Golf Etc. Lakeland helps golfers through the entire process of upgrading their arsenal, from finding brand-name equipment to adjusting their current gear to fit their game. Brothers Luke and J.J. Miller—the latter of whom coaches golf at Southeastern University—run the shop and personally oversee the custom club-fitting process. In the hitting bay in the back of the store, visitors are likely to see Luke—who fits and maintains clubs for many local pros—analyzing a client's swing with technology that helps him prescribe the right club or zone in on any modifications, such as adjusting the length of the shaft or replacing the club head with a jai-alai basket. Golf Etc. also features an indoor putting green for golfers to test out prospective flatsticks, and J.J. and Luke regularly perform club re-gripping and repair services.
Ridgewood Lakes Golf Club brandishes the design of renowned architect Ted McAnlis, including sparkling white-sand bunkers and stunning vistas that run throughout, especially on Ridgewood's signature 15th hole. Here, elevated tee boxes overlook a sloped green nestled between greenside bunkers. A pond also glistens along the left side, making it the most visually stunning hole on the course and most sought after signature in Ridgewood's yearbook. To prepare for such scenic, yet demanding challenges, players can also utilize Ridgewood's amenities, including a full driving range, chipping and putting areas, and a fully stocked pro shop.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 7,031 yards from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole
Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate treats travelers to deluxe lodgings with a tropical touch. Guests roll into the resort beneath an imposing arch and cruise a palm-tree-lined parkway prior to arriving at the hotel's expansive lobby. Within a premier room, a king bed or two doubles topped with foam and feather pillows greet sleepers to be, speaking of dreams sweet enough to use as sugar substitute. Visitors inspired by views of the surrounding beauty, which includes a 36-hole golf course and 15 acres of pools and recreation activities, can craft hotel-themed poetry in an easy chair or invent a new facial expression in front of the marble vanity. After the night gives way to anti-night, vacationers cocooned in luxury linens and more than 400 square feet of butter-hued walls will emerge from their plush pupae, ready for a new day of blinking and walking around. To satisfy morning appetites, Trevi's unfurls a bountiful breakfast buffet for suitemates or sweethearts.
Piercing drives resonate across the verdant grounds of Zephyrhills Under Par, providing sonic evidence of golf balls advancing through the 18-hole, 5,054-yard course. The par 68—sculpted in 1978—presents a relatively open layout, with extensive landing zones that encourage golfers to either test the limits of their driver or charter a last-minute plane for their swing coach.
Course at a Glance:
During a round of golf in this region, it’s not uncommon for players to see the occasional alligator sunning itself on the banks of a fairway pond. The same, however, cannot be said for miniature-golf courses, unless you’re playing at Congo River Golf, where the civilized sinking of putts coexists with the visceral carnage of live-alligator feedings. More than 25 alligators wait for patrons to feed them morsels of gator food in an exhibit beside the course. Though the course offers no chance for an encounter with the ancient, scaly species, it enchants players with waterfalls, safari-themed artifacts, and towering rock faces. In addition, Congo River Golf encompasses an indoor arcade and a gemstone-mining station, where guests dig through dirt for fossils, arrowheads, and Neanderthal’s kindergarten time capsules.
When Kissimmee Golf Club first opened in the 1940s, it was a modest nine-hole facility. An expansion in the 1960s produced the back nine, and today, the club has flourished into a gorgeous testament to the Florida wetlands. Pines, oaks, and breezy palms line the fairways, and American alligators and sandhill cranes call the property home, too?all without a house in sight. The course's layout brings many of the land's features into play, and meticulously maintained greens appeal to any player hoping to improve his or her short game. Before rounds, golfers can get some practice swings in by visiting the club's chipping and putting areas, as well as one of the largest grass driving ranges in the county.
Course at a Glance * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total distance of 6,563 yards * Four tees per hole * Slope of 126 from the back tees * Rating of 70.2 from the back tees * Click here to view the scorecard