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First week of December in Orlando. Questions. Help!


tsmithers
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So, I was given my parents week at the Marriott Grande Vista for the first week of December. Wife and kids can't go so I'm thinking of taking friends and making a 5 day golf trip.

 

A few questions:

 

Weather? I looked it up, saw high is usually low 70s that time of year so don't think it will be a problem.

 

Can we get in two rounds per day with the shortened daylight (7am-5:30pm) and time for lunch or driving from course to course in between?

 

Most important question: Any course recommendations? Since we aren't paying for the hotel we are not that worried about cost. Want to play some really nice courses. Maybe courses with 36 holes so we don't have to drive after the round.

 

Can anyone get a foursome of 8-12 handicappers out on Bay Hill? LOL! Half kidding.

 

Seriously though, any thoughts would be great! Thanks.

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Weather wise you should be in good shape. Usually Oct-Dec is the best time for weather in Orlando. It's been warm and humid this October and i think it's likely to be a little warmer than usual come December.

 

You can probably get 36 holes in 1 day. But you need to schedule that first round early. Come December it gets dark about 5:30-ish and it's unplayable around 5:50-6:00 pm.

 

Courses I would recommend:

 

Orange County National - Should be in good shape and you have two 18 hole courses you can play right there (Panther Lake and Crooked Cat).

 

 

Celebration GC & Falcon's Fire - Close to each other and usually in great shape. Usually Celebration has a good golf with lunch deal.

 

 

Southern Dunes GC & ChampionsGate CC - Great courses about 20 minutes from each other. Make sure you play the ChampionsGate Country Club and not the resort. Both course are not too far from Disney.

 

 

Waldorf Astoria GC & Tranquilo - This won't be cheap, but two great courses located right next to each other.

 

 

Grand Cypress - Has 45 holes. There's the 'New Course' which is a links design and the N/S/E courses (each 9 holes). So you can play the 'New Course' and whatever 18 holes of the N/S/E courses they have open. Lots of people like it, some really don't. I like the New course, but the N/S/E course has ridiculous green contours.

 

 

RedTail GC & Mission Inn Resort (El Campeon) - Little more of a drive and you will think I'm nuts for not having you play the other 18 (Las Colinas) at Mission Inn. But, Las Colinas isn't a very good design. El Campeon at Mission Inn is excellent. So is RedTail and both should be in great shape. If you don't want to play RedTail, then I would recommend Bella Collina. But Bella Collina you really need to play their 1-2 times before you can appreciate it and the greens fees are going to be at least $100/golfer.

 

 

North Shore/Eagle Creek/Harmony Golf Preserve - North Shore and Eagle Creek are right next to each other. Harmony is about 15 minutes away. Personally, I prefer Eagle Creek and Harmony out of the two. Depends on the conditions. Pace of play at Eagle Creek is notoriously slow. If you schedule this at Eagle Creek...get it on a weekday because of pace of play at Eagle Creek on weekends is horrendous. Again, check to see what conditions are like because you can't trust any of the three. Sometimes they are in fantastic condition, sometimes they are not. Usually Harmony is in the best condition of the three.

 

 

LPGA International - This would require a trip up to Daytona, but it's an easy trip up there and both are very good courses. You'll like the Hills Course more than the Jones course,but both are solid and should be in great condition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RH

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Richie has great recommendations there. Streamsong also has 36 holes although almost in Lakeland.

 

A couple of points on proximity. I see Eagle Creek and Harmony Preserve as 25-30 minutes apart and Mission Inn and Redtail 40min apart.

 

Have fun. I hope you are ready, as I don’t have the golf fitness for 10 rounds in 5 days. :lol:

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No love for a Shingle Creek & Grande Lakes 36 loop? Super close to his place.

 

I hate the Shingle Creek re-design.

 

It's awful.

 

Don't know why they made the re-design. Took a perfectly good design and ruined it.

 

Grande Lakes is great though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RH

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No love for a Shingle Creek & Grande Lakes 36 loop? Super close to his place.

 

I hate the Shingle Creek re-design.

 

It's awful.

 

Don't know why they made the re-design. Took a perfectly good design and ruined it.

 

 

Totally agree. Plus last 2 times at Shingle, the condition was nowhere near up to quality of richies other recommendations.

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Thanks!! This is awesome info.

 

We are actually staying a little longer and only doubling up two days. We decided we wouldn't be able to handle that many rounds. Haha!

 

I spoke to someone at Grand Cypress and they recommended the two Disney courses Magnolia and Palm. Said they were both in great shape and easy to play 36. Thoughts on those two? Prices aren't bad either.

 

Also, the championsgate courses I saw were national and international (I think those were the names. What is the country club course?

 

Thanks again!

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From years of experience, I find that the 36 holes in a day concept is a poor one and usually doesn't work out. I think 30+ years ago that was a possibility as courses were much shorter...but these days with such long courses it takes a toll on people. And you'll always get at least 1 person in the group that doesn't want to play 36 holes and that throws everything off.

 

ChampionsGate is actually a town in Florida. There's an actual mailing address of ChampionsGate, FL.

 

It is right next to Reunion Resort and pretty close to Disney.

 

For golf, there's the ChampionsGate Resort. It has 36 holes...the National and International. It was designed by Greg Norman.

 

Adjascent to the ChampionsGate Resort is ChampionsGate Country Club which is 18 holes. The Resort and CC are separate entities. The CC was designed by George Clifton (local designer from Sanford). I think pretty much everybody agrees the CC is better than either courses on the Resort. Better design, better conditioning, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

RH

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Weather wise you should be in good shape. Usually Oct-Dec is the best time for weather in Orlando. It's been warm and humid this October and i think it's likely to be a little warmer than usual come December.

 

You can probably get 36 holes in 1 day. But you need to schedule that first round early. Come December it gets dark about 5:30-ish and it's unplayable around 5:50-6:00 pm.

 

Courses I would recommend:

 

Orange County National - Should be in good shape and you have two 18 hole courses you can play right there (Panther Lake and Crooked Cat).

 

 

Celebration GC & Falcon's Fire - Close to each other and usually in great shape. Usually Celebration has a good golf with lunch deal.

 

 

Southern Dunes GC & ChampionsGate CC - Great courses about 20 minutes from each other. Make sure you play the ChampionsGate Country Club and not the resort. Both course are not too far from Disney.

 

 

Waldorf Astoria GC & Tranquilo - This won't be cheap, but two great courses located right next to each other.

 

 

Grand Cypress - Has 45 holes. There's the 'New Course' which is a links design and the N/S/E courses (each 9 holes). So you can play the 'New Course' and whatever 18 holes of the N/S/E courses they have open. Lots of people like it, some really don't. I like the New course, but the N/S/E course has ridiculous green contours.

 

 

RedTail GC & Mission Inn Resort (El Campeon) - Little more of a drive and you will think I'm nuts for not having you play the other 18 (Las Colinas) at Mission Inn. But, Las Colinas isn't a very good design. El Campeon at Mission Inn is excellent. So is RedTail and both should be in great shape. If you don't want to play RedTail, then I would recommend Bella Collina. But Bella Collina you really need to play their 1-2 times before you can appreciate it and the greens fees are going to be at least $100/golfer.

 

 

North Shore/Eagle Creek/Harmony Golf Preserve - North Shore and Eagle Creek are right next to each other. Harmony is about 15 minutes away. Personally, I prefer Eagle Creek and Harmony out of the two. Depends on the conditions. Pace of play at Eagle Creek is notoriously slow. If you schedule this at Eagle Creek...get it on a weekday because of pace of play at Eagle Creek on weekends is horrendous. Again, check to see what conditions are like because you can't trust any of the three. Sometimes they are in fantastic condition, sometimes they are not. Usually Harmony is in the best condition of the three.

 

 

LPGA International - This would require a trip up to Daytona, but it's an easy trip up there and both are very good courses. You'll like the Hills Course more than the Jones course,but both are solid and should be in great condition.

 

Any architectulary significant classic courses in Orlando (ie Donald Ross..) or should I just stick w/ ocn panther for this thurs am?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RH

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Any architectulary significant classic courses in Orlando (ie Donald Ross..) or should I just stick w/ ocn panther for this thurs am?

 

There's Dubsdread. I've never played it, but it's short and I've heard it is way overpriced.

 

Mission Inn, the El Campeon course is nice and was designed in 1917 by George O'Neil.

 

Rio Pinar was designed in 1957 and used to be where they held the Citrus Open (now Arnold Palmer Invitational).

 

But most of the courses with architectural significance are private.

 

I played Crooked Cat at OCN on Saturday. It was in good shape. Greens were slick.

 

 

 

 

 

RH

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Plans keep changing but we are set to be there Tues-Sunday. Only doubling up one day.

 

Wed - Grand Cypress New Course

Thurs - Waldorf - after noon for lower rate

Fri - Magnolia in the morning, Palm in the afternoon - The guys didn't want to drive much between rounds. I know these are close together. Neither course has been mentioned in this thread. Thoughts on these? Good, bad, good shape?

Saturday - Championsgate resort course - I think it's the national course? this may change but a friend was told it was a good course, good shape. I would rather play one of the other courses but I picked all the others so.....

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Plans keep changing but we are set to be there Tues-Sunday. Only doubling up one day.

 

Wed - Grand Cypress New Course

Thurs - Waldorf - after noon for lower rate

Fri - Magnolia in the morning, Palm in the afternoon - The guys didn't want to drive much between rounds. I know these are close together. Neither course has been mentioned in this thread. Thoughts on these? Good, bad, good shape?

Saturday - Championsgate resort course - I think it's the national course? this may change but a friend was told it was a good course, good shape. I would rather play one of the other courses but I picked all the others so.....

 

You're far better off playing ChampionsGate Country Club.

 

I've played the Magnolia and Palm. Both decent courses. Wouldn't count on there not being slow play there. Also, when you go thru the gates at Disney find the RIGHT side of the gate. The course is pretty close to the gate and it's on the right side...nothing like trying to cross 10 lanes in a 1/4 mile.

 

But trust me, get out to ChampionsGate CC...it's far better than either resort course.

 

 

 

 

 

RH

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Plans keep changing but we are set to be there Tues-Sunday. Only doubling up one day.

 

Wed - Grand Cypress New Course

Thurs - Waldorf - after noon for lower rate

Fri - Magnolia in the morning, Palm in the afternoon - The guys didn't want to drive much between rounds. I know these are close together. Neither course has been mentioned in this thread. Thoughts on these? Good, bad, good shape?

Saturday - Championsgate resort course - I think it's the national course? this may change but a friend was told it was a good course, good shape. I would rather play one of the other courses but I picked all the others so.....

 

You're far better off playing ChampionsGate Country Club.

 

I've played the Magnolia and Palm. Both decent courses. Wouldn't count on there not being slow play there. Also, when you go thru the gates at Disney find the RIGHT side of the gate. The course is pretty close to the gate and it's on the right side...nothing like trying to cross 10 lanes in a 1/4 mile.

 

But trust me, get out to ChampionsGate CC...it's far better than either resort course.

 

 

 

 

 

RH

 

I’d agree with Championsgate CC. If you’ll be entering Disney property from Reams Rd, take Center to Floridian Way, then turn right. The Magnolia and Palm will be abt 1 mile on your right. Imho, Palm is the better of the Disney courses.

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Well, looks like we are set. Thanks for all the advice. Thought I'd post the booked times for the trip. Good thing on Thursday is the Celebration time is the first tee time and the Falcon's Fire is the first tee time after a morning shotgun so the course should be empty to finish before dark. Really looking forward to these 99 holes!

 

Wednesday Waldorf 12:05pm

Thursday Celebration 7:08am

Thursday Falcon's Fire 1:06pm

Friday Grand Cypress - North - 9 Holes 8:33am

Friday Grand Cypress - New - 18 Holes 11:18am

Saturday Championsgate CC 9:42am

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  • 1 month later...

Thought I'd check in and let you guys know the trip was a great success! My buddies enjoyed the courses. Appreciate all the advice!

 

My course rankings:

 

Grand Cypress New Course - I really enjoyed this entire complex but this course was just awesome. Great layout, great shape, just a fun day.

Celebration - Liked it the last time I played and just as much this time!

ChampionsGate CC - Although it was 50s, windy and rainy that day. Enjoyed the front nine better than the back but very nice new course.

Waldorf - Tough course but really very nice.

Falcon's Fire - They were overseeding so the conditions weren't the best. I did really like this course though.

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