Guest post from Brandon DiCroce
When you think of Orlando Florida, your mind will automatically be drawn to imagine overpriced amusement parks and retirement communities galore. While these are staples in the area, one thing you cannot overlook is the abundance of amazing golf in the area.
In December of 2019, my dad and I decided to take a long weekend trip to Orlando and hit up some of the best golf we could find. We were blown away by the courses we played, and avoided paying exorbitant greens fees. After that amazing trip, I wanted to share some insights on why Orlando should be your next golf destination.
One of the first things I noticed about this trip is how easy it was logistically. Orlando’s MCO airport is a major international airport, and getting a flight there was one of the most affordable and quickest options we could find.
Once we were there, getting from course to course was easy. We rented a car, and stayed near Lake Buena Vista, essentially right outside Disney. Most of the courses we played took us a maximum of 20 minutes to drive to, yet within 45 minutes there were dozens of options.
All in all, we played a lot of high-quality golf during this trip, and felt like we got deals everywhere we turned. Our flight was the most affordable nonstop flight we could find to a golf destination (from upstate NY I might add). For the quality of the courses we played, they were also reasonably priced. We only played 1 round of golf that cost more than $100 per person, where other destinations we were hard-pressed to find many options below $150.
While we were there, we played some of the nicest golf courses I’ve ever had the opportunity to play. Orlando features golf courses designed by some of the most famous architects in the sport; think of names like Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.
We tried to play the best golf courses we could find (and get onto), here’s a quick snapshot of where we went:
This is an absolutely stunning golf course, Shingle Creek was recently redesigned by the Arnold Palmer Design Company. When we looked for the best golf courses in the area, this one came up again and again, so we knew we had to go for it. We played this course first, and after 4 days we decided to play it a 2nd time before we left later that day.
Grand Cypress: The New Course
For me, this was the highlight of our trip. The New Course at Grand Cyprus is a Jack Nickalus design, and it is an ode to St Andrews The Old Course. Here, the 1st and 18th hole are exact replicas of the Old Course, and the rest of the course takes heavy doses of inspiration from the Scottish masterpiece. As we played, we really felt like we were playing in Scotland. The 50-degree weather only added to that effect. Next time I play in Orlando, I will definitely be playing here again. This was the most expensive course we played, but was worth every cent.
Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course
Disney is home to several golf courses, all designed by the Arnold Palmer Golf Management Company. While we weren’t that interested in playing golf at Disney, this was the least expensive round of golf we played, and the course was still really nice. We decided to play a round at Disney due to the proximity, but researching into the topic we found out that these courses are held in high regard. I’ll admit, this course wasn’t our absolute favorite, but it was worth a visit and I’d be happy to play there again.
Overall, Orlando is a fantastic golf destination, and I’ll definitely be going back. If you’re looking to book a golf trip, make sure you consider this golf haven in your shortlist!
Bio: Brandon DiCroce is the Founder of Fairway Approach, a golf website focused on helping golfers take a smarter approach to golf. He’s been playing amateur golf for over 15 years, and is originally from Syracuse, NY.
Have you ever played Orlando? Add your impressions/ recommendations in the Reply section below.