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Golfing on a family holiday - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Golf

Being a keen golfer on a family holiday with no one else who even likes golf can make it difficult to have a game. We as a family have been going to Florida for a few years now. We started off with our 10 & 6 year old girls doing Disney, Universal and water parks, oh and of course shopping!

Never a chance of a game of golf, we would drive past golf courses see the lush green fairways but the closest I got was Edwin Watts golf store or Izod the golfers apparel shop! Never mind it was a holiday for the girls and I do enjoy the whole Disney thing anyway. However it was when my eldest was becoming a teenager that I acquired my first ally. Not that she was any more interested in golf but she had started to show an interest in driving. “How about when we’re in Florida next, would you fancy driving a golf buggy around a golf course” Blue touch paper lit stand back, “Mum, can we go and play golf> > > > > ”

What can I say it’s the girl’s holiday! So many courses to choose from, I’m a keen golfer not a good golfer so I didn’t want to play a course with lots of water. The idea of empting my bag of balls into a lake trying to reach an island green was not high on my wish list. I did a bit of research at home and chose Southern Dunes, a very well respected course with very little water. Five different tees to choose from providing a challenge for every level of golfer. Perfectly presented greens and manicured fairways. Boxes ticked I looked forward to our next family holiday even more.

In Florida I rang the Southern Dunes pro shop, no problem being a solo player we can fit you up with a game and provide clubs. I had considered buying a set to bring back to the UK to replace my set here, but that actually happened the following year. I did have the forethought to pack my golf shoes and some balls but again I buy all my balls and shoes in Florida now anyway.

Driving through the security at Southern Dunes you get your first glimpse of the course, “wow that’s not a bunker that’s a desert”. But the contrast of colours with the white sand against the brilliant green of the fairway, it looked so inviting. The club house was well appointed and the staff so friendly I paid my money and given a set of Taylor made clubs which looked pretty new. We were a little early for our tee time so I took a small bucket of balls onto the range, just a small bucket you don’t want to leave all your good shots on the range just enough to loosen up so you don’t make a mess on the first tee.

By now my daughter was champing at the bit. The bag drop chap helped us to the buggy and gave me some advice on the course and greens. My playing partners, an American father and son introduced themselves were both friendly and had played the course before so all was set. I had been a little concerned knowing that houses lined some of the fairways. Suffering with a bit of a slice I was a little bothered that I might smash a few windows. But the fairways are so wide and tree or bush lined it would take a considerable effort to reach a window.

The first hole was a nice short par four which got you into the round nice and easy. The greens were quick and had subtle breaks and borrows so when you get down in two you do feel you have achieved something. I won’t go through the whole round suffice it to say I had my ups and downs but I really enjoyed my first round of Florida golf. As for my ally apart from almost turning the buggy over she beamed the whole way round. My wife and other daughter had enjoyed an afternoon in the hotel pool so happy days.

Up until that point we had always stayed in the Disney hotels but I soon realised that my case would have been better served if we had stayed in a villa on a golf course. The following year we took the plunge and bought a villa and of course it had to be on Southern Dunes. Now we have a family holiday and they take it in turns to be my caddy-companion-driver. Oh happy happy days.

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Page added on: 4 October 2011
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