KISSIMMEE, Florida – Have you given any thought to opening up that wallet and splurging on a first-class experience to a golf destination that promotes “comfort and luxury” as well as “traditional Florida charm?”
Well, search no further, because Reunion Resort should be a finalist among your many options.
Reunion Resort, located next to Orlando, about six miles from Walt Disney World Resort and 20-minute drive to Universal Studios, SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, Aquatica Water Park, and the Orlando Premium Outlets, is the only place in the world with three signature courses from top golfing legends – Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Tom Watson – making the greens, clubhouse, and pro shop a cornerstone of the community.
Since first opening in 2005, Reunion Resort has become one of Central Florida’s premier golf resorts that also includes award-winning tennis courts, fitness center, 5-acre water park and 10 additional swimming pools, miles of biking and walking trails, plus 7 dining options throughout the property. Boasting three 18-hole courses designed by Golf Legends Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, the impressive golf complex occupies only a small portion of a massive 2,300-acre property that are open to members/owners and resort guests only – with stay and play packages available year-round.
The Pro Shop will give you a chance to browse a fully stocked inventory of golfer’s equipment and clothing. The clubhouse has a dining area adjacent to the Pro Shop that serves a breakfast buffet, a full lunch menu of sandwiches and salads, and a dinner menu that includes everyone’s favorites.
Golf carts all have GPS systems. The current rate for a round on any one of the three courses is $150. – $200. if you are staying at the resort as a guest. There is a large driving range available with range balls, a full chipping green, and two putting greens adjacent to the clubhouse.
Par 72|6,916 Yards|73.6 Rating|141 Slope|
Golf Advisor: Golfer’s Choice (2021 #21) Top Courses in Florida (2021 #6)
Ingeniously routed on hilly, roller coaster-like terrain, the Palmer Course boasts dramatic elevation changes – up to 50 feet in some places That varied menu of shot-making opportunities is further enhanced by a mixture of natural preserve areas, generously wide fairways, and strategically placed bunkers across all eighteen holes. For golfers that want to “go for broke” Arnie style, the short par four 7th hole is vintage Palmer. This quintessential high risk/reward hole begs for a heroic tee shot and a chance for Eagle or Birdie. Judging by its growing popularity, the Arnold Palmer Course at Reunion Resort is destined to become one of the nation’s finest resort courses.
Par 72 |7,219 Yards |74.8 Rating |140 Slope|.
Precision shot making certainly comes into play on the Nicklaus Course. This Parkland-style layout is a natural gem. Smooth and flowing, with long horizon lines as well as elevated tee boxes and greens. Nicklaus has created a unique variety of risk/reward opportunities, with each hole challenging the golfer to organize a series of shots in his or her mind before ever stepping up to the ball. The most important aspect before playing this course is understanding how proper tee selection will impact one’s view of the course.
Par 72|7,154 Yards|75.0 Rating|136 Slope|
Golf Advisor: Top Courses in Florida (2019 #27, 2020 #16)
If the Watson Course is a challenge, it is certainly a beautiful one. A traditional Parkland layout with a windswept, native appearance, this beauty is framed by 15 varieties of native grasses, azaleas, hibiscus, camellias, and other foliage. Says Watson: “Golf attracts more players than any other outdoor sport. No doubt there are almost as many reasons for this as there are plyers, but one reason is certainly shared by all. It’s the simple pleasure of being on a beautiful course.”
My visit included playing the Watson Course. Tee selection on this course will become a determining factor that will greatly affect a player’s ability to maintain a respectable score. Choose wisely and enjoy the scenic landscape and surrounding real estate properties of homes and condos.
The Par 5, 1st hole will lull the golfer into believing that bunkers aren’t as big a problem as everyone is talking about but be advised, it’s coming. The Par 4, 2nd hole is about to become an immediate indoctrination into a Tom Watson designed course. This was definitely one of my signature holes today as was evident by the entire right side of the fairway lined with bunker after bunker for 150 yards. The left side had a couple that challenged you to go that way.
The Par 3, 3rd hole has an easily accessible green but a lighting fast Trieagle green mounted in the back with a pin placement at the front of the slope made for and interesting putt. The Par 4, 9th hole continues to challenge your driving skills as the entire fairway slopes to the right where a line of bunkers awaits your perfectly placed drive that just keeps rolling right!
The Par 4, 11th had a tee box at least 50 feet above the fairway below and between the waste area left and bunkers right. I’ll let your imagination take it from here.
The Par 3, 15th hole was just the opposite of the 11th. The tee box was 50 feet below the green with a deep bunker cover the entire right front of the green. The Par 4, 18th hole was another signature hole that reminded you that Mr. Watson demands perfection until the very last shot.
This golf course is one of the most intriguing and challenging courses in Central Florida. You need to put in on your “Bucket List” in the first spot. If you haven’t got a Bucket List, then you need to play it while you’re young enough to take the “Watson Challenge” from the tips.
An early morning meeting with the Reunion Resorts Director of Golf and Superintendent Scott Scamehorn along with Golf Pro Chris Kalter before the round was informative at what many consider one of Florida’s top golf resorts. Also, thanks to Nikki Hyytiainen, Events & Resort Marketing Manager for assisting with my visit.
Spending time at Reunion Resort and Golf Club captivated my attention from the moment I entered the front gate. The impressive 2,300-acre property features extraordinary amenities and the staff is dedicated to making your experience unique, warm and inviting. I can’t wait to return!
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