to playing the narrow fairways and hazardous water features is careful club selection alongside thought through approach play, although by all accounts the course can be played at speed, with a round often taking less than four hours to complete.

The stand out hole on the course is the beautiful 177-yard par-3, hole No. 13. From daunting tee positions to the green protected on all sides by water with a bunker in front to snare anyone falling short, this hole is a challenge for any golfer. Hole 13 is the start of the best run of holes on the course, challenging and picturesque in equal measure.

In short, the Alaqua Country Club golf course provides a very decent round of golf, in beautiful surroundings, yet is only a short hop from central Orlando, offering a relaxing respite from theme park mania.

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 - Cultural Pursuits

Unless you travel to Florida with a group of friends solely interested in making the most of the fantastic variety of golf on offer, you are likely to have members of your party who either don’t like golf at all or would like to combine a round or two with some alternative activities, possibly cultural in nature. In these circumstances, the ideal location to set up base is the Sarasota area, where you can find excellent golf alongside some of the best cultural highlights that Florida has to offer.

Culture in Sarasota 

Sarasota offers a full range of cultural delights, including a symphony, opera, ballet, a number of museums and in excess of thirty art galleries. The starting point for all this culture must surely be The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, beautifully situated overlooking Sarasota Bay, which houses a world class collection of Rubens as well as many other significant works of art. Another must is the astonishing Asolo Theater, originally built in Italy during the nineteenth century before being dismantled and rebuilt on the Ringling estate just before the second world war.

Sarasota also plays host to a number festivals and tying in your trip to take in one or more of these is a good way of enhancing your stay. The Sarasota Film Festival in early spring and the Sarasota Film festival in early winter provide all that a film buff could desire. The Sarasota Music Festival takes place in early summer and aims to showcase young musical talent, while the Ringling International Arts Festival, usually taking place in October covers a wide variety of music, dance, film and theater.

Well that’s the culture taken care of, what about the golf? Don’t worry there is no shortage of golf courses in the area and the following are just a few;

Tatum Ridge Golf links is a fantastic links style course, supporting abundant wildlife, as does the University Park Country Club. For a more challenging experience try the Bobcat Trail Golf Club, particularly the par-4 ninth hole with its difficult approach and unforgiving green. If you are an Arnold Palmer fan don’t miss the legacy golf club, with every hole appearing to be protected by water.