5 Of The Best Value Golf Courses To Try For Your Disney Florida Holiday

By Ian John
May 18, 2023

With the USPGA Championship now in full swing at Oak Hill, after a frost-delayed start, no doubt many of you will have placed your bets on who will win the second golf Major of the year at bet365 Sport.

Golf is huge across the United States with some of the finest courses in the world located in the country, such as Kiawah Island, Pinehurst Number 2, Cypress Point, TPC Sawgrass, Augusta National, Bethpage Black and of course Pebble Beach Golf Links.

However, for those golfers amongst us who visit the United States, we tend not to be able to find tee-times at these venues, as a significant majority of tourists head to the Sunshine State of Florida and in particular to the central Florida region where the main theme parks of Disney World and Universal Studios are located.

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And while a quick trip north to play 18 holes at Augusta National might be out of the question, the good news is for golfers heading to Florida this summer is that there are some fantastic courses that are great value for money in this central region of the state.

We have outlined five of the best value golf courses you can find in that central region of Florida and where possible, we have tried to find out how much it will cost to book a round on each course, what that charge includes, how much it is to hire clubs if required.

Lastly we’ll bring you some hints and tips if you are travelling to the Sunshine state and plan to play some golf over there (as I will be doing myself this summer).

With over 1250 courses in the state, more than any other in the US, one thing you won’t be short of is choice!

Our list below is not in order but the five courses we have listed we feel offer excellent value for money based on the services and standards that they offer. The prices shown are for summer season rates (higher rates usually apply in Spring/Autumn and Winter which is the high season for golf in Florida).

5 Best Value Orlando-Area Golf Courses For Tourists

Falcon’s Fire

  • Location – 3200 Seralago Boulevard, Kissimmee, FL, 34746
  • Cost Per Round – from $30 to $70
  • What Is Included? – 18-holes of golf, golf cart rental.
  • Amenities – Well stocked club shop, On course drinks & snack service, return cart service, bar & restaurant, driving range, putting green, golf lessons.
  • Club Hire Cost – before 2pm – $55, after 2pm – $35 (tees and 6 balls included)

Beautiful and challenging 18-hole course with lots of water hazards, located close to all the Disney attractions and located very close to the Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway (192) and the West Osceola Parkway.

Walt Disney World Golf – Lake Buena Vista

  • Location – 2200 Golf Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
  • Cost Per Round – $60 – $95 (summer season rates)
  • What Is Included? – 18-holes of golf, golf cart rental.
  • Amenities – Golf Shoe Rental, Club Shop, Restaurant/Bar, Golf Lessons, Driving Range,
  • Club Hire Cost – $59 day rate, Twilight Rate – $35 (Includes balls)

There are three full size Disney Courses available including Magnolia, Palm and the 9-hole walking course Oak Trail but for me Lake Buena Vista is the perfect choice for a Disney Golfing experience. This is a bit more expensive than other courses, and being Disney you need to book your tee time well in advance.

Southern Dunes Golf And Country Club

  • Location – 2888 Southern Dunes Blvd, Haines City, FL33844
  • Cost Per Round – $45 – $65 (summer season rates)
  • What Is Included? – 18-holes of golf, golf cart rental.
  • Amenities – Top Tracer Driving Bays, Restaurant, Club Shop, Lessons, Club Membership Available,
  • Club Hire Cost – From $35 (Includes balls)

If you are prepared to drive for up to an hour from North of the main Disney Drag or up to 30 minutes from the south of it, then Southern Dunes is well worth a look. A long course with lots of bunkers and a fantastic set up.

Highlands Reserve Golf Club

  • Location – 500 Highlands Reserve Blvd, Davenport, FL 33897-7325
  • Cost Per Round – $39 to $55 (summer season rates)
  • What Is Included? – 18-holes of golf, golf cart rental.
  • Amenities – Driving Range, Putting Green, Club Shop, Snack Bar, Free on-course cold water
  • Club Hire Cost – From $39 to $45 (Includes balls)

A reworking of all the greens throughout the summer of 2022 meant that only half the course was open to play last time I played there, but now all greens are beautifully completed and the course is fully open. A great undulating 18-hole course with some tricky holes and very little in the way of water hazards.

Remington Golf Club

  • Location – 1995 Remington Blvd, Kissimmee, FL34744
  • Cost Per Round – $25 to $60 (summer season rates)
  • What Is Included? – 18-holes of golf, golf cart rental.
  • Amenities – Water Driving Range, Putting Green, Chipping Green, Club Shop, Restaurant
  • Club Hire Cost – Unavailable – expect to pay between $35 – $50 for club hire.

One of the local ‘muni’ courses in the Kissimmee area and a partner to the almost equally enjoyable to play Kissimmee Bay Gold Club, this 7111 yard course from the back tees is a great challenge at an affordable cost for those golfing on a budget.

Top Floridian Golf Trip FAQs

Planning to golf in Florida? Avoid some of the easy mistakes with these FAQs

  • Is it worth the hassle of taking my clubs with me or should I just rent?

If you intend to only play one, or a maximum of two rounds, I would argue the convenience of rental clubs is the best way forward. However, for more than two rounds, it will often be cheaper to take your own clubs.

Do invest in a good travel bag for your clubs, especially if they are expensive and to save weight only take a small number of golf balls and tees with you.

If you are going in a group on a flight where you do not have the full amount of hold baggage for your tickets (for example, if you are allowed to check in two hold bags between two people, but only check in one) then you can often use the additional hold bag allowance for your clubs without paying an additional fee. It is worth checking with your airline if this is the case but whenever I have done this, I have not had to pay a fee.

You may have to check in your clubs at a slightly different place to your standard luggage usually, but you are given clear guidance about this at the airport if this is the case.

Club collection differs at airports, but you will find advice about where to pick up your clubs etc at the destination airport and it is usually very straightforward and sometimes, your clubs may be the first things removed from the hold of the plane.

Lastly, remember you are going to be taking clubs when you rent your car. Rent too small a car and your passengers may not like you if they have to travel to the villa with your clubs across their knees and in their face!

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  • What are the rules regarding golf attire in Florida?

I have found the rules for golf wear pretty accommodating in Florida. A polo shirt and some tailored knee-length shorts are fine and you don’t need to bring or wear golf shoes on many courses as they are happy to let you play in trainers.

Avoid things like sports shirts, t-shirts/vest tops, swimwear, ripped clothing etc and you should be fine.

I would serious advise wearing sunglasses and a cap or, ideally, a visor of some form to keep the sun from your eyes (a visor will let you lose heat from your head and stop you overheating) and if you are prone to sweating in the heat, a headband can be hugely beneficial too.

  • Do I need a drivers license for a golf cart?

No, but you will need to be 18 years of age at least to drive the cart. Each cart usually sits two people but you can find (very) few that will take four on a select few courses.

  • Can I walk the course rather than use a cart?

Don’t think you can walk the 18 holes in the heat of Florida unless you are well-used to the conditions. Temperatures often hit the mid-30s in central Florida in the summer months and it can feel a lot hotter. Carts are used for more than speeding up play, they can literally save lives in the heat.

  • I’m scared I will drive my cart where it shouldn’t go on the course…

Don’t be. Most courses have clear instructions on how far you can drive the cart down the fairway and when you must turn off the fairway onto a cart path.

Even if instructions are present, just follow the cart paths whenever they are there and when they stop, you are fine to drive on the fairway until you see the next cart path, which will likely be close to the green.

Never drive your cart up to or onto the greens and try and keep it on the flatter areas of the course (usually not a problem in Florida!)

  • What if the battery on the cart runs out?

Unlikely, but it does happen (and has happened to me once). Simply pull the cart over, ring the clubhouse on your mobile and they’ll send someone to either fix it (sometimes it can just be the wires have come loose from the terminals) or they’ll bring you a replacement trolley.

In the event this does happen, just let those playing behind you through until you are sorted with a trolley once again.

  • Can I take an ice box or cooler with me into the cart with drinks and snacks?

No. Courses in Florida make a good income from the drinks and snacks they sell so they do not allow coolers on courses.

However, I would strongly suggest that you take several drinks with you (at least double the amount you would when playing in the UK) as it can be easy to dehydrate in the heat.

Some courses are designed so you can replenish your drinks after the first 9 holes (always a wise thing to do), while others have on-course carts selling drinks and snacks all over the course.

It’s also a good idea to take a towel and soak it with cold water to keep you cool.

  • I don’t really want to play in the heat of the day…When should I play?

My advice is to check out the earliest Twilight time on your course. Twilight times are usually much cheaper than playing first thing in the morning and some courses offer Twilight times from 1pm-2pm which means that you can still easily finish your round.

However, to avoid the heat, my advice is to tee off around 4.30pm to 5pm and provided you play relatively quickly, you should be able to get your round completed.

  • Can I just turn up and play?

You can try, but if the course is booked up then you won’t get on. It is much better to use your clubs tee time booking service online to get yourself booked in at your chosen time to play.

Sometimes, if you use one of the online tee time providers, you may be able to source a tee time at a discount rate. These are well worth looking at as they can save you a lot of money.

  • I’ve lost a lot of balls in the water, woods or alligators – Where can I get more?
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Don’t be tempted to buy from the club shop, they are often the most expensive places to try. Dicks Sporting Goods is a good sports store that offers plenty of golf equipment but stores such as Walmart and Target will also offer plenty of golf equipment for sale, often at a much cheaper price than the pro shop.

We used to get a lot of cheap lake balls in bags at the numerous Fleamarkets along the 192 in years gone by, but now those stalls seem to have closed.

  • Do I tip the staff that help me at the course, such as the cart guy/girl, the drinks cart seller etc?

Yes! Don’t make the mistake I made initially by not doing that as it can lead to some icy stares! The tips don’t have to be huge ($5 is fine) but they do mean you get service with a smile next time you go!

  • What if I hear the thunderstorm alarm out on the course?

Stop what you are doing and head back to the club house. Thunderstorms are very common late afternoon in Florida in the summer and they can be very dangerous if you are holding metal clubs in the air!

I had to abandon a round on the 18th hole as one storm moved in, but it was worth it because two trees on the course were hit during that thunderstorm, one close to where I would have been playing my second shot from.

Check what happens regarding completing your round with the club shop, or better still come back another day when the chance of storms is less!

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