Orlando Florida offers amusements parks, resorts, restaurants, shopping and dozens of attractions to entertain young and old alike. Oh yeah, its home to the PGA and plenty of public and semi-private courses too! If you want to Golf on your next vacation, plan to visit Orlando. We created a list of the top 15 courses based upon reviews by Golf.com, GolfDigest, Golf Advisor, Where2Golf and Golf In Orlando using their top 5 lists and averaging the scores. Here is the results of our tabulations:
1. Grand Cypress Resort
This resort offers 45 holes of Jack Nicklaus Signature-designed golf. A truly diverse selection of Orlando golf. The 27-hole North/South/East Course provides the ultimate test of accuracy while the 18-hole New Course provides a Scottish links masterpiece. Set in the midst of an open meadow, the New Course is Jack Nicklaus’ tribute and homage to the famed Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland. This Scottish links masterpiece is complete with double greens, stone bridges and walls, gorse mounds, burns and pot bunkers as deep as 12 feet—all in the spirit of the true Scottish original.
Cost: $120 - $175
2. Orange County National
With three distinctly different 9 hole courses, Panther Lake, Crooked Cat and Tooth, you will likely end up playing 27 holes. Panther Lake is everything you could want in a golf course. Playing over rolling meadows, through native pines, around and over wetlands, lakes, and up and down elevation changes of up to 60 feet, it is first and foremost a visual delight, reminding you that natural beauty is one of the main reasons you play golf and a major factor in deciding which course to play. Crooked Cat features significant elevation changes, rolling fairways and large, contoured greens. But with fewer trees, wider landing areas, native heather and mounding framing the fairways, Crooked Cat presents golfers more of a links-style look. It may well be the most naturally beautiful Orlando Florida golf course. The Tooth course offers gentle elevation changes, challenging bunkers , and a lake that is in play on four of the holes. This may be our short course but it is not short on challenge.
3. Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes
A Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, the golf course blends into the natural Central Florida landscape, protecting natural resources and habitats while enhancing the overall golf experience. Designed by two-time British Open Champion Greg Norman, the course blends a variety of hazards to provide a challenging but fair test of a golfer's abilities resulting in an atmosphere reminiscent of a private course.
Cost: $85 - $180
4. Bay Hill Club & Lodge
The late Arnold Palmer, was closely connected to the Bay Hill Club & Lodge, first playing the course in 1965 and then later buying the facility in 1976. The Championship Course at Bay Hill is a challenging course, but still suitable for players of all abilities. The golf course is straightforward with no hidden shots. There is also extensive mounding and bunkering throughout the course. Beautiful lakes are situated throughout the course adding some scenery and creating water hazards that come into play on a few holes.
Cost: $186 - $225
The National Course, a classic American parkland-style course design has 18 contiguous holes that wind through 200 acres of secluded woodlands, wetlands, and former orange groves. With its lush fairways and greens, and the stunning natural beauty integrated into the design by Greg Norman. The International Course boasts a raw design, a rustic "down under" style of a coastal links course from Greg Norman's homeland, with sprawling greens and wind-swept dunes, you will find this 18 to be some of the most dramatic and challenging holes in the state.
Cost: $109 - $139
6. Waldorf Astoria Club
This meticulously designed course was created by acclaimed golf course architect Rees Jones. Visually stunning and immensely playable, this Par 72 golf course is enhanced by natural elements like majestic cypress trees lining the fairways and features a five-tee system to accommodate golfers of every caliber.
Cost: $70 - $175
7. Mission Inn Resort & Club
There are two championship courses at Mission Inn that provide exceptional challenge and play. Surrounded by an abundance of natural Florida beauty, the El Campeón 18-hole championship course was designed by Chicago-based course architect, George O'Neil and built in 1917 - with further enhancements in 1926 by Charles E. Clarke of Troon, Scotland. Designed by Gary Koch and built in 1992, Las Colinas (Spanish for "the hills") is an 18-hole championship course that offers quite a different challenge from El Campeón. It is an inland links design with generous, wide-open fairways, gentle rolling hills and large, undulating greens.
Cost: $20 - $59
8. Celebration Golf Club
Built on scenic natural wetlands, the course provides players with a genuine, uncontrived, Florida golf experience. It features an abundance of native wildlife and is unobtrusively bordered by early 1900’s style estate homes, giving it the feel of a private country club in a small-town America during that period.
Cost: $79 - $129
9. Reunion Resort
Reunion Resort is the only destination in the world to boast three Signature golf courses designed by legends Palmer, Nicklaus and Watson. The Palmer Course is innovatively routed on hilly, roller coaster-like terrain, and is highlighted by expansive waste areas, strategically placed bunkers, and generously wide fairways that create a unique variety of risk/reward golf shots. The first Tom Watson-designed course in Florida, Watson's Signature Course provides beauty and challenge, demanding strategic, well thought out approach shots and a creative short game. The Nicklaus Course is a Parkland-style layout that is smooth and flowing, with long horizon lines and elevated tee boxes and greens. Designed to tempt golfers into hitting risky shots with potentially big payoffs, the course challenges the golfer to step up on the ball with a carefully organized series of shots in mind.
Cost: $100 - $150
10. Walt Disney World
Disney offers four courses, Buena Vista, Magnolia, Oak Trail and Palm. Buena Vista Course is certified by Audubon International as a Cooperative Wildlife Sanctuary and rated an impressive 4 stars by Golf Digest, the 18-hole course was conceived by Joe Lee and most notably features elevated bunkered greens that put a premium on accurate approach shots. Magnolia course, named for its majestic magnolia trees, features elevated tees, spacious greens and challenging water hazards. Wide fairways invite you to hit the ball and hit it long, but beware—11 of the 18 holes boast water hazards and 97 bunkers dot the landscape. Disney's Oak Trail Golf Course is a beautiful 9-hole course with rolling greens and exciting challenges ranging from 132 to 517 yards from the white tees—holes 5, 6 and 7 are routed around a deep canal and a picturesque pond. The Palm Course is an 18-hole championship course features shimmering lakes, tropical sands, palm trees and sloping greens.
Cost: $104 - $165
11. Tranquilo Golf Club at Four Seasons Resort Orlando
Unique to Central Florida for its varying elevation, abundant wildlife and protected wetlands, the name Tranquilo pays homage to the Resort’s Spanish Revival design and tranquil setting.
Cost: $115 - $205
12. Shingle Creek Golf Club
Shingle Creek Golf Club is nestled next to its namesake tributary, historic Shingle Creek, the headwaters of the Florida Everglades. Tee up to extra-long par 4s and par 5s surrounded by enchanting flora and wildlife. Face exciting hazards, twists, and bends.
13. Southern Dunes Golf & Country Club
Southern Dunes is well known for its large, fast and undulating greens that will test even the most seasoned golfers. The topographical features include high grasses and ornamentals that form the borders for holes that tumble with the terrain. The distinctive look, imaginative design and impeccable playing surfaces of this Steve Smyers masterpiece has kept Southern Dunes consistently ranked among Orlando's best.
Cost: $99 - $119
A visionary use of land recovered from a former phosphate mine. Through the land recovery process, sand dunes were created throughout the property, which made for dramatic rises in elevation and the perfect base for fairways and greens with a stunning variety in contour. This inspired combination of indigenous and man-made terrain—coupled with the imaginations of three of the finest golf course architects in the world, Bill Coore, Ben Crenshaw and Tom Doak —set the stage for two of the best links-style golf courses ever to be played.
Cost: $175 - $200
15. Hawk's Landing Golf Club
Hawk's Landing Golf Club was designed by noted golf architect Robert Cupp Jr., to create the perfect setting for challenging Golf and a scenic blend of native Florida wildlife and tropical vegetation.
Cost: $59 - $135