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
Golf Hall of Famer Gary Player and Karl Litten designed Kissimmee Oaks Golf Club's 18-hole, par 72 course, carving a 6,886-yard path through intersecting waterways and the century-old oak trees from which the club derives its name. Water hazards come into play on all but four holes, impeding golfers' passage while attracting wild turkey and thirsty golf carts. Golfers will need sound course management and accurate shotmaking to keep the ball in play on the sloping fairways and small greens that snake through the hazards. Before taking the course, players can warm up swings at a 20-stall driving range or at two separate greens for chipping and putting.
Course at 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.
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:
Faldo Golf Institute’s 27-hole, resort-style golf complex, practice green, and driving range serve as a haven for duffers and a training ground dedicated to the teaching principles of six-time major champion Sir Nick Faldo. Designed by Faldo and golf architect Steve Smyers, the institute’s 18-hole Grande Pines course invites golf balls to wrap around groves of natural timbers, settle into pillowy bunkers, and practice splash-free dives into water hazards across a challenging, 7,012-yard layout. The adjacent nine-hole course was designed to foster the development of novice golfers, although the water-kissed, 2,300-yard layout still packs enough challenges to keep aces interested. A staff of Faldo-certified instructors roams the stately grounds, imparting advice in lessons while helping each unique swing find its titanium soulmate with Trackman club-fitting technology. Partnered with Marriott’s Grande Vista Resort, the Faldo Golf Institute offers overnight stay-and-play packages for dedicated duffers or those hoping for a romantic getaway with their 9-iron.
The landing zones at Remington Golf Club are wide enough that even poor shots may wind up in the fairway. It's the really poor shots that golfers should be worried about. As forgiving as the course's fairways and greens may appear to be, many of them sit a stone's throw from a water hazard that will make trespassing golf balls pay the ultimate price: their hope for a good hair day. From the tips, the 18-hole, par 72 course measures a formidable 7,111 yards, while four other sets of tees accommodate players across the handicap spectrum. To prepare for their round, golfers can warm up at the Club's distinct water driving range, where golfers hit buoyant range balls into a lake populated with floating targets.
Course at a Glance:
Nestled in the shadows of ancient oaks and towering cypress trees, Kissimmee Bay Country Club's 18-hole course takes golfers through 6,486 yards of fairways and greens lined with serene water hazards. In total, the course features a dozen ponds that come into play on nearly every hole, challenging players to try forced carries and other crafty shots. The verdant course also peppers a dash of wildlife into rounds, as sand hill cranes are often spotted along the fairways and waterways. Before taking to the course, golfers can warm up their swings at the driving range or motivate golf balls by showing them how easily they can be replaced at the pro shop.
Course at a Glance: