Review: Orange Lake Golf Course, FL

The best family golf resort in Orlando
If you take a vacation to Orlando, FL, you might as well plan on bringing the family along; the wife, kids, and maybe some extended family might want to come along.  Therefore it is going to be important to find a place for everyone.  I think that Orange Lake Golf Resort is the best place in Orlando for a family vacation.  Here are the reasons why.  The location is excellent for all the other attractions, namely Disney. 
The Resort is a Holiday Inn Resort meaning you know what you are going to get in terms of lodging, good quality with a reasonable price.  The resort itself has a huge pool complex, multiple lodging types, and plenty of space for biking and walking.  For every golfer in the family there are a great variety of options.  There is a par 3 course (Crane’s Bend), a lighted par 3 course (Legends Walk), a “resort” course (The Reserve) and a championship course (The Legend).  Also if you need to tune up your swing or want to get better, the McCord Golf Academy is on site too.  Golfers of every age and ability can enjoy the resort, and the non-golfers will find more than enough to keep them busy on this vacation in Orlando.

Resort information:

The Legends Golf Course

The back nine is legendary.

 The Legends Golf course is set at the far back of the property.  It is 18 holes designed by the legend himself, Arnold Palmer.   It is quite a drive from the main entrance, but once you drive past all the other resort amenities and courses; you arrive at a big beautiful clubhouse.  The staff was excellent and having the range was right out the back door of the club house made it really convenient to practice and warm-up.

 Upon arrival at the first tee, I got paired up with a single and a 2-some completing our 4-some.  The Links first hole is a great par 4 that is a slight dogleg left.  This and many of the holes on the front side have a very resort course feel.  They tend to weave through the condos, hotels and lodging options of the resort.  The second hole is straight par 5.  From the back tees it is reachable for big hitters, but for many it will be a 3 shot hole.  The 3rd hole is a solid par 3.  It is a huge green, but well guarded by front bunkers.  The 4th hole is possibly one of the hardest par 5s on the course.  It is a double bender that is guarded on the right by a pond and on the left there is a waste-bunker and trees.  The green is guarded by sand short and water long.   The 5th hole is a solid par 4.  You either need to carry the bunkers on the right side or play left.  The green is lower than the main fairway.  The 6th is a simple par 3 with some bunkering long and left.  The final 3 holes of the front side are tough.   The 7th hole is a long par 4.  The length is what makes this a tough hole.  The 8th is another tough par 5 with water and sand off the tee.  There is a little pot bunker in the landing zone for the second shot.  But playing it safe can lead to an easy a par.  The par 4 9th hole is a strong finish to the front nine, with water short and right of the green.  While the front side has some great holes and is really long at 3800 yards par 37, it just felt a little too close to the condos.

The back nine, the Pines, on the other hand is short at 3200 yards par 35, but it really feels secluded and the holes are well designed.  The 10th hole is one of the better holes on the property.  While it still is close to the lodging, the dogleg left with a second shot over the pond is rather intimidating.  Par is a great score on this hole.  The 11th hole takes you across some roads and into the secluded pines of the back nine.  The par 5 11th hole is nothing too complex just a nice straightaway reachable in two hole.  The par 3 12th is a great two-tee hole.  There are right tees and left tees.  Depending on where the maintenance staff sets the makers makes a difference of how the water in front of the green comes into play.  The par 4 13th hole is a solid hole again that needs a good long drive to have a good comfortable shot into the green.  The short 14th was one of my favorite holes.  This par 4 had many options off the tee and had a real rustic sandy pine feel.  The bunkers are deep on this hole.  The par 3 15th is a really great hole with water left and short.  I navigated safely onto the green, but the other golfers in my group really struggled to hit this green, which was surprising how short this hole is.  The par 4 16th is another great hole that has a big pond front and right of the green.  The 17th hole is an outstanding short par 4.  For the big drivers it is reachable, there is just one bunker fronting the green.  The 18th hole is an incredible finishing hole.  It is long, tough and really an overall nice looking hole.  There is water off the tee and water front and left of the green. 

 The two nines are very different, the Links is LONG and winds through the resort, while the Pines is short and secluded, both nines offer a great test of golf.  I preferred the Pines for its “away from it all” feeling and the great variety of holes.

For more information: