HOWEY-IN-THE-Hills, Florida A new “course-within-a-course” opened at Mission Inn Resort & Club, located in central Florida, in August.
El Dorado, built within the existing Las Colinas layout, is an 18-hole short course that features 14 par-3 holes and four par-4 holes, offering a more fun and accessible experience for golfers of all skill levels.
“It’s no fun to play a 7,500-yard course with forced carries on only your third time on a course,’’ said Bud Beucher, Co-Owner, Vice President & General Manager of Mission Inn Resort. “We wanted to be able to address the changing times and various types of golfers who visit our resort – juniors, hickory club players, older members, or those looking for quick-game options.”
Golf course superintendent Danny Parks oversaw the creation of the new tee boxes on the existing holes of Las Colinas to create the El Dorado short course, which will play to 3063 yards (par 58). Green fees to play El Dorado vary by tee time and day of the week.
Las Colinas (The Hills) was designed by Gary Koch in 1992 and renovated by golf course architect Ron Garl in 2007. Its length (7,230 yards from the tips) and rolling fairways create a challenge for golfers.
Its sister course, El Campeón (The Champion), which dates back to 1917, is one of the oldest courses in the South and a member of the Florida Historic Golf Trail. This classic has been the championship test for junior, collegiate, and professional events throughout its century-plus-long history.
Both of Mission Inn Resort’s golf courses embrace a variety of elevation changes unusual for Central Florida and feature large, undulating greens, tropical vegetation, and large water hazards. El Dorado will have its fair share of colinas(hills), as well.
The resort also offers a 30,000 square-foot driving range with target greens, with Tifway Bermuda grass tees, practice bunkers, and a 10,000 square-foot putting green.