Florida is a golfer's playground with all manner of facilities and amenities to satisfy the most avid aficionados. Orlando alone has more than 170 courses and golf resorts, 20-plus golf academies, and some of the world's most prestigious tournaments. If you are planning a golf getaway for your next Florida vacation, here are just some resorts to consider. Check each resort's website for rates, packages and additional information.
Streamsong Resort, Bowling Green: This new resort in Central Florida boasts two 18-hole intertwining golf layouts: Streamsong Red and Streamsong Blue, designed by golf course architects Coore & Crenshaw and Tom Doak of Renaissance Golf Design. Recently, GOLF.com/Golf Magazine named both among the "Top 100 Courses in the U.S." Streamsong Red earned "the distinction of highest-debuting U.S. course" while Streamsong Blue is second. Streamsong Red and Streamsong Blue also took the No. 1 and 2 "Newcomer" positions. Streamsong celebrated its golf grand opening earlier this year. Facilities include a clubhouse with 12 private guest rooms, a lakeside 216-room Lodge slated to open in early 2014, lakeside outdoor swimming pool, spa and fitness center, multiple restaurants and bars including a rooftop lounge.
Walt Disney World Resort: A world-class resort featuring five championship-caliber courses spaced over 775 acres of a 47-square-mile property. In addition to scenic course landscapes, Disney's golf program offers a variety of instructional clinics, training opportunities and well-equipped pro shops, including leading-edge rental clubs. Lodgings to consider include the Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa in the Downtown Disney area with Disney's Lake Buena Vista Golf Course winding through its pastel colored villas, lakes and pine forests. Accommodations include studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom villas. Disney's Lake Buena Vista Golf Course has hosted the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and USGA events. Saratoga Springs recently opened a Senses Spa. And golfers traveling with their families have the four theme parks, two water parks and other attractions of Disney World at their disposal.
Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club: This resort on the Gulf of Mexico in Southwest Florida features an 18-hole course built in the late 1920s by Allen Joslin (married to the heir of the Jergens lotion fortune), redesigned by Mark Mahanna in 1948, and subsequently redesigned three times between 1980 and 1998 by Ron Garl. To continue to provide a fresh experience, the resort refurbished the greens and tees in 2010 and completed a refurbishment of the fairways during the summer of 2011. Amenities of the oceanfront resort include tennis, a spa, beach and pool, orchid house, and children's club.
Marriott World Center, Orlando: The first thing guests notice at the resort is the proximity of golf: It is located right outside the front door. A certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, the 18-hole course Hawk's Landing, is a Par 71 and features the world-class Bill Madonna Golf Academy. Resort amenities include an iconic pool complex, spa and 10 restaurants and lounges.
Reunion Resort and Club, Orlando: Located on the south side of Orlando, it boasts Signature Design courses by three of golf's greatest legends: Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Arnold Palmer. This is also the home to the Annika Sorenstam Golf Academy. Golfers and non-golfers will be able to enjoy such recreational amenities as a spa, tennis courts and water park.
PGA National Resort & Spa, Palm Beach Gardens: Recently renovated to the tune of $100 million, this resort is home of the PGA Tour Honda Classic each spring and boasts five championship courses that have been recently updated with new turf, rebuilt bunkers, expanded tee and green complexes – and The Haig has been reinvented as The Fazio with a modernized layout. The resort also features the PGA National Golf Academy, a spa, pool, and multiple dining and lounge venues.
Renaissance World Golf Village Resort & Convention Center, St. Augustine: Home to the World Golf Hall of Fame, this resort features two world-class courses, the King & Bear, designed by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, and the Slammer & Squire, designed with input from Sam Snead and Gene Sarazen. Lodging is in recently renovated rooms and suites. Recreation includes a complimentary shuttle to St. Augustine, a spa, lake and an assortment of dining options.
Info: worldgolfrenaissance.com.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun