Getting on the green

Blogging about some of the world's best golf holes.

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Hole # 9, Disney’s Palm Course, Orlando, FL

Hole # 9, par 4, 362 yards

If you haven’t played the Palm Course in Disneyworld, take my advice and bring lots of golf balls in your bag because water is everywhere and where there is water, there are alligators. After finishing hole # 8, a dry waterless par 3, we drove our cart to hole # 9 and witness a rather large Croc sitting on the tee box. It was quite a large Croc and it would probably inflict a nice sized wound on our legs so we decided to give ourselves a free drop.

If you had to tee off on either the White or Gold tees, you would have to stay right because there is water on the entire left side. From the tee box, there is a small canal that cuts across the fairway. A 3-wood would be perfect to keep your ball dry.

From the middle of the fairway, I had a little more than 160 yards to go. My friend James had about 155 yards and mostly over water. James practically tip-toed to his ball because he was scared that an alligator would be sitting on the bank. He surveyed the water and made sure he didn’t see any bubbles. The marshal told us to watch for bubbles and play a free drop about 10-15 yards from the water’s edge. Bubbles meant alligators were in the water.

Being further back, I was first up. I had solid contact and the ball hit the front of the green and rolled on. James was up next. He chose a 7-iron and hit a beautiful shot to the back of the green. Both of us would end up with a par.

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Hole # 7, Lake Buena Vista Course, Orlando, FL

Hole # 7, par 3, 117 yards

At only 117 yards, it hardly seems fair to play from the white tees but the scorecard recommends that only low handicappers should play from the blue tees. From tee box to green, there is water – lots and lots of water. Like the island green at the Players Championship, this hole can be nerve-racking with an audience and on a hot day.

Playing in the summer can be a challenge. With 200% humidity, it hard to keep your hands dry. Also, it can be difficult to breathe at times but take a deep breath and walk up to your ball. In a minute, it will be all over. You will be on the green putting for a birdie.

The Lake Buena Vista course at the Disney Resort is a real pleasure to play. It winds through a vacation home community called Disney’s Old Key West that has 761 rooms. The course is protected by large forest trees, water and sand hazards.

When choosing a club to go over water, try to hit the middle of the green. I like hitting a 9-iron just in case I hit it thin. At least I know I can get it over the water and onto the green or worse, into the sand bunker.

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Hole # 11, Highlands Reserve GC, Davenport, FL

Hole # 11, par 4, 307 yards

If you want to take a rest from Mickey and his friends, take a short drive southwest of the Disney Resort towards Davenport where you will find a very different golf course known as the Highlands Reserve Golf Club.

Hole # 11 is a short par 4 from the Black tees. With a slope/rating of 118/ 72.1, any vacationer looking for easy pars and birdies can play here. Take out your 3 wood and hit it straight. If you are known to slice your tee shot with your driver then leave it in your bag because keeping it straight and on the fairway is important on this hole.

At only 307 yards, it is easy to hit the green with a short wedge. I have seen players hit a 5-iron and PW to get to the green so don’t sweat it under the Florida sun. The sand bunkers that run along the fairways are known as natural sand corridors so if you ball happens to land in a footprint, take a free drop.

Today, I chose my Taylormade Burner 3-wood. I try to tee it up short so that I don’t go underneath it. My ball sails straight up the middle of the fairway leaving me about 80 yards to the green. I think I’m going to hit a SW since the pin placement is # 2 (ie. middle of the green). I’m on the green in two and have a birdie putt.