Mission Inn Resort in Howie In The Hills, FL has two amazing courses. El Campeon is widely touted as one of the best courses in the state of Florida but the sister course, Las Colinas offers players a great test of golf. Located about 50 minutes from Orlando International Airport (OIA), the drive to this course offers players an example of rural Florida.
Las Colinas and El Campeon share a practice area. As a result, there is ample room to prep your game before teeing off. The driving range is very large and has a smaller area available for members. Hitting off grass, a player can check his or her distance with several sets of distance flags. For longer hitters, there appears to be a shed at the end of the range that is well within range. From our observations, the course moves the driving areas frequently as the areas were all grass.
For chipping and sand shots, there are 2 areas. One area allows the player to practice sand shots or just chipping onto the green. This is large enough to support many players. Adjacent to this practice area is a place for players to work on chipping. While somewhat elongated, there is sufficient area around the green to have room to practice.
The practice putting green is HUGE! On the day we played, there had to be 20 golfers on the putting green. Even with this number of players, there was still more room to practice putting.
The course has Bermuda fairways and greens. Tee boxes are well maintained and do not show signs of wear. We did not observe dirt or bare spots since it appears the maintenance staff moves tee markers daily. Fairways were in excellent condition. There was no need to roll the ball to get a better lie. From the tips (Black tees), Las Colinas measures 7,230 yards. There are 5 other sets of tees. Two nice features offered by Las Colinas has to do with alternative tees. For ladies, there are 2 sets of tees that are 5,323 (Green) and 4,922 (Red) respectively. For senior players, there are Challenger tees that offer golfers a combination of White and Gold tees throughout the 18 holes. Mission Inn understands how to make golf fun for all players!
Visually, Las Colinas offers the player a chance to play golf in almost a links style setting. Hole 1 is wide open and offers a generous landing area. After that, holes are interspersed throughout homes and woods. In many cases, players have to shape shots in order to give them the best opportunity to”hit the green. On several other holes, a straight tee shot is required.
The 12th is a par 5, don’t be fooled into thinking this will be easy. Located in the landing area is a tree. Visually, this makes the fairway seem small. It is because hitting too far right will put a player into the woods. If a player hits down the left side of the fairway, the tree will usually block a second shot. This is a great golf hole!
The 14th hole requires a player to be strategic off the tee. This dogleg left demands a tee shot in the fairway in order to hit to a large green guarded by a front left bunker. Going left will block the player out due to trees. Going right causes a much longer shot. Going through the fairway will create 2 problems-overhead trees and trees blocking a shot to the green.
Overall the par 3 holes offer a variety of distances. From the black tees, all 4 holes are longer than 194 yards. Depending on the tees chosen, distances can range from 218 to 136. While there is water on the course, for the most part, it doesn’t enter into play.
On the day we played, greens seemed crusty, almost like they needed water or were transitioning to Bermuda from winter rye. This was a little disappointing as we have played here before and not seen this issue and they have always been well maintained and fast.
Hitting into the greens, a player is rewarded for a good shot as the ball will hold. There are some flatter areas but, for the most part, greens are undulated. Even short putts can break a couple inches if not stroked properly.
Dads Say So we would highly recommend Las Colinas at Mission Inn. It’s a great course and will require players to use most of the clubs in the bag. If you haven’t played this course, put it on your list to play to play as soon as possible. To book your next round here go to missioninnresort.com and click on golf. You can’t miss on either course and we look forward to reviewing El Campeon soon.