The Sunshine State is famous for its world renowned golf courses, with many superstars of the sport having graced the fairways - and some even lending a hand to their design! Florida is the home of American golf with over 1100 out of this world courses. Many of them are favourites with the PGA (Professional Golf Association) and LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) so rest assured there are plenty of places to perfect your game. With such impressive pedigree, how can you resist a few rounds on holiday in Florida? And with villas on Innisbrook, Champions Gate and Reunion Resort, you can tee off within minutes of your door!
Highlands Reserve is more than just a golf course in Florida, it's a small community. One that provides a wonderfully relaxing holiday for both the golfer and their family.
The focal point of the community is the Highlands Reserve Championship Golf Course which plays host to a PGA qualifier and numerous other tournaments and events throughout the year. The course provides both a challenging and relaxing experience, offering something different for the casual and competitive player. The course has forgiving greens and open fairways for the average golfer, while low-handicap golfers will have to weave through the vast undulating greens to achieve better scores. The result is a relaxed, fun experience rather than the tougher technical challenges of Innisbrook's Copperhead or Reunion's Arnold Palmer Course.
The clue's in the name with this one as it reflects a heavy Scottish inspiration whilst maintaining distinctly American touches such as Florida's orange groves and Carolina's pine tree lined fairways. A wonderful course nestled away from the hustle and bustle of central Orlando yet not too far away from the action when you're ready for a different kind of club.
Finished a hard day of golf? There is still plenty to do beyond the clubhouse, with an onsite restaurant, tennis courts, a swimming pool and a children's play area you will find plenty to do without straying too far from your front door. Obviously the big pull will be to visit Walt Disney World Resort or one of the many other theme parks surrounding Orlando, you will be spoilt for choice. Highlands Reserve is situated close to the House of Mouse, but is far enough away from central Orlando for some well-earned peace and quiet.
Champions Gate's two courses boast an accessible experience for all players, meaning everyone can enjoy a round of golf.
The National Course is proud of its American heritage and design and it takes you through some of the best scenery Florida has to offer. A lot of care was taken to ensure that the national course was the very best American golf has to offer. From orange groves to secluded woodlands, nature takes over as you navigate its sweeping fairways and clever doglegs. The latter half of the course provides a beautiful finishing stretch, with a mix of short and long plays over wetlands that swallows around 15000 balls a year! Although bunkers and water traps come into play along several holes, this is a course designed to balance your risk with reward.
The International Course was rejuvenated in 2016 after a complete restoration. Designed by Australian legend Greg Norman, the course has a rustic coastal feel. The perfect place for practicing your drives, the 7363 yard course now uses Championship Bermuda grass and has removed a few of the bunkers to allow for clearer play lines. The rejuvenation has done nothing to lessen its difficulty however, and the links style course still allows for a great game especially those looking to improve their driving. The course is wildly different than the National, with its large open fairways you have to take into account the wind along with the wetlands on the 6th hole and the water hazard on the 8th all while avoiding bunkers. A challenge most certainly, but still a great course to play on.
Innisbrook is home to the famed Copperhead Course. Forever a favourite amongst the PGA Tour - and home to the Valspar Championship - it is one of the most challenging yet fun courses in the world. At more than 7200 yards this is a lengthy, demanding course with dramatic elevation changes and trees lining the fairways.
Not only that, the final three holes make up the now infamous "Snake Pit". This is a testing section with hills, bends and water hazards all deliberately placed to make sure you play at the top of your game. This is one course that would test even the most talented golfers!
It's also home to stunning scenery and a menagerie of wildlife that just adds to your experience. This is for the serious golfing fans where you can enjoy and improve your game whilst relaxing in luxury.
Of course Copperhead is not the only course at Innisbrook, with the other courses being the North, South and Island courses. Each of these brings its own set of unique trials, with all of them being nearly on par with Copperhead in difficulty and enjoyment.
The Island course boasts tight fairways with water hazards and bunkers nestled in to ensnare even the most accurate of shots. Placing these alongside some extraordinary elevation changes, it's a truly exciting course and one favoured by the LPGA.
When you've finished improving your swing why not relax and unwind at the spa? With a full complement of services available to guests you can rest up between rounds.
As the sun sets along the Gulf Coast you can make the most of this beautiful destination. With Tampa just a 40 minute drive away, hop in your car and enjoy a meal and night out like no other. Thanks to a century of Cuban culture, you will be pinching yourself to believe that you're still in Florida. From mouth-watering food to historic theatres, there's plenty to do once the sun sets.
Reunion is the only golf resort in the world to have courses designed by three legends of the sport! Their Signature Design courses were dreamt up by none other than Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Arnold Palmer. Each of the three courses has its own unique challenges, you can brush up on your skills.
The Arnold Palmer Course may be the smallest of the three but don't let that fool you! The elevation changes make this strategically difficult (but exciting) to play. The hilly terrain and well placed bunkers will make even the best players think again, especially to beat par.
The Jack Nicklaus course is stunningly beautiful. A wonderfully smooth experience, it will tempt you into taking riskier shots. But the rewards will be well worth your effort! Long flowing greens with elevated tee boxes allow you to truly enjoy the game.
Last but certainly not least is the Tom Watson course. The most demanding of the three and perfect for those looking to challenge themselves. With large greens and wide, rolling fairways this course will test both your long and short game.
After a long day of golf, delicious mouth-watering food can be found all around. From restaurants in resort to those in Orlando there's a vibrant culinary scene to suit every taste. Large chain restaurants serve family favourites while intimate local gems provide a little solitude from the crowds. After your feast, head out towards Wall Street Plaza and Pointe Orlando to enjoy some amazing nightlife. Jump between lively pubs, bars, and clubs to celebrate your golfing triumphs.
Florida may be famous for golf but it's not the only reason to visit. Stepping away from the clubhouse there are a treasure trove of attractions for you and the family to enjoy. From Walt Disney World Resort to Universal Orlando™ you'll feel spoilt for choice.
The Sunshine State is also known as the theme park capital of the world. Feel the adrenaline rush at Walt Disney World Resort, LEGOLAND or Universal Orlando™. Make a splash at Aquatica, Seaworld's Waterpark (don't forget your armbands)! For an out of this world experience you can always visit the Kennedy Space Center where you'll hear first-hand tales from genuine former NASA astronauts.
Leave the crowds behind and explore Florida's amazing natural landscape. The Everglades National Park is home to a huge amount of wildlife including alligators, crocodiles, turtles, snakes, lizards and even manatees! These creatures can be seen on one of the many airboat tours through the swamps providing an exhilarating experience for everyone.
If you fancy a change of pace, why not dip your toes in the beautiful blue seas that line the coast? Clearwater is where warm gulf waters meets the coast, waves lapping against the white sand and palm trees waving you along the promenade. Only a short drive from Tampa it's well worth a day trip. If you favour the east coast why not visit the bright lights and thrills of Daytona Beach? There truly is something for everyone!
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