Golf Course Review - Disney

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HISTORY: It all began with just a couple of courses back in 1971 and, over the years, with the usual Disney flair, developed into a world-class golf destination with 99 holes of golf and the magic of the mouse. In the beginning, Joe Lee designed the Magnolia and Palm courses, which play host annually to the PGA Tour's Walt Disney World Golf Classic and are within a four-iron from the Magic Kingdom.
 
Disney-Lake Buena Vista Golf Course
The 17th hole of the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course is a long par-five down a very narrow fairway with OB left and right all the way to the green.
Some of the greatest names in golf, past and present have won this event, starting with Jack Nicklaus, a three- time winner, two-time champions Larry Nelson and Tiger Woods, and solo winners Payne Stewart, Ray Floyd, Hal Sutton, Lanny Wadkins, Mark O'Meara and David Duval. All of those have at least one major championship title to their credit.
 
In 1972, Lee was commissioned once again and, this time, crafted the Lake Buena Vista layout, which is located near Downtown Disney and Disney's Old Key West Resort. It was 20 years later when Tom Fazio and Pete Dye were brought in to design the Eagle Pines and Osprey Ridge golf courses. Both tracks comprise sections of Bonnet Creek Golf Club but feature totally different styles.
 
To top off the golf resort, Ron Garl knocked out a family-play, nine-hole walking course, perfect for the beginner or a quick tune-up for the more serious golfer. Now instead of just enjoying the incredible sights and sounds of the Magic Kingdom, MGM Studios, EPCOT and Animal Kingdom, thousands of vacationers from around the globe can test their skills on the some of the best golf this country has to offer.
 
OVERALL: What used to be just a passing of time in-between rides at the Magic Kingdom, golf at the Walt Disney World Resort has become a must for all golfers who travel here from around the globe. These are NOT 'Mickey Mouse' courses. Not only do you receive the enchantment and excitement of the Disney theme parks, but the golf is outstanding from top to bottom. No wonder the Walt Disney Golf Resort complex was named by GOLF Magazine to its 2002 list of 'Gold Medal Resorts,' and why Golf Digest gave all five 18 hole courses four stars out of five in its 'Places to Play,' plus its being one of the top-75 golf resorts in America. The Disney courses, with world-class designers Fazio, Dye and Lee, offer golfers an incredible challenge during each round as they wind their way through pristine landscapes. Not only that, vacationers and players alike are afforded programs for a variety of instructional clinics with well- equipped pro shops open to add to your wardrobe and set of clubs.
 
There are a dozen Disney resort hotels from which to choose - the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa to the quaint Disney Port Orleans Resort and, right in the midst of the two, the incomparable Swan and Dolphin. Outstanding golf packages are available and they include golf, accommodations tickets to the park(s) and too much more to list here. To top it off, the Disney hospitality is second-to-none when it comes to service. Disney World should be on every player's list of places to visit as a destination for great golf year after year.
 
Phil Sokol writes for the Sports Network, and periodically contributes to GolfChannel.com. Send your thoughts on this article to Phil Sokol at psokol@sportsnetwork.com.