Walt Disney World in Walt Disney World Orlando
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Walt Disney World
Where else would you find a sand trap shaped like the head of a well-known mouse? Disney has four championship courses—all on the PGA Tour route—plus a 9-hole walking course. All have a driving range, pro shop, locker room, and a snack bar-restaurant. Any guest at a WDW hotel who checks in specifically to play golf enjoys free cab fare to the course.
Greens Fees. There are lots of variables, with prices ranging from $20 for a youngster 17 or under to play 9 holes at Oak Trail walking course to an adult non-hotel guest paying $164 for 18 holes at Osprey Ridge in peak season. Rates change frequently, though, so confirm when booking. Disney guests get a price break, and you should ask about twilight discount rates. If you plan to play only once, leave the gear at home—you can rent shoes, range balls, and clubs at any location.
Tee Times and Reservations. Tee times are available daily from dawn until dusk. You can book them up to 90 days in advance if you're staying at a WDW-owned hotel, 60 days ahead if you're staying elsewhere. You must cancel them at least 48 hours out.
One-on-one instruction from PGA-accredited professionals is available at the Palm and Magnolia courses. Prices for private lessons vary: 45-minute lessons cost $75 for adults and $50 for youngsters 17 and under.
Walt Disney World Golf & Recreation Reservations. For tee times and private lessons, call Disney's central World Golf reservations line. 407/939-4653.
The Lake Buena Vista. The Lake Buena Vista course winds among Downtown Disney-area town houses and villas. Greens are narrow, and hitting straight is important because errant balls risk ending up in someone's bedroom. Be prepared for the famous island green on the 7th. Downtown Disney, Lake Buena Vista, FL, 32830. 18 holes, 6,819 yards, par 72.
The Magnolia. The Magnolia, played by the pros during a PGA tour event each fall, is long but forgiving, with extra-wide fairways. More than 1,500 magnolia trees line the course. Shades of Green, 1950 W. Magnolia-Palm Dr., Magic Kingdom Resort Area, Walt Disney World, FL, 32830. 18 holes, 7,190 yards, par 72.
Oak Trail. Oak Trail is designed by Ron Garl to be fun for the entire family. It's noted for its small, undulating greens. Shades of Green, 1950 W. Magnolia-Palm Dr., Magic Kingdom Resort Area, Walt Disney World, FL, 32830. 9 holes, 2,913 yards, par 36.
Osprey Ridge. Sculpted from some of the still-forested portions of the huge WDW acreage, Osprey Ridge was transformed into a relaxing tour in the hands of designer Tom Fazio. However, tees and greens as much as 20 feet above the fairways keep competitive players from getting too comfortable. Rental clubs require photo ID and a major credit card. At this writing the course was closed in the summer of 2013 and is expected to reopen in 2014 under the management of the new Four Seasons Resort Orlando. Osprey Ridge Golf Club, 3451 Golf View Dr., Magic Kingdom Resort Area, Walt Disney World, FL, 32830. 18 holes, 7,101 yards, par 72.
The Palm. The Palm has been confounding the pros participating in Disney's Golf Classic for years. It's not as long as the Magnolia, nor as wide, but it has nine water holes and 94 bunkers. Shades of Green, 1950 W. Magnolia-Palm Dr., Magic Kingdom Resort Area, Walt Disney World, FL, 32830. 18 holes, 6,957 yards, par 72.
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