orlando golf trips

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Orlando Golf Trips: The Ultimate Planning Guide (2023)

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to planning the best Orlando golf trips. Orlando, Florida, is one of the world’s premier golfing destinations.

The city offers an unparalleled blend of high-quality golf courses. You can enjoy year-round golf-friendly weather.

The vibrant local culture adds to the golfing experience. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, Orlando has something to offer.

As a long-time Florida resident who has visited Orlando countless times, I’ve had the opportunity to experience firsthand what this city has to offer.

My husband, an avid golfer, has played at many of Orlando’s top golf courses and his obsession with golf has made him, and by extension me, a reliable source of information on this topic.

In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know for awesome Orlando golf trips. We’ll cover the top golf courses to visit.

We’ll discuss the best times to go. We’ll share insider tips to enhance your experience.

So, grab your clubs. Let’s dive into the ultimate Orlando golf trips planning guide.

Why Orlando for Golf Trips?

golf ball on green grass field during daytime

Orlando is a golfer’s dream come true. The city boasts over 170 golf courses, each with its unique charm.

The subtropical climate of Orlando makes it an ideal destination for golfing. You can enjoy sunny and warm conditions most of the year.

From beginner-friendly fairways to challenging terrains, Orlando’s golf courses cater to every golfer’s needs. The variety of courses ensures that every golfer, regardless of their skill level, will find a course that suits them.

Orlando’s golf scene is not just about quantity but also quality. Many of the city’s golf courses have been designed by famous golf architects and have hosted prestigious tournaments.

In addition to golf, Orlando offers a vibrant local culture. The city is known for its theme parks, dining, shopping, and entertainment options, making it a perfect destination for a golf trip combined with a family vacation or a group outing.

Best Golf Courses for Orlando Golf Trips

green grass field with palm trees under blue sky and white clouds during daytime

Bay Hill Club & Lodge

Bay Hill Club & Lodge is more than just a golf course – it’s a piece of golf history. Known for hosting the Arnold Palmer Invitational, this course gives golfers a chance to walk in the footsteps of some of the greatest players in the game.

The course itself is a challenging layout that will test every aspect of your game. From the strategically placed bunkers to the fast, undulating greens, every hole presents a unique challenge.

๐Ÿ”น Championship course
๐Ÿ”น Host of the Arnold Palmer Invitational
๐Ÿ”น Designed by Dick Wilson and Arnold Palmer
๐Ÿ”น 27 holes (Challenger, Champion, and Charger nines)

Local Tip: Make sure to visit Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge museum to get a glimpse into the life and career of one of golf’s greatest legends. BOOK NOW!

Waldorf Astoria Golf Club

The Waldorf Astoria Golf Club offers a luxury golf experience like no other. Designed by renowned golf architect Rees Jones, the course is a testament to the classic golf design.

The course is beautifully maintained and blends seamlessly with the surrounding nature. The fairways are wide and inviting, but the real challenge lies in the strategically placed bunkers and the subtly contoured greens.

๐Ÿ”น Luxury golf experience
๐Ÿ”น Designed by Rees Jones
๐Ÿ”น Par 72 golf course
๐Ÿ”น Certified by Audubon as a cooperative wildlife sanctuary

Local Tip: After your round, make sure to visit the clubhouse for a meal or a drink. The Waldorf Astoria Golf Club offers a dining experience that matches the quality of the golf course. BOOK NOW!

Shingle Creek Golf Club

Shingle Creek Golf Club is a hidden gem in the heart of Orlando. The course, designed by the Arnold Palmer Design Company, offers a challenging yet enjoyable round for golfers of all skill levels.

The course features undulating fairways, interconnected waterways, and a backdrop of natural flora. It’s not just a golf course – it’s a journey through the natural beauty of Orlando.

๐Ÿ”น Designed by Arnold Palmer Design Company
๐Ÿ”น Par 72, 7,213-yard championship course
๐Ÿ”น Features a state-of-the-art golf academy

Local Tip: Take advantage of the golf academy at Shingle Creek. Whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the basics or an experienced player looking to fine-tune your game, the academy has something to offer. BOOK NOW!

Grand Cypress Golf Club

Grand Cypress Golf Club is a testament to the vision of legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus. The club offers 45 holes of Jack Nicklaus Signature golf, a true tribute to the master of golf course design.

The club features the North, South, and East nines, as well as the 18-hole New Course. Each course offers a unique blend of challenges and enjoyment, making Grand Cypress a must-visit destination for any golf trip.

๐Ÿ”น 45 holes of Jack Nicklaus Signature golf ๐Ÿ”น Features the North, South, and East nines, and the 18-hole New Course ๐Ÿ”น Offers a variety of challenges for golfers of all skill levels

Local Tip: Don’t miss the chance to play the New Course, Jack Nicklaus’s tribute to the historic Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland. It’s a unique opportunity to experience a taste of Scottish links-style golf in the heart of Florida. BOOK NOW!

Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge

Orange County National is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. The center features two championship courses, Panther Lake and Crooked Cat, that offer two distinct golfing experiences.

Panther Lake is known for its scenic beauty, with every hole featuring a backdrop of native flora and fauna. Crooked Cat offers a more challenging round with its dramatic elevation changes and large, contoured greens.

๐Ÿ”น Features two championship courses, Panther Lake and Crooked Cat ๐Ÿ”น Hosted the PGA TOUR’s Q-School Finals multiple times ๐Ÿ”น Offers a 42-acre practice facility, the largest in Florida

Local Tip: Make sure to arrive early and take advantage of the practice facility. It’s a great place to warm up before your round or work on your game under the guidance of professional instructors. BOOK NOW!

Reunion Resort

Reunion Resort is a unique destination in Orlando, offering three signature golf courses designed by golf legends Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Tom Watson. This is the only place in the world where you can play signature courses designed by these three golf legends in one location.

Each course offers a unique golfing experience. The Nicklaus Course is smooth and flowing, with long horizon lines. The Palmer Course is scenic and challenging, with dramatic elevation changes. The Watson Course, on the other hand, emphasizes strategy and finesse with a variety of bunkers.

๐Ÿ”น Only place in the world with three signature courses designed by Nicklaus, Palmer, and Watson
๐Ÿ”น Offers a unique golfing experience on each course
๐Ÿ”น Luxury resort with top-tier amenities

Local Tip: Don’t miss the chance to enjoy the resort’s other amenities after your round. From the water park to the fine dining options, there’s plenty to do at Reunion Resort. BOOK A PACKAGE NOW!

Celebration Golf Club

Celebration Golf Club is the final collaboration between Robert Trent Jones Senior and Junior. From the onset, it was their intention to create a golf course that offers an enjoyable challenge and celebrates the game of golf.

The course is known for its pristine condition and beautiful layout, featuring rolling terrain that weaves through a series of pristine lakes and periodic clusters of native oak, pine, and magnolia.

๐Ÿ”น Final collaboration between Robert Trent Jones Senior and Junior
๐Ÿ”น Known for its pristine condition and beautiful layout
๐Ÿ”น Offers a challenging yet enjoyable round for golfers of all skill levels

Local Tip: Make sure to visit the Windmill Restaurant after your round. The restaurant offers a great selection of food and drinks, and the view of the 18th hole is fantastic. BOOK NOW!

Southern Dunes Golf & Country Club

Southern Dunes Golf & Country Club is a hidden gem located just outside Orlando. Designed by Steve Smyers, the course is known for its distinctive look, with over 100 feet of elevation changes and up to 180 bunkers.

The course layout is both challenging and rewarding, with wide fairways and large, fast greens. The dramatic elevation changes offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

๐Ÿ”น Designed by Steve Smyers
๐Ÿ”น Features over 100 feet of elevation changes and up to 180 bunkers
๐Ÿ”น Known for its distinctive look and challenging layout

Local Tip: The course is known for its fast greens, so make sure to spend some time on the practice green before your round. It’s a great way to get a feel for the speed of the greens and can save you some strokes during your round.

Planning Your Golf Trip

a golf ball sitting on top of a green field

Planning your Orlando golf trip can be as exciting as the trip itself. From deciding which golf courses to play, such as the renowned Bay Hill Club & Lodge or the picturesque Shingle Creek Golf Club, to figuring out the best tee times, there’s a lot to consider.

Best Time to Visit

One of the first things to decide is when to go. Orlando offers year-round golf-friendly weather, but some periods might be more suitable depending on your preferences. The spring and fall seasons are often considered the best times for golfing in Orlando, offering comfortable temperatures and less rainfall.

Golf Packages

Next, consider the golf packages available. Many Orlando golf resorts, like Reunion Resort or Waldorf Astoria Golf Club, offer golf packages that can provide excellent value. These packages often include accommodations, rounds of golf, and sometimes even additional amenities like access to a fitness center.

For instance, you might find a golf package that includes a round at the Arnold Palmer-designed Bay Hill Club & Lodge, or a package that lets you play at the Southern Dunes Golf & Country Club. These packages can make your golf vacation more affordable and convenient, as they take care of most of the planning for you.

Scheduling Tee Times

Scheduling your tee times in advance is crucial, especially if you’re planning to play at popular golf courses like the Southern Dunes Golf & Country Club or the Celebration Golf Club. Most golf courses in Orlando allow you to book tee times online, making it easy to plan your golf itinerary.

Packing for Orlando Golf Trips

Packing the right equipment and clothing can make a big difference in your golf trip. Be sure to pack your golf clubs, golf shoes, and plenty of golf balls. For clothing, consider the weather and dress code of the golf courses you’ll be visiting. Most golf courses require collared shirts and prohibit denim. Don’t forget to pack a hat and sunscreen to protect yourself from the Florida sun.

Non-Golfing Activities

When planning your golf trip, also consider the non-golfing aspects. Orlando is a vibrant city with a lot to offer. From theme parks like Disney World and Universal Studios to a wide range of dining and shopping options, there’s plenty to do when you’re not on the golf course.

Rest and Relaxation

Also, don’t forget to factor in rest and relaxation. After a long day on the golf course, there’s nothing better than relaxing by the pool or enjoying a massage at the spa. Many golf resorts in Orlando, like Reunion Resort, offer these amenities.

Budget

Finally, consider your budget. Orlando offers a wide range of golfing options, from luxury resorts to more affordable golf courses. Whether you’re looking for a luxury golf vacation or a budget-friendly golf trip, you’ll find something that suits your needs in Orlando.

Remember, the most important thing is to enjoy your golf trip. Whether you’re playing a round at the Southern Dunes Golf & Country Club or practicing your swing at the Shingle Creek Golf Club, the goal is to have fun and enjoy the great game of golf.

Accommodation Options

a car parked in front of a building

Choosing the right accommodation can significantly enhance your Orlando golf trip. Whether you’re looking for a luxury resort with a golf course on-site or a budget-friendly hotel near your favorite golf club, Orlando has plenty of options to choose from.

Luxury Golf Resorts

For a luxury golf experience, consider staying at the Reunion Resort or the Waldorf Astoria. These resorts offer top-tier amenities, including golf courses designed by golf legends like Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. After a day on the course, you can relax in your comfortable room or take advantage of the resort’s other amenities, such as the spa or fitness center.

Budget-Friendly Hotels

If you’re on a budget, don’t worry. There are plenty of affordable hotels in Orlando that are near top golf courses like the Southern Dunes Golf & Country Club or the Celebration Golf Club. These hotels might not have a golf course on-site, but they offer comfortable accommodations and are just a short drive away from some of the best golf courses in Orlando.

Remember, the right accommodation for you depends on your preferences and budget. Whether you’re looking for luxury or affordability, you’ll find plenty of options in Orlando.

Other Attractions in Orlando

water fountain near green and blue dome building under blue sky during daytime

While golf might be the main focus of your trip, Orlando has much more to offer. The city is known for its world-class theme parks, vibrant dining scene, and diverse shopping options.

Theme Parks

Orlando is home to some of the world’s most famous theme parks. From the magical world of Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Epcot to the thrilling rides at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, there’s something for everyone. If you’re traveling with family, a day at one of these theme parks can be a great way to take a break from golf and enjoy some quality time together.

Dining

Orlando’s dining scene is as diverse as it is delicious. From fine dining restaurants like Victoria & Albert’s to casual eateries like The Polite Pig, you’ll find a wide range of options to satisfy your cravings. Don’t miss the chance to try some local Floridian cuisine, such as fresh seafood at The Boathouse or key lime pie at Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe.

Shopping

If you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, Orlando has you covered. The city offers a variety of shopping options, from luxury boutiques at The Mall at Millenia to outlet bargains at Orlando International Premium Outlets. Whether you’re looking for a new golf outfit at Golf Galaxy or a souvenir to remember your trip at Disney Springs, you’re sure to find it in Orlando.

Remember, while golf might be the main focus of your trip, taking the time to explore Orlando’s other attractions can make your golf vacation even more memorable.

Final Thoughts: Orlando Golf Trips

bird's eye photo of grass field

Orlando, Florida, is a golfer’s paradise, offering a blend of world-class golf courses, year-round golf-friendly weather, and a vibrant local culture. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer looking to challenge yourself on a championship course or a beginner seeking a relaxing round in the sun, Orlando has something to offer every golf enthusiast.

From the historic Bay Hill Club & Lodge to the luxury Waldorf Astoria Golf Club, each golf course in Orlando offers a unique golfing experience. And with golf packages available, you can enjoy a hassle-free golf vacation that takes care of most of the planning for you.

But an Orlando golf trip is more than just golf. From world-class theme parks to a vibrant dining scene and diverse shopping options, there’s plenty to do when you’re not on the golf course. So, whether you’re planning a golf trip with friends or a family vacation with a bit of golf on the side, Orlando is the perfect destination.

So, grab your clubs and start planning your Orlando golf trip today. With a bit of planning and these tips in mind, you’re sure to have an unforgettable golf vacation in the Sunshine State.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of year to golf in Orlando?

Orlando offers year-round golf-friendly weather, but the spring and fall seasons are often considered the best times for golfing. These periods offer comfortable temperatures and less rainfall.

How can I book tee times at Orlando golf courses?

Most golf courses in Orlando allow you to book tee times online. It’s recommended to book in advance, especially for popular golf courses like the Bay Hill Club & Lodge or the Southern Dunes Golf & Country Club.

What should I pack for a golf trip to Orlando?

Be sure to pack your golf clubs, golf shoes, and plenty of golf balls. For clothing, consider the weather and dress code of the golf courses you’ll be visiting. Most golf courses require collared shirts and prohibit denim. Don’t forget to pack a hat and sunscreen to protect yourself from the Florida sun.

Are there golf packages available in Orlando?

Yes, many Orlando golf resorts, like Reunion Resort or Waldorf Astoria Golf Club, offer golf packages that can provide excellent value. These packages often include accommodations, rounds of golf, and sometimes even additional amenities like access to a fitness center.

What else is there to do in Orlando besides golf?

Orlando is known for its world-class theme parks like Disney’s Magic Kingdom and Universal Studios. The city also has a vibrant dining scene and diverse shopping options. There’s plenty to do when you’re not on the golf course.

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