Rees Jones introduces new course


ORLANDO, Fla. – It’s not often golf history is made at Disney World but it happened Thursday, as the Waldorf Astoria hotel and golf course officially opened. It’s the brand’s first hotel outside of New York City, and also its first golf course. Among the participants at the ribbon-cutting ceremony were Florida governor Charlie Crist and course architect Rees Jones.

“I think the course is different than any in Orlando because it has an old, classic look,” said Jones, who has earned acclaim through the years for his redesigns of such U.S. Open venues as Bethpage Black and Torrey Pines. 'It's hard to mix it up in Florida because the ground is so flat, but we elevated the whole site, which gave us some flexibility.'

While it isn’t meant to be a U.S. Open course, Jones said he sees Waldorf Astoria Golf Club as a future site for the Florida State Amateur. The par-72 has a slope/rating of 130/72.5.

'It will certainly be challenging for good players from the back tees,' he said

Beyond its classic look, Jones also thinks the course stands out from a playability standpoint. “It’s like a walk in the park,' he said. 'There’s no housing, and the tees and greens are near each other, so if you had a state amateur here, you could easily walk it.”

Until December 24, 2009 the resort is offering a special introductory offer that's worth looking into:

Starting at $329 per night you get a room, two rounds of golf and a $20 restaurant credit per person. A night at the Waldorf Astoria, two rounds of golf and food afterward, all for less than $400... Not bad.

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