Tag: orlando

The Highs and Lows of Sanctuary Ridge

The Highs and Lows of Sanctuary Ridge

Any course that claims to be Florida’s “mountain course” cannot be taken seriously. This is a state that considers a mountain anything that’s higher than the roof of your house. However. Sanctuary Ridge, located at the north end of Lake Wales Ridge near Clermont, is in fact situated on some of the state’s most vertiginous real estate. The…

Read More Read More

Retro MetroWest

Retro MetroWest

MetroWest Country Club opened in 1987 and for a dozen or so years it was considered one of Orlando’s better public golf courses. But a lot happened to golf and golf design in those years, especially around Central Florida, and today the course feels old fashioned and ordinary, a benign but banal throwback. The routing runs…

Read More Read More

Crooked Cat — No Second Fiddle at Orange County National

Crooked Cat — No Second Fiddle at Orange County National

Of the two courses at Orange Country National, Crooked Cat has more appeal to me than Panther Lake. Both courses are built in former citrus groves west of Orlando over nice natural topography and very little tree cover. The soil is arid and sandy with no development anywhere near, and it lends a rustic, country aura to the entire establishment. Crooked…

Read More Read More

Panther Lake, Prowling Orange County National

Panther Lake, Prowling Orange County National

Panther Lake has always been considered the marquee course between the two at Orange County National. It’s an engaging design with strong personality and fine individual holes, and you’ll like them even better if you’re a low-handicap player who can fly the ball high into elevated greens with bunkers and other dangers guarding their fronts. My choice, however, is the other…

Read More Read More

Grand Cypress — No Apologies

Grand Cypress — No Apologies

Sometimes lost in discussions about golf courses and sites and design is the understanding that golf is, fundamentally, a sport. We wield specialized equipment, wear standardized uniforms of a sort, and take what skills we have onto prescribed playing courts of roughly the comparable configurations and durations. With this in mind it’s not misguided to…

Read More Read More

Grand Cypress New Course — An Auld Spirit

Grand Cypress New Course — An Auld Spirit

Let’s dispel with the obvious right away: no course built in Florida, on any kind of bermuda, zoysia or paspalum grass, is going to play like a links course. With that out of the way, the New Course at Grand Cypress Resort is an earnest and worthy ode to the Old Course at St. Andrews. Ground contour and the scuttling reaction of balls over firm…

Read More Read More

El Campeon — Mission Inn’s Classic Florida Throwback

El Campeon — Mission Inn’s Classic Florida Throwback

Mission Inn, located 30 minutes or so northwest of Orlando in what remains rural and still underpopulated citrus country, is one of Florida’s oldest and in many ways most charming resorts. Doors opened at the original Floridian Hotel in 1924, but the first golf course, now called El Campeón, dates back to 1917. The Beucher family…

Read More Read More

ChampionsGate-International–Stranger in a Strange Land

ChampionsGate-International–Stranger in a Strange Land

The International Course at this 36-hole complex a few miles southwest of Disney World was conceived to emulate the look and characteristics of Scottish and Irish links (there’s also the National course, designed in an “American” style). I’m not sure  which links courses exactly, because I can’t think of any off the top of my…

Read More Read More