Florida Guide > Golf
They say that only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. That’s probably why golf courses around Florida offer such attractive rates during their low season (the hot summer months) to tempt the mad dogs and Englishmen to play.
Obviously the peak season is the winter for these courses but when in Florida last July/August our neighbours told us about a great deal, which was not only a great afternoon out, and a great course but was a great way to spend time with my 9 year old son and yes we are clearly both mad and Englishmen.
At Orange National Golf Course a junior plays for free, and the adult pays $35 which includes a buggy, an ice box with towels and two bottles of water each, amazing value. They also send round a buggy with extra refreshments if you run dry and these are reasonably priced.
The courses are quite long, or at least feel that way and I certainly wouldn’t recommend walking it. You can chose to play one of two 18 hole courses. There is also have a separate 3rd course called the Tooth Course which they call the short course, we didn’t play that one. We played the Panther Lake and the Crooked Cat courses on separate days.
The courses were both immaculate and the greens in excellent condition.
The Panther Lake Course offers some of the best examples of natural beauty that golf courses in the Orlando area have to offer. One of the highlights is that there is no development on or around the course – a Florida golf course with no homes!
The variety in design is evident in the way no two holes play alike. There are no boring holes and each is as distinct and memorable as the last.
Off the tee, you will face gently sloping fairways guarded by strategically placed fairway bunkers, trees and water hazards that frame the holes and provide a clear line of play. From the fairway, you will hit many approaches into well-guarded elevated greens, which are large and have plenty of contours, so two-putting isn’t automatic.
Par 72 – 6849 yards from the championship tees.
The Crooked Cat Course features significant elevation changes, rolling fairways and large, contoured greens. But with fewer trees, wider landing areas, native heather Crooked Cat presents golfers more of a links-style look and feel.
There is certainly more room for error on this course and multiple options for playing a hole, both off the tee and into the greens but beware a wayward shot can end up in one of many seemingly randomly placed grass bunkers.
Par 72 – 6927 yards from the championship tees
If you fancy a practice before you tee off, the Orange County National has a circular 42 acre driving range, 2 putting greens and a chipping green too.
The Orange County National has hosted the PGA Tour Q-Schools Finals and was voted 4 and a half stars in Golf Digest top places to play. They have many other accolades from Golfing magazines and newspapers.
To contact them you can go online to their website www. ocngolf. com or call them on 888 727 3672 and reserve your tee time. It is worth noting that whilst the winters are their peak season they still remain reasonably priced for the area during that peak, their prices are on their website.
We had no problem at all reserving a tee off time at a time that we wanted. We chose to go in the early afternoon when it had just started cooling off. It was very easy to locate the course which is close to Winter Garden and no longer than 15 minutes from the 192 near Summer Bay.
We found all the staff extremely helpful and friendly and if you wish to hire clubs, they have some good, named and what appeared to be well maintained clubs on offer, though we took our own and additional charges are payable for the rental.
I’m sure there are many great courses in Florida but in terms of value for money I don’t think there are many that can offer such a great deal. I have to say we had a great time, went twice and would definitely visit again. Sure it’s warm and sticky in the humidity, but boy does it make you want to visit that 19th hole! !
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