We had a chance to review a lot of great golf courses this year. Here is our top 10 list of courses that we reviewed this year.
ChampionsGate Golf Club National Course
Designed by Greg Norman, the two courses at ChampionsGate are a great test of golf. The National went through a redesign a couple years ago and had their greens replaced this past summer with Champion Bermuda. The layout is awesome with players required to golf a ball to post a great score. One of our favorite holes is the 15th hole. This par 3 that plays 200 yards is all carry over marsh land to a small green that depending on the pin position you may not be able to see it from the tee box. It is a very memorable hole on a course that has a lot of them.
Shingle Creek Golf Club
Located in the heart of the tourist area in Orlando, Shingle Creek has become one of our favorites to play and do product testing. In 2016, the course went through a major renovation by the Arnold Palmer Design Team and we were left very impressed. This course has been the home of one of our favorite events to play in, Monday After the Majors. After the redesign they removed 3 holes and added 3 great holes. One of our favorites is the par 4 14th. It is a risk/reward driveable par 4 that has water down the entire left hand side of the hole. It is a lot of fun to play.
Orange County National Crooked Cat
Orange County has been home to PGA Tour Qualifying School so it is no surprise that either of their courses end up in our top ten list. Crooked Cat is the longer of the two courses and has our favorite hole in Central Florida that you can easily play, number 12. It is a downhill par 4 that you need to hit a great drive to a fairway that has out of bounds left and hazard down the entire right hand side. The green sits elevated next to the water and once you select the right club to play this shot that is all carry over a waste area you need to put the ball on the correct level of the green or you bring a 3 putt bogey into play.
Mission Inn El Campeon
Located north of Orlando in Howie in the Hills, FL, Mission Inn boast 2 great tests of golf. Our favorite out there is El Campeon. Opening in 1917, El Campeon is a great test of golf that will test every club in your bag. Their signature hole is number 17. This long par 5 has a tree in the middle of the fairway for your lay up shot that requires you to play further back or take on the tree and hit it past it. This old course is still a test of golf today and if you are in Central Florida it is a must play.
Ritz Carlton Golf Club
Our next course on the list is the Ritz Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, FL. This course is home to the PNC Father/Son Challenge and is a great test of golf for all abilities that is always in pristine condition. Our favorite hole out there is the par 5 finishing hole. With water down the entire left hand side and the driving range to the right, you need to hit a great shot in the fairway to give yourself a chance to go for the green in two, or hit a lay up close enough to be aggressive with your third. It’s a great finish to a memorable day of golf.
The Waldorf Astoria Golf Club
Located just off of Disney property, the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club is the greatest experience in Central Florida from start to finish. Starting with the valet parking to the cold towels on a hot day when you are done the golf course is just as good as the service that Waldorf has become famous for. The par 4 third hole is a great test of golf with water down the right hand side to a severely undulated green that is guarded in front by a bunker and requires a player to hit 2 great golf shots to give them a look at birdie. We have never seen the course in bad condition and they have the best set of greens in Orlando.
Barefoot Resort Fazio Course
Located in the Barefoot Resort complex the Fazio Course is all any player could ever want. Opening with a short dogleg par 4 that is the last time you think about having an easy hole on the course. The second hole is the hardest hole on the front nine and a requires you to play a long, straight tee shot and then your approach shot is guarded by sand and trees around the green.
Tidewater Golf Club
Known as the Pebble Beach of the east coast, Tidewater has 4 holes that run along the inner-coastal waterway in North Myrtle Beach. Based on conditions and the layout it is easy to see why golfers travel to this must play on their Myrtle Beach Golf Vacations. Our favorite hole is the 4th hole. This long par 4 requires you to hit a great tee shot down the right center of the fairway before playing your approach shot that is all carry to a small, elevated, undulated green. If you’re going to Myrtle Beach this is a must play.
Located between Orlando and Tampa, the Streamsong Resort boasts 3 great golf courses. We had an opportunity to play the Red course and look forward to going to back to play the Blue and the Black courses. The Red is an amazing experience from start to finish. Our favorite hole is the 16th hole. This par 3 is the most photographed hole on the golf course. The hole requires you to carry your tee shot over a pond to a green that is bowl shaped and all of the shots collect into the middle of the green. From there you need to be able to hit a great putt for a chance to make birdie. If you get out to the Red Course, be sure not to miss the BBQ shack half way house. We suggest you get the brisket in a cup and mix the sauce together, trust us on this one!
The Dye Club at Barefoot Resort
Located at the Barefoot Resort, The Dye Club is the members course and home to Monday After the Masters, presented by Hootie and the Blowfish. This Pete Dye masterpiece is your typical Pete Dye golf course, requiring you to play an array of shots to give yourself a chance to make a par on many of the holes. Our favorite holes are numbers 6 and 7 back to back. Six is a long par 3 with water down the right hand side to a well guarded green. Seven is their number one handicap hole that requires a long straight tee shot to put yourself in position to hit a mid iron shot into an elevated green that falls off on the right and long. If your in Myrtle Beach and skip this one you will regret yourself.
Dads Say So, we got to play a lot of great courses this year. We hope you enjoyed our review of our favorites and look forward to reviewing more in 2018.