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Teeing it Up at Walt Disney World

Friday, August 16, 2013

With so many activities available to guests Walt Disney World is without a doubt one of the most comprehensive vacation destinations in the world.  In a lot of ways it’s what drives us to visit so often.  In our quest to try everything the resort has to offer we sometimes go to the path less travelled to experience activities other than visiting theme parks.  This would include a round of golf at one of the 4 Walt Disney World golf courses; Disney’s Palm and Magnolia courses, Lake Buena Vista Golf Course and Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course (9 holes). 

My daughter Anna and I decided to take a morning from our vacation schedule and play a round of golf at the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course.  We chose this course because the back nine meanders through Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa which is where we were staying and the front nine winds through Disney’s Old Key West Resort.  Some holes included a great view of Downtown Disney’s skyline. 

For our particular morning the sun was trying to break through a minor haze and fog that had settled at ground level.  The course was very wet since Central Florida had seen steady afternoon and evening rains over the past 3 weeks.  However, the course was still playable as long as you kept your divots to a minimum. 

Our tee time was for 7:30AM.  Nice and early considering as the morning and day continued the hotter and more humid it would get.  It was difficult for us to grasp that this was off season for golf in Florida.  Most residents don’t wish to golf in the summer since it gets so hot during the day.   The course wasn’t very busy so we were able to play rather quickly with minimal waits.

The Lake Buena Vista Golf Course is more on the challenging side.  It can be played by novice golfers and golfers who are more experienced.  I find the course playable for everyone; family, friends, or just golfers who want to go out and have a great experience.  Recently, Walt Disney World turned over management of their golf courses to the Arnold Palmer Golf Management company.   A lot of the experiences you’ll have on the Disney golf courses are now inspired by the Arnold Palmer Golf Management company who run all of the facilities. 

Each of the Disney golf courses are in great shape.  The greens play faster than most courses.  The fairways are wide and grass tight providing fair playing conditions for all golfers.  All of the courses have their share of water hazards and sand traps throughout.  After all, it is Central Florida and water and sand is abundant. 

Playing a round of golf at Disney World is a great way to take a relaxing break away from the parks.  A typical round of golf with a foursome usually takes around 4 to 5 hours depending on the pace of play.  If you decide to play, plan on spending a morning, afternoon, or early evening of your vacation at the golf course.  You won’t want to rush through your round because of the great views all of the golf courses offer.  Playing at Disney’s Palm and Magnolia courses will provide great views of the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, and Disney’s Polynesian Resort.   Playing at Disney’s Magnolia course I can recall hearing the train whistle from the Main St. Train Station.  And, if you listen close enough, you may hear a parade or the Main St. Dancers performing their act. 

Here are a few facts about Walt Disney World golf:

  • All of the courses are soft spike only
  • All of the golf carts are GPS equipped
  • Keep your eyes open for hidden Mickey’s throughout the course
  • Rates are seasonal based on the Florida weather
  • DVC members and Annual Passholders receive discounts on green fees, services, and merchandise.  Discounts vary  
  • Disney will provide free round-trip transportation from your resort to the golf course
  • Attendants will assist you prior to and after your round with club handling
  • Golf clubs are available to rent if you don’t wish to bring yours on vacation 

Golfing at Walt Disney World is not your typical round of golf.  It’s an experience and it should be treated as such.  Whatever you do, don’t rush through your round.  Take the time to look around at the resort’s beauty.  Just don’t take your eye off the ball or else you may see a little more of the resort than you bargained for. 

Don’t be afraid to give the golf courses at Disney World a try.  They are a great escape from the theme parks and can turn a hectic Disney vacation into a more relaxed Disney experience.  We all know there’s more to Disney World than just theme parks.   The golf courses are not only there for beauty, but they are there for play.  So go tee it up at Disney World.  Until next time hit’em long and straight……..FORE!!!

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About this column

Aaron DelPrince looks at the various activities you and your family can experience at Walt Disney World


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