Orlando, where mouse ears meet golf tees, and the sunshine’s as abundant as the sand traps. While this city is famed for its thrill rides, we’re about to uncover a different kind of thrill—hitting the perfect drive down one of Orlando’s incredible public golf courses. Whether you’re a pro looking to add another notch to your scorecard or just want to trade your office desk for a tee time, Orlando’s golf scene has you covered. Get ready for a friendly swing through the Sunshine State’s finest fairways!
As a sneak peak to what’s included in this post, here is a list the best public golf courses in Orlando!
If you’re an avid golfer planning a trip to the vibrant city of Orlando, Florida, you’re in for a treat. Our recent exploration of the best public golf courses in this golfing haven uncovered a treasure trove of challenging fairways and breathtaking scenery. From classic designs to modern gems, Orlando’s golf offerings cater to players of all levels.
At Southern Dunes Golf and Country Club, we discovered a Steve Smyers masterpiece nestled in Haines City. Its dramatic elevation changes and striking water hazards provide an engaging challenge for golfers, making it a must-play for those seeking a memorable round.
Mystic Dunes Golf Club, designed by Gary Koch, captivated us with its unique topography, offering a refreshing change from the typically flat Florida landscape. This course combines captivating natural surroundings with playability, ensuring an unforgettable golfing experience.
And don’t miss the Grand Cypress Golf Club, where luxury meets sport. With 45 holes of championship golf designed by Jack Nicklaus, this club’s courses promise a blend of challenge and beauty. Their top-notch facilities and stunning vistas will make you want to linger on the greens.
Whether you’re a local golfer looking for new challenges or a visitor seeking to experience Orlando’s golfing riches, these courses have something special to offer. So, grab your clubs and get ready for a golfing adventure in the Sunshine State!
How can I find public golf in locations like Orlando, Florida?
Finding options for public golf courses is relatively straightforward, and there are several methods you can use:
- Online Search Engines: The easiest way to find public golf courses is through online search engines like Google or Bing. Simply type in “public golf courses near [your location]” or “public golf courses in [desired city or area],” and you’ll get a list of nearby courses.
- Golf Course Directory Websites: Websites like GolfNow, GolfAdvisor, and GolfLink are dedicated to golf-related information. They allow you to search for golf courses by location, price, and user reviews. You can also book tee times through some of these platforms.
- Mobile Apps: There are numerous mobile apps designed for golf enthusiasts. Apps like GolfNow, Golfshot, and TheGrint not only help you find golf courses but also provide GPS tracking, scorekeeping, and other useful features.
- Ask Locals: If you’re in a new area or visiting a different city, ask the locals or the staff at your hotel. They usually have recommendations and can provide valuable insights into the best public golf courses nearby.
- Social Media and Golf Forums: Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and golf-specific forums like GolfWRX have communities where golfers share information about courses, including reviews and recommendations.
- Golf Course Websites: Many golf courses maintain their own websites with detailed information about their facilities, including rates, course layouts, and contact information. You can often book tee times directly through their websites.
- Golf Magazines and Books: Golf publications often feature lists of top golf courses in various regions. You can pick up a golf magazine or check out golf course guidebooks to find courses that interest you.
- Local Tourism Websites and Blogs: If you’re traveling, the official tourism website for the area you’re visiting may have information on local public golf courses. Many blogs (like Golf With Luck) will also give their personal experiences with topics like this.
When researching public golf courses, consider factors such as location, price, course difficulty, amenities, and user reviews to find the one that suits your preferences and skill level. Don’t hesitate to call the course ahead of time to confirm rates, availability, and any special requirements.
Is Orlando, Florida a good area for golfing?
Orlando is a popular destination for golfers, and it’s considered a good area for golf for several reasons:
- Climate: Orlando’s climate is generally favorable for golf year-round. While it can be quite hot and humid during the summer months, the winter season provides ideal golfing conditions with milder temperatures.
- Variety of Courses: Orlando offers a wide variety of golf courses, from championship-level layouts designed by renowned architects to more affordable public courses suitable for all skill levels. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced golfer.
- Accessibility: Many of Orlando’s golf courses are conveniently located within a short drive from the city’s major attractions, hotels, and resorts. This accessibility makes it easy for visitors to fit in a round of golf during their trip.
- Golf Resorts: Orlando is home to several golf resorts, such as those within the Walt Disney World Resort, which offer not only excellent golf but also world-class accommodations and amenities.
- Tournament Host: Orlando hosts the Arnold Palmer Invitational at the Bay Hill Club & Lodge, a prestigious PGA Tour event. Golf enthusiasts can visit and play the same course that professionals compete on.
- Scenic Beauty: Many of Orlando’s golf courses are set in picturesque surroundings, featuring lush green fairways, water features, and beautiful landscaping, which adds to the overall golfing experience.
- Golfing Community: Orlando has a vibrant golfing community, making it easy to connect with fellow golfers and find golfing partners or join local events and tournaments.
However, keep in mind that during the peak tourist season, which includes the winter months, golf courses in Orlando can be quite busy, and tee times may need to be booked well in advance. Additionally, the summer months can be hot and rainy, so be prepared for those conditions if you plan to golf during that time.
Overall, if you enjoy golfing and are planning a trip to Orlando, it’s definitely a good area to explore and enjoy a round or two of golf.
Best Public Golf Course Options In Orlando Florida
Orlando, Florida is known for its abundance of golf courses, many of which are open to the public. Here are 10 of the best public golf courses in the Orlando area based on their reputation as of my last knowledge update in September 2021.
Bay Hill Club & Lodge
Home to the Arnold Palmer Invitational, this course is renowned for its challenging layout and impeccable condition.
Nestled in the heart of Orlando, Bay Hill Club & Lodge isn’t just another golf course; it’s a legend in its own right. This hallowed ground has witnessed countless moments of golfing brilliance, as it proudly plays host to the prestigious Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Set against the backdrop of pristine Florida landscapes, Bay Hill offers a golfing experience that’s both challenging and breathtakingly beautiful. Designed with strategic bunkers, sparkling lakes, and undulating greens, it’s no wonder this course is a favorite among professional and amateur golfers alike.
So, whether you’re channeling your inner pro or just aiming to soak in the aura of golfing greatness, Bay Hill is a must-visit destination for any golf enthusiast passing through Orlando.
Streamsong Resort (Red Course)
Streamsong Resort is a public golf gem near Orlando, Florida.
While not located directly in Orlando, Streamsong Resort’s Red Course is an absolute must-visit for golf enthusiasts within a reasonable drive from the city. This course, situated amid the stunning, rolling landscapes of central Florida, offers a golf experience like no other.
Designed by the acclaimed golf course architect Bill Coore and two-time Masters champion Ben Crenshaw, the Red Course boasts a unique, links-style layout characterized by dramatic elevation changes, intricate bunkering, and sweeping vistas that transport players to a golfing paradise.
Streamsong Resort, home to three world-class courses, including the Red Course, welcomes public play and is a true haven for those seeking an unforgettable golf adventure just a stone’s throw away from the magic of Orlando.
Streamsong Resort (Blue Course)
Streamsong Resort’s Blue Course offers a captivating public golf experience within reach of Orlando’s vibrant energy. This course, part of Streamsong’s trifecta of golfing excellence, is a testament to the region’s natural beauty.
Designed by Tom Doak, the Blue Course showcases a stunning mix of lakes, sand dunes, and rolling terrain that beckon golfers of all skill levels. Its wide fairways and large, undulating greens provide a fair challenge while embracing the essence of Florida’s unique landscape.
Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a newcomer to the sport, Streamsong Resort’s Blue Course is a haven for those seeking a memorable round of golf near Orlando’s enchanting attractions.
Eagle Creek Golf Club
This pristine public golf course offers a serene escape into the heart of Florida’s natural beauty. Designed by renowned architect Ron Garl, Eagle Creek weaves its way through preserved wetlands, pristine lakes, and native vegetation, creating a picturesque backdrop for your golfing adventure.
This course offers a visually stunning round with natural wetlands, lakes, and preserved natural areas.
The course is known not only for its scenic splendor but also for its playability, making it a welcoming haven for golfers of all levels. Whether you’re a local golfer looking to explore your backyard or a visitor seeking a tranquil round away from the theme park hustle and bustle, Eagle Creek Golf Club promises a golfing experience that’s both peaceful and memorable in Orlando’s vibrant golfing landscape.
Waldorf Astoria Golf Club
In the midst of the enchanting Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club stands as a paragon of opulence and golfing excellence. This course, designed by the renowned architect Rees Jones, seamlessly blends the magic of Disney with the challenge of championship golf.
Surrounded by Florida’s lush beauty, it offers an impeccably manicured layout with strategically placed hazards, creating a golfing haven that challenges even the most seasoned players.
Yet, what truly sets Waldorf Astoria apart is its unrivaled level of service and sophistication. From the moment you step onto the first tee to the final putt on the 18th green, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of luxury, where golfing dreams become reality.
Waldorf Astoria Golf Club is, without a doubt, one of Orlando’s finest public golf courses, inviting golfers to experience the epitome of elegance in the heart of the Sunshine State.
Shingle Creek Golf Club
Shingle Creek Golf Club is a renowned golfing destination nestled in the heart of Orlando, Florida. With its lush, meticulously manicured fairways and greens, this golf club offers a truly immersive and challenging experience for golf enthusiasts of all skill levels.
The championship-level course, designed by renowned architect David Harman, showcases a harmonious blend of Florida’s natural beauty and strategic course design.
Players can expect pristine water features, rolling terrain, and an abundance of native flora, providing both a picturesque setting and a test of their golfing prowess. Beyond its exceptional course, Shingle Creek Golf Club boasts top-notch amenities, including a modern clubhouse, pro shop, and a warm, welcoming staff that ensures a memorable visit for all who step onto its hallowed greens.
Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a newcomer to the sport, Shingle Creek Golf Club promises an unforgettable golfing experience in the heart of the Sunshine State.
Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge
Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge is widely recognized as one of the premier public golf destinations in Orlando, Florida, and it has garnered this reputation for several compelling reasons:
- Championship-Caliber Courses: Orange County National features two championship courses, Panther Lake and Crooked Cat, both designed by renowned architect Phil Ritson. These courses have hosted numerous professional tournaments and offer diverse layouts that challenge golfers of all skill levels.
- Beautiful Scenic Setting: The courses are set against a backdrop of picturesque lakes, wetlands, and rolling hills, creating a stunning natural setting that enhances the golfing experience. It’s a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of Orlando.
- Practice Facilities: The practice facilities at Orange County National are world-class. They include a 360-degree driving range, a short game area, and putting greens. These amenities are ideal for golfers looking to hone their skills.
- Professional Instruction: The golf center offers top-notch instruction from PGA-certified professionals. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced golfer looking to improve your game, the expert coaching available here is invaluable.
- Accessibility: Being a public golf center, Orange County National is accessible to everyone. You don’t need to be a member to play on these exceptional courses, making it an inclusive destination for locals and tourists alike.
- Pro Shop: The pro shop stocks a wide range of golf equipment, apparel, and accessories, making it a convenient place to pick up any gear you might need for your round.
- Dining and Lodging: The lodge on the property provides comfortable accommodation, and the restaurant offers delicious meals, making it a great place to stay and dine after a day on the course.
- Tournament Hosting: Orange County National is well-equipped to host tournaments and events, which is why it’s a favorite choice for corporate outings, charity fundraisers, and amateur events.
- Commitment to Quality: The management of Orange County National is committed to maintaining the highest standards in course conditions and service, ensuring that golfers have an exceptional experience every time they visit.
- Community Engagement: The golf center actively engages with the local community, often hosting junior golf programs and charity events. This fosters a sense of community and adds to its appeal as a golf destination that cares about the sport’s future.
Overall, Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge is a combination of exceptional golf courses, beautiful surroundings, and top-notch amenities that make it a standout public golf location in Orlando, appealing to golfers of all levels and backgrounds.
Grand Cypress Golf Club
Grand Cypress offers 45 holes of Jack Nicklaus Signature-designed golf across three distinct courses. The North, South, and New Course are meticulously designed to provide golfers with a variety of challenges and stunning views. The courses incorporate natural elements like water features and lush greenery, creating a captivating golfing experience.
The New Course at Grand Cypress is especially unique. It is a tribute to the great Scottish links courses and features open fairways, pot bunkers, and rolling mounds that mimic the style of golf played across the pond.
Many tee boxes are elevated, providing golfers with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. It’s not just a golfing experience; it’s a visual feast as well.
The practice facilities at Grand Cypress are top-notch, including a driving range, putting greens, and a chipping area. They are perfect for warming up or refining your game.
The clubhouse at Grand Cypress is a haven of luxury and comfort. It offers a pro shop stocked with high-end golf equipment and apparel. The club’s restaurant is known for its gourmet dining and is an excellent place to relax after a round.
Grand Cypress offers professional golf instruction for players of all levels. Whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the basics or a seasoned golfer aiming to refine your skills, expert instructors are available.
The club’s grounds are beautifully landscaped and feature picturesque water features, cypress trees, and wildlife. It offers a serene and peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of Orlando.
While maintaining a high standard of quality and luxury, Grand Cypress Golf Club is open to the public. You don’t need to be a member to enjoy its world-class golfing experience.
Southern Dunes Golf and Country Club
Southern Dunes Golf and Country Club, located in Haines City, Florida, is a renowned golfing destination known for its challenging championship golf course and exceptional amenities. The signature feature of Southern Dunes is its stunning Steve Smyers-designed course, which seamlessly integrates natural elements and strategic design to provide a challenging yet enjoyable golfing experience.
The course is renowned for its dramatic elevation changes, vast bunkers, and meticulously manicured fairways and greens. These features, along with the prevailing Central Florida breezes, demand precision and strategy from golfers of all skill levels. The layout is visually striking, with pristine lakes and bunkers enhancing both the aesthetic appeal and strategic nature of the course.
Southern Dunes offers a type of public golf experience that caters to both local residents and visitors to the Orlando area. As a semi-private club, it welcomes the public to play its championship course while also offering membership options for those seeking a more exclusive experience.
This flexibility allows golf enthusiasts to enjoy the exceptional golfing facilities, including a fully equipped pro shop, practice facilities, and expert instruction, regardless of their membership status. The club also provides various tee options, accommodating golfers of varying abilities, making it accessible to a wide range of players.
Additionally, Southern Dunes Golf and Country Club offers an inviting clubhouse, complete with a restaurant and bar, where golfers can relax and enjoy a meal or refreshments after their round, making it a well-rounded and inviting public golf destination in Central Florida.
Mystic Dunes Golf Club
Last but not least, Mystic Dunes is definitely in the running for one of the best public golf courses around Orlando. Designed by renowned architect Gary Koch, the course meanders through Central Florida’s lush landscape, offering golfers an engaging and visually stunning experience.
With its meticulously maintained fairways, undulating greens, and challenging hazards, Mystic Dunes presents a versatile challenge suitable for golfers of all skill levels.
The course’s signature feature is its unique topography, featuring elevation changes uncommon in the typically flat Florida terrain, adding an exciting dimension to each round. Its welcoming atmosphere, top-notch amenities, and scenic vistas make Mystic Dunes a must-visit destination for golf enthusiasts seeking a memorable and well-rounded golfing experience in the heart of Orlando.
There you have it – our top 10 selections for your golf trip to Orlando, Florida without a country club membership!
In Orlando, where adventure knows no bounds, the allure of public golf courses adds another layer to the city’s charm. From the timeless tradition of Bay Hill to the breathtaking landscapes of Streamsong, and the hidden gems like Eagle Creek, the golfing scene in Orlando is as diverse as the city itself.
These courses, each with its unique character and challenges, ensure that whether you’re a visitor or a local, a pro or a novice, there’s always a fairway waiting for your swing. So, pack your clubs, soak in the Florida sunshine, and tee off at Orlando’s finest public golf courses, where unforgettable golfing memories are just a swing away.