Florida Guide > Golf
Golfing in Florida for all Ages
When you’re fed up of lying by the pool all day (or at least the kids are!), you know its time for some activity & Florida is the ideal place for those with their eye on golf! Up until now our sport mad twelve-year-old has only played on mediocre ‘Crazy Golf’ type courses in the UK. In Florida of course, things are very different. The adventure golf courses are fantastic!
We started off with a family trip to Disney's Winter Summerland near Blizzard Beach. Ideal for kids of all ages there are two different courses where Santa features heavily – the winter course is 18 holes though ice castles, chimney tops and on to Santa’s grotto. Summerland sees Father Christmas on holiday among sandcastles & surf- both courses are 18 holes of fun with one or two surprises! At around $10 per course per person, these courses don’t offer the cheapest of adventure golf but the little ones voted them the best!
Next we progressed to Disney’s Fantasia golf courses near Hollywood Studios. Again a choice of two courses – at Fantasia Gardens each hole is based on a different theme from the Disney movie; hippos dance, broomsticks march & you are likely to get wet even on the sunniest day!! Fantasia Fairways is described as the hardest adventure golf course in the world. This I would not dispute with bunkers & streams that make it difficult to navigate holes up to 75 feet long. If you can get round 18 holes in less than 70 shots you’ve done really well. Thomas managed a respectable 72 & this whet his appetite for more serious stuff!
So next step up was Polo Park, a 9 hole, par 27 course at Highway 27, Davenport. Thomas was quite excited at the prospect of playing ‘real’ golf and the course is ideal, as each hole is a par 3. It is a well-maintained short course with small pro-shop, carts (buggies) and very friendly staff. The cost was around $10 each including a buggy & clubs are available to hire. It took Thomas a few holes to realise he couldn’t use his putter all the time like on Crazy golf & he got used to using different clubs for different shots but by the end of two hours he was quite pleased with the distance he was hitting the ball. Definite progress but it didn’t really prepare him for what was the next stage!
Our villa overlooks Highlands Reserve Golf Club which includes a driving range, so I gave him a couple of lessons to try to give him a bit more confidence then imagine the scene…. A 12 year old boy, number 1 driver in hand, addressing the ball while Grandparents, Mum & Sisters watch from the villa beside the first tee on a Par 72, 18 hole Championship golf course. There’s not many 12 year olds experienced that I bet!
He swung the club beautifully and with a swish the ball sailed up the fairway; he climbed into the buggy to a round of applause & we headed off up to the first green quite content. He did find some of the holes rather challenging but cool lemonade from the drinks buggy at the 9th hole cheered him up! By the 17th he was hitting the ball very well for a beginner and managed a par 3. The last hole was a monster par 5, which he parred majestically to round off a fabulous 4-hour game. Progressive golf or what?!
We walked back from the clubhouse to the villa in good spirits and were greeted by the family with drinks by the pool! Now THAT'S the life!!!!
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Page added on: 24 January 2005
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