Move Over Theme Parks: 17 Thrilling Orlando Golf Courses (Starting at $16 a Round)
Did you know that Orlando is also The Happiest Place on Earth for golfers?
From world-renowned championship courses to breathtaking resort layouts and family-friendly par 3s, there’s something for everyone and every budget. Whether you’re an experienced golfer, just starting, or looking for a course to take your kids, choosing from the over 200 Orlando golf courses can be daunting.
Check out our curated list of the best Orlando golf courses so that no matter which one you choose, your day playing is sure to be a memorable one!
Orlando & Golf: A Quick Overview
Did you know Orlando has a long history of attracting golfers, even top ones like Arnold Palmer? He started his own golf resort and The Golf Channel in Orlando. It’s also the home of many celebrated course designers, the country’s best golf instructors and academies, and neighborhoods like Lake Nona, where many of today’s touring professional golfers live.
Orlando golf courses also hold tournaments annually, providing thrilling, competitive events for top players. If you’re also interested in catching a tournament and some of your favorite players, plan a trip during one of them.
The city’s diverse climate allows for year-round golfing enjoyment, with lush green fairways flourishing in the chilly winter months and parched fairways challenging eager golfers during sweltering summer afternoons. This is plenty of time every year to develop the habits to become a highly effective golfer.
When it comes to golfing experiences, Orlando provides something for everyone, regardless of budget or skill level. So which one of these Orlando Golf Courses will you try out first?
Orlando Golf Courses: Play Like a Pro
It’s no surprise that Orlando is home to many professional golfers. The quality and playability of Orlando golf are challenging to beat, with an abundance of excellent golf courses and a fantastic year-round climate.
Here are some of the best Orlando golf courses you should try on your next holiday if you want to play like a pro.
1. Bay Hill Club and Lodge
Bay Hill has hosted the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational since 1979. It has the ideal combination of a comfortable lodge atmosphere and exceptional golf.
As a guest, you’re treated as family. The Champion, Challenger, and Charger nine-hole loops total 27 holes of tour championship golf consistently ranked among the Top 100 Courses in the United States.
2. Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course
Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course, a Cooperative Wildlife Sanctuary certified by Audubon International, is a haven for pro and serious golfers and an exciting challenge for players of all skill levels.
Named after its majestic magnolia trees and features elevated tees, spacious greens, and challenging water hazards. Wide fairways tempt you to hit it long but beware: 11 of the 18 holes feature water hazards, and dozens of sand bunkers dot the landscape.
Redesigned in 2022 with a newly elevated design and innovative layout, it’s undoubtedly the ideal stop on everyone’s Disney trip. It features new teeing grounds, redesigned greenside and fairway bunkers, and freshly re-contoured Bermuda grass greens with fast and accurate putting surfaces. Everything contributes to one of the best golf course conditioning experiences for guests in recent years.
Finally, to commemorate the course’s 50-year history and the decades ahead, each hole has been given a new Disney-themed name derived from a classic Disney film and is coupled with a quote from either Walt Disney or Arnold Palmer.
It is nestled into a golf haven between Epcot and Magic Kingdom next to Shades of Green hotel.
3. Disney’s Palm Golf Course
This championship 18-hole course features palm trees, glistening lakes, sloping greens, and tropical sands. It is located right next to The Magnolia Course. Disney’s Palm Golf Course features nine water hazards and 59 bunkers, providing plenty of challenges for amateurs and seasoned pros alike.
The eighteenth hole on this course is one of the most difficult on the PGA TOUR, with plenty of length and a green well protected by sand and water. This course is ideal for everything from a leisurely round to a large group getaway, providing a spectacular end to a magical day in the Florida sun.
In the summer of 2013, the Arnold Palmer Design Company rebuilt and extensively redesigned Disney’s Palm Golf Course. The substantial makeover included entirely new green complexes, newly shaped tees, and a whole new bunker design, all modernizing this classic golf course.
4. Isleworth Country Club
Isleworth Country Club’s 18-hole championship golf course is another masterpiece by Arnold Palmer, later enhanced by Steve Smyers in 2003. Consistently ranked among the top golf courses in the country, it is expressly designed to create a fair but distinctively challenging round.
The hallmark course is situated on a rolling terrain, with spacious, undulating, and fast greens set in the most scenic locations. It’s such a breathtaking course that professional golfers dub it Florida’s version of Augusta, referring to the home of the prestigious Masters Tournament.
5. Lake Nona Golf and Country Club
With Isleworth, Lake Nona Golf and Country Club are regarded as the country’s premier gated golf community development, with Lake Nona’s Tom Fazio-designed course nestled within a private 600-acre estate.
Lake Nona, which measures 7,215 yards from the back markers, starts under a canopy of dense trees on the front nine, becoming more open on the inner half as the final five holes play around natural interior lakes.
The iconic 15th hole borders the shoreline of Buck Lake as it swings slightly left from the tee, separated by a lengthy fairway bunker from a sizable body of water on the left. Anything better than a standard par five here is considered an accomplishment!
Most golfers will never have the opportunity to wander around the fairways here. But many will feel as if they do, thanks to the television coverage of the Tavistock Cup. This team event features top professionals from Isleworth Golf & Country Club competing in a two-day match against their counterparts from Lake Nona Golf & Country Club.
Best Orlando Golf Courses for Families
Are you looking for new and exciting sports adventures for your loved ones? Then planning a family golf trip is an excellent idea, and Orlando is the place to be. Whether you’re taking the kids on their first golf trip or needing a break from the theme parks, you’ll find the perfect courses for unique golf experiences here.
6. Grande Vista Golf Club
Grande Vista Golf Club is committed to encouraging families to learn and play golf together.
Juniors 15 years and under can play for free after 3:00 p.m., thanks to the Kids Play-4-FREE campaign. When accompanied by a paying adult during their round, juniors aged 17 and under can enjoy a 1-hour private lesson under the Kids Learn-4-FREE program. Both programs allow for one junior per adult.
Located on the headwaters of the Florida Everglades ecosystem, the course is surrounded by magnificent oaks and gorgeous cypress trees. It’s a 9-hole, par-32 course designed by Ron Garl. It encourages learning and development for all levels of play while also challenging the most experienced players.
Grande Vista features a 35-acre dedicated practice facility and a full-service golf school offering golf instruction and special club-fitting services. From weekly to monthly and annual, it offers a membership scheme that will suit your needs and gives you and the rest of the family access to a world-class practice facility and golf course.
7. Tooth Course at Orange County National
Take your kids and the rest of the family to the golf superplex Orange County National to satiate their budding interest in the game. Most likely, this is the first time they’ve never seen a 360-degree circular range. A par-29 course, The Tooth has a 4.6/5 rating on Golf Advisor, higher than most executive courses.
The Tooth features subtle elevation changes, tough bunkers, and four holes that play over a lake. This may be a short course, but it’s challenging. It’s a walking-only golf course that allows you to work out while having fun! The potential to complete nine holes in under an hour will enable you to maximize your time spent with family or improve your overall game.
Florida junior golfers receive a discount when accompanied by a paying adult. They are provided special pricing when they play on their own.
8. Crane’s Bend and Legends Walk at Orange Lake Resort
If you’re going on vacation in Orlando with your spouse, kids, and possibly some extended family, finding a place for everyone who wants to come along can be challenging. Good thing there’s Orange Lake Golf Resort, one of the best destinations in Orlando for a family getaway.
There’s plenty of options for every golfer in the family. 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) are all available.
Also, the McCord Golf Academy is on-site if you need to fine-tune your swing or improve your game. Golfers of all ages and skill levels will surely enjoy the resort, while non-golfers will find plenty to keep them active during their stay.
Best Orlando Golf Courses for Beginners
If you’re starting your golf journey, teeing off on an 18-hole course may be daunting, if not downright stressful. Moreover, these 7,000-yard monster courses aren’t exactly conducive to high scores and inviting enough for beginner golfers to come back.
Instead, you’d want shorter courses, particularly those that allow you to walk and practice the golf swing tips for beginners you just learned. They are ideal for building confidence without wearing you out. Here are our top selections for Orlando Golf courses ideal for beginners.
9. Winter Pines Golf Club, Orlando
Winter Pines Golf Club, which opened in 1968, is one of the busiest golf courses in central Florida because it provides a terrific experience for players of all skill levels. It measures 5,401 yards and plays to a par of 67. The longest hole is the par-5 ninth, which involves an approach shot over water.
“The Pines,” as regulars refer to it, has several fun-to-play par 3s on the back nine that may make or break your score. This 18-hole local favorite provides an unforgettable experience for players of all skill levels. You have the option of playing all 18 or just nine for beginners.
10. Champions 9 Course at Champions Gate Resort
Located directly behind the hotel, the Champions 9 Coursehas a pitch-and-putt layout ideal for beginners and those working on all phases of the short game.
The course provides spectacular views and challenging play for players, regardless of skill level. The Champions 9’s well-kept fairways and greens keep the course challenging but pleasant. You can ask the staff for handy tips and tricks to help you play your best round.
You will like the place even more in the evening when it’s lit for night play, making the Champions 9 Course perfect for a relaxing outing at the end of a fun day.
11. Oak Trail at Walt Disney World
Disney’s Oak Trail golf course is a beginner-friendly retreat home to a beautiful par-36 walking course next to Magnolia. This enjoyable 9-hole course is filled with rolling greens and exciting challenges, not just for beginners. Oak Trail, which measures 2,913 yards from the back tees and 1,713 yards from the junior tees, is also considered the quintessential family golf experience.
Its scenic yet challenging layout design has been designated a Cooperative Wildlife Sanctuary by Audubon International. Holes 5, 6, and 7 are some of the most notable. They are routed around a canal and pond, requiring careful planning and a sound strategy.
Best Orlando Golf Courses: Budget Picks
There’s no shortage of quality Orlando Golf Courses. However, most are inside resorts, and especially during peak season, the required fees to play a round aren’t economical.
We’ve got you if you’re looking for ways to make playing golf more affordable and are after quality yet reasonably priced Orlando golf courses. They do exist if you know where to look. Here are some of our best value picks in the peak season or off-season.
12. Winter Park Country Club
Winter Park is a par-35 course stretching to 2,480 yards. What it lacks in distance, it makes up for in stunning green contours, steep bunkers, and moss-covered trees.
This walking-only, nine-hole beauty, established in 1914, frames the north end of the New England-style town of Winter Park, three miles north of Orlando. Streets and residential establishments surround the entire course.
Meanwhile, holes such as no. 4, a par five that doglegs around a cemetery, and no. 9, a par four nestled near Casa Feliz, a gorgeous historic Spanish farmhouse, have made it somewhat of a cult classic.
With rates ranging from $16-$21 per round and $5 for a replay, it may take a bit of work to find a way to play stellar golf in Orlando cheaper.
13. Dubsdread Golf Course
Located mere minutes from downtown Orlando, Dubsdread Golf Course is the area’s oldest public layout, having been initially constructed in 1923 and remodeled in 2008.
This classic course has a rich history as the former home of the Orlando Open, which hosted golf legends such as Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, and Claude Harmon.
It’s widely popular with the locals, who can play this 6,200-yard classic for next to nothing, and non-residents, who only have to pay a minimal rate exclusive of cart use.
The course features numerous intriguing doglegs, bunkers, and water hazards to overcome on your way to finding its small greens. Dubsdread also has a fleet of GolfBoards that you can use instead of golf carts, although you must call in advance to reserve them.
14. Hawk’s Landing Golf Club
Renowned golf architect Robert Cupp Jr. developed Hawk’s Landing Golf Club to provide the ideal location for a demanding round of golf as well as a gorgeous blend of native Florida wildlife and tropical foliage.
The course is an excellent way to unwind after a day at the surrounding amusement parks or after a long day of work. As soon as you arrive at the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort, you’ll be steps away from taking your first swing on the 18-hole Championship Resort Golf Course.
Hawk’s Landing has beautiful playing conditions and five sets of tees to challenge players of all skill levels. Diamond Zoysia greens, distinctive undulating fairways, and water in play on fifteen of eighteen holes – including the whole back nine – make this a must-play course without breaking the bank.
Best Orlando Golf Courses at Resorts
Finally, if you and your family are into golf and fond of relaxation, a good golf resort is the place to be. Luckily for you, Orlando isn’t just home to some of the best theme parks in the world. Here are some of the city’s most splendid golf resorts.
15. Mystic Dunes Resort and Golf Club by Diamond Resorts
Booking a stay at this resort is an excellent idea, especially if you’re traveling with your family. You may keep the kids entertained while you play golf. This property features an 18-hole golf course and other recreational amenities, such as a tennis court and outdoor pools with water slides.
If all you want to do is play golf, but your kids are less interested, Mystic Dunes Resort & Golf Club by Hilton Grand Vacations is the ideal place. It provides free shuttle rides and discounted tickets to three other popular destinations: Disney Parks, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios.
This timeshare resort is nestled among 600 acres of rolling hills, lush Florida nature preserves, and the emerald greens and fairways of its championship golf course. It can be exchanged into via RCI or rented via the resort or an owner not using their condo.
16. Waldorf Astoria Orlando
The Waldorf Astoria brand conjures up thoughts of old-money elegance. Yet, the golf course at the resort chain’s Orlando location is anything but, having been designed by no less than prolific golf course architect Rees Jones in 2009.
Conveniently situated next to Disney World, this Orlando resort provides free shuttle services to and from the parks. If you want to relax and pamper yourself, they have a full-service spa where you can unwind after a round of golf on their 18-hole course.
17. JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes
The Greg Norman Signature Golf Course is one of the region’s best-golfing destinations, located on one of Central Florida’s most biologically diverse and attractive ecological sites. While playing, you get to take in the breathtaking scenery of this certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary golf course, which is home to a vibrant ecosystem of ponds, wetlands, cypress heads, and live oaks.
The full-service golf club has everything you need for a delightful stay in Orlando, from resort-inspired facilities to golf packages, with 18 championship-level holes and a course that serves as a PGA Tour Challenge event site.
Like the other Orlando golf courses at resorts on this list, JW Marriott Grande Lakes also provides free shuttle services to neighboring Disney World, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios. They also have an Italian restaurant serving all-organic dishes on-site if you’re into Italian cuisine.
Plus Orlando’s Golf Entertainment Options
Orlando is a unique destination for golfers of all skill levels, even those looking for golf entertainment options.
The three-level huge Top Golf Orlando is located at International Drive, and Drive Shack near the airport offers an option for those players looking to kill some time before their flight. In addition, a brand new offering, PopStroke, was created in partnership with Tiger Woods and just opened in the Summer of 2022.
This article was produced by Planner at Heart.