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Orlando Course Lineup for Early December


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Will be coming to the Orlando area with my son for a golf tournament on the 5th and 6th  at Orange County National (Panther Lakes).  Coming from the cold New England area we are going to take advantage and look to play Wednesday through Friday and again on Monday.  Lots of great threads and great advice, wondering what the community thinks of the following lineup and if you would make any changes:

 

Wednesday the 2nd, arrive PM and most likely practice at OCN.  Could potentially look for 9 at Winter Park if it is worth it?

Thursday the 3rd, 36 holes at orange county national, crooked cat in the a.m., Panther Lake as a practice round in the p.m.  only concern, crooked cat is cartpath only due to over seeding, would it be worth looking for a different course for the morning round?

Friday the 4th, Shingle Creek

Saturday the 5th, my Son will play round one at OCN, A friend at Grand Cypress New.  Have played here before and really enjoyed it, just a bit concerned with the discussion around construction and if that impacts the course at all?

Sunday the 6th, following my Son for the final round.

Monday the 7th, we will be flying out around 3 PM, so was attempting to get a time at Bayhill but unfortunately they don’t have anything until very late morning. A open for suggestions here, right now was thinking about booking Champions Gate international.

 

Would anyone recommend any replacements for either Saturday or Mondays round? Was potentially looking at falcons fire as well, definitely open to suggestions.

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Thanks again for all the input and recommendations, wanted to issue a post trip report as it was a good trip to Orlando.   Wednesday - arrived early and was able to get 15 holes in Orange Co

1.  Winter Park 9 gets good reviews, but it will get dark around 5:30-ish and pretty much unplayable at 5:45-ish.  Not sure what the pace of play is like and you'll have about 25-30 minute drive from

If you’ve got the money to spend, the Ritz is typically the best conditioned publicly accessible course in the area. Bonus: because the PNC father/son challenge is there mid-December, you would be get

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1.  Winter Park 9 gets good reviews, but it will get dark around 5:30-ish and pretty much unplayable at 5:45-ish.  Not sure what the pace of play is like and you'll have about 25-30 minute drive from the airport to WP9.  Not to forget that OIA is always a complete zoo and they are the worst when it comes to wait times for your baggage...getting your rental car, etc.  Love Orlando as a city, but hate OIA with a passion and I like to fly.

2.  Not many other courses in the area so it's probably best to stick out 36 at OCN instead of playing one place and driving to play the other 18 in the afternoon.  My guess is that it won't be bad.  Weather is beautiful, it's fairly flat and I'm guessing they are cartpath only because they overseed the entire course, not just the fairways, greens and tees.

 

3.  Shingle Creek = ugh.  You may like it, but it used to be one of the best courses in total in the area between design, conditioning and how they treat the customer.  Now the design is just a substantial step down.

 

4.  I don't think the construction is going to bother the New course.  It's a bit hazy as to what they are doing and I wouldn't doubt if they have not even started construction there.  Hell, I don't know if they ever did construction at Grande Pines because it sure doesn't look like it.

 

5.  Do NOT go to the CG International.  So many better courses for better price and closer to the airport.

I would recommend:  Waldorf Astoria, Ritz Carlton, Celebration, Reunion (if you can get on), ChampionsGate CC (not the resort, the CC) and many others.  

 

 

 

 

 

RH

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On 11/24/2020 at 10:46 PM, RichieHunt said:

1.  Winter Park 9 gets good reviews, but it will get dark around 5:30-ish and pretty much unplayable at 5:45-ish.  Not sure what the pace of play is like and you'll have about 25-30 minute drive from the airport to WP9.  Not to forget that OIA is always a complete zoo and they are the worst when it comes to wait times for your baggage...getting your rental car, etc.  Love Orlando as a city, but hate OIA with a passion and I like to fly.

2.  Not many other courses in the area so it's probably best to stick out 36 at OCN instead of playing one place and driving to play the other 18 in the afternoon.  My guess is that it won't be bad.  Weather is beautiful, it's fairly flat and I'm guessing they are cartpath only because they overseed the entire course, not just the fairways, greens and tees.

 

3.  Shingle Creek = ugh.  You may like it, but it used to be one of the best courses in total in the area between design, conditioning and how they treat the customer.  Now the design is just a substantial step down.

 

4.  I don't think the construction is going to bother the New course.  It's a bit hazy as to what they are doing and I wouldn't doubt if they have not even started construction there.  Hell, I don't know if they ever did construction at Grande Pines because it sure doesn't look like it.

 

5.  Do NOT go to the CG International.  So many better courses for better price and closer to the airport.

I would recommend:  Waldorf Astoria, Ritz Carlton, Celebration, Reunion (if you can get on), ChampionsGate CC (not the resort, the CC) and many others.  

 

 

 

 

 

RH

 

Thanks Richie for the perspective - really appreciate it.  Think we will trade out Shingle Creek for Waldorf on Friday.  For Monday we are heading down to Southern Dunes to wrap up before flying out.

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As a local I don’t mind Falcons Fire, but the conditions there might be a letdown if you’re expecting an immaculate course. I feel like it’s hit or miss out there, especially with tees and greens. 
 

I wouldn’t touch Championsgate International. It’s probably my most disliked course in the area purely from a design standpoint. It’s links in style but it doesn’t play as such. Very tight driving areas where the penalty for a miss is a lost ball, including a few 450+ yard par 4s where you either lay back off the tee and leave yourself 230 in or hit driver to driving areas 20 yards wide. If the course played hard and fast I’d love ripping two iron around there. But it typically plays soft and wet. I haven’t heard a positive review of the place ever. 
 

I played Championsgate National for the first time in 8 years today. It’s noticeably more forgiving course off the tee, but the trade off is that it places a greater premium on accurate approach shots. It was in superb shape today, and they allowed carts everywhere. Previously I wouldn’t recommend this course, but now I do. They’ve turned it around. 
 

WP9 you should make an afternoon out of. Tee off at like 2:00 and then walk the town and get a bite to eat after. 
 

If you want a course more local in flavor that’s relatively near OCN, I really enjoy Forest Lake Golf Club. Very fun design typically in good shape, with reasonable rates. 
 

 

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Thanks IS and Richie for the feedback.  Here is the latest Rota:

 

Wed - TBD based on getting out of MCO

 

Thursday - still keeping orange county national, only question is do we trade out crooked cat for Ritz Carlton in the morning? Need to be able to get and play panther lake in the afternoon as a practice round for my son.

 

Friday - Waldorf, with an option to replay should we choose.

 

Saturday - Grand Cypress New

 

Sunday - spectators for my son’s final round

 

Monday - Southern Dunes.  
 

Thanks again for all the feedback, let me know what you would think on Thursday morning. Will update with a trip report post trip along with pictures.

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If you’ve got the money to spend, the Ritz is typically the best conditioned publicly accessible course in the area. Bonus: because the PNC father/son challenge is there mid-December, you would be getting peak conditioning around your timeframe. The ritz doesn’t have the elevation changes that crooked cat does but the routing gives a good variety of holes which I enjoy. That said, you wouldn’t be hurt by playing Crooked Cat either. Drive time between the two is around 30 minutes if you’re not pushing it, and you’ll avoid the i4 corridor between the two. If you’re trying to do 36 you’ll still need an early tee time. Because most people are here on vacation (yes, even now) rounds can get slow pretty quickly no matter the course. 
 

if you can do an early tee time at the Ritz and make it back for 18 at Panther Lake, I would do that. If not, Crooked Cat is still enjoyable. 

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Thanks again for all the input and recommendations, wanted to issue a post trip report as it was a good trip to Orlando.

 

Wednesday - arrived early and was able to get 15 holes in Orange County National Panther Lake.  Although it was a bit cool, really enjoyed the course!  First picture is photo of my Son on 14.

 

Thursday - back at OCN for 36.  Crooked Cat was first and was cart path only due to being over seeded only 2 weeks back.  Condition was no where as good as Panther Lake - the back nine (12 and 13 were great) made up for the front, but we were really longing to get back to Panther Lake, both for condition and for the layout.  The PM didn't disappoint, despite going off at 1:57, we were able to get a full 18 despite finishing in the dark.   

 

Friday - 36 holes at Waldorf Golf Club.  Very impressed and a somewhat tough course with bunkers and water on most holes that forced you to really focus off the tee.  Great condition, great greens, which lead to a great day.  Second Photo is my Son after driving 13 which is short par 4.

 

Saturday - while my Son played his first round of a TOC tourney at OCN Panther Lake, my friend and I headed to Grand Cypress New.  The course was great and everything I remember from playing there 7 years earlier, a great and unique experience.  The construction there took a bit away from the experience - no range and a long cart ride from the clubhouse to through the new course to the 1st tee, but once there it is fully worthwhile.  Greens were great and fast and challenging if you aren't on in the approach game.

 

Sunday - my friend and I spectated early for my son's final round and then all 3 hit up Falcon's Fire on a last minute decision.  A absolute step down in quality, condition, but the back nine was fun and we finished 17 after going off at 2:30.  Once we got past 4, the course improved.

 

Monday - despite a forecast of rain, we made the drive South from Kissimmee and lucked out and got a dry 18 on a soaked course.  Luckily, it drained well and we enjoyed the fast and challenging greens.  Condition left a bit to desired tee to green, an and although it was my Son's least favorite course (he shot -2 on the back to shoot even par) my friend and I enjoyed it overall. 

 

Great trip, was hard to leave to jump on a plane back to New Hampshire and 3 inches of snow.

 

    

 

 

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