Why Orlando Is The Greatest Spot For Golfers

By , October 24th, 2014

It’s okay. You can be honest. We know the real reason you asked your kids when their winter break is, so you could book a family trip to Orlando. I’m sure they were psyched over the prospect of going to Disney World, but they were so quick to pack their duffels, I’m not sure they heard you trailing off about Orlando’s 170+ golf courses. So golf is your game? We’ve got Orlando golf hotels with beautifully manicured greens fit for a PGA Tour king, such as yourself.

It’s all in the hips

Golf Academy at Waldorf Astoria Orlando

Golf Academy at Waldorf Astoria Orlando. Photo by Waldorf Astoria

The Waldorf Astoria offers private lessons on their course, carefully crafted by renowned golf architect Rees Jones. You can test out your newly-improved swing with your driver on their five-tee System, which caters to beginners and to seasoned pros. Their Professional set of tees stretch as far as 7,108 yards over their par 72, 18-hole course. Overnight guests receive a discount to play a round, although they won’t turn you away if your passing through their neck of the woods as long as you meet their dress code requirements.

Waldorf Astoria Orlando Presidential Suite master bath

Waldorf Astoria Orlando Presidential Suite master bath. Photo by Waldorf Astoria

Take the drop, or go for a swim

The Villas of Grand Cypress Golf Club

Photo by Villas of Grand Cypress Golf Resort

After braving the back nine with the sun bearing down on you at the Villas of Grand Cypress, kick off your golf cleats and rest easy in the resort’s recently renovated luxury villas, which cost more than $100,000 each. The location is also a golfer’s paradise, as you’re situated within walking distance of a Jack Nicklaus Signature-designed golf playland, which includes 45 holes.

Villas of Grand Cypress Guestroom

Photo by Villas of Grand Cypress Golf Resort

Your sand wedge might come in handy

Reunion Resort golf course

Reunion Resort golf course. Photo by Reunion Resort

You have to check-in here to check out Reunion Resort’s three golf courses designed by three golf legends. Some say the property’s best 18 is the Tom Watson/Independence Course, although the Arnold Palmer/Legacy course is no slouch either. And who could forget the Jack Nicklaus/Tradition course, the newest addition to the Reunion Resort golf course family.

Reunion Resort villa guest room

Reunion Resort villa guest room. Photo by Reunion Resort

Overcome your stage fright

Arnold Palmer Invitational

Arnold Palmer Invitational. Photo by Bay Hill Club & Lodge

Every year in March, the Arnold Palmer Invitational takes place at at his namesake’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge. You can either reserve your tickets or slumber a few nights at Golf Magazine’s third best course in Florida to hit around the Challenger/Champion nines, a majestic layout that has hosted the PGA Tour since 1979. The only other way, aside from lodging or the invitational, to get clearance to play on this course is if a member of the lodge invites you: the golfers equivalent of “friends with benefits.”

Bay Hill Club & Lodge guest room

Photo by Bay Hill Club & Lodge

Shoot for the birdie, just not the buck!

Wildlife on the Ritz-Carlton's course!

Wildlife on the Ritz-Carlton’s course! Photo by the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes

If you sign up for the Ritz-Carlton’s unique Caddie Concierge Program, fear not, the caddie is not a furry critter without thumbs that trespasses on the grounds. The program is a first for Central Florida golfers and provides anything ranging from course strategy tips to cleaning your golf clubs. Tiger Woods claims that this course has some of the finest putting greens he’s set foot onDuring your stay, you can also explore Florida’s natural beauty with the Ritz’s Adventure Experiences packages, offering guided canoe or kayak tours of Shingle Creek, the headwaters to the Florida Everglades.

Bubble bath in the Ritz's executive suite

The cutest bunker, like, ever

Magnolia Golf Course

Photo by Walt Disney World

We know you intentionally landed in the sand trap to take a Mickey Mouse selfie. You really are a kid at heart. The Magnolia Golf Course, the longest of the Disney courses, is lined with 1500 magnolia trees and is tucked away in a tranquil setting that the Audubon International certified as a Cooperative Wildlife Sanctuary and was awarded 4 stars by Golf Digest. While Disney doesn’t have a golf resort per se, if you park your golf bag for the night at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotel, you can take advantage of advanced tee times and reduced rental equipment rates (they’ll also include complimentary rental shoes!).

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin guest room

Photo by Walt Disney World