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Central Florida

Central Florida Includes Orlando, Ocala, Winter Park, Kissimmee and the Winter Haven area.

Central Florida is what most people think of when they think of the State (unless they're thinking of the Keys.) It's where you'll find Orlando, Disney, Universal Tours, and all the other popular tourist attractions of Kissimmee. It's also home to some of the most well designed and made golf courses in the country. Arnold Palmer's own signature resort is in Orlando, as well as many others. But Central Florida sprawls more than one might expect. Picking up just south of Gainsville on I75 is Ocala. South of there, one turns off of I75 and onto the Ronald Reagan Turnpike to get to Leesburg (and begin heading southeast towards the general Orlando area. See a Golf Trail alternative below.) From Orlando, you can go to the north on I4 to visit suburban Winter Park, Altamonte Springs and Sanford, or go south instead, and go to Kissimmee. Traveling further Southwest will find Winter Haven and Lakeland, while a scenic route on Highway 27 will carry you to Sebring and nearby Lake Placid. Each of these directions are spokes from the hub of Orlando.

Ocala and Leesburg

We'll begin in the far north of this region, in Ocala. If you've been driving across from the west or north, you'll have come in on I4, and so it will be along the way for you, after you leave the fine courses in Gainesville. In Ocala, you'll find over half a dozen large courses and clubs, plenty of them very good courses. Though you could follow the interstate further southeast, if you take Highway 27/441 southeast instead, you'll be able to make quite a golf trail of it, stopping to play at the myriad pleasant courses along the way between there and Leesburg. There are courses literally every 2-4 miles, sometimes even closer than that! Each of them offers its own unique play.

Orlando

The true hub of the Central region of Florida, players from all over the world converge on this city expecting (and finding) the best in public and private courses. Dubsdread, Eaglewood, Metrowest, the challenging Lake Orlando Golf Club Pro, Country Club, Winter Pines, OrangeTree... just a handful amongst the many! You'll want to plan on spending some time at Golfsmith and the other specialized shops that blanket the area. Florida is a golfing state, and Orlando is a golfing town! Public transportation leaves something to be desired, though, so you'll definitely be wanting that car, unless you're planning on spending the entire time at one particular golf resort. Avoid the toll roads when at all possible while you're within the city. They're about like slot machines in Las Vegas, and nearly as frequent a stop!

Winter Park, Altamonte Springs and Sanford

Driving north on I4 from beautiful downtown Orlando, you'll find the community of Winter Park, with its Interlachen Country Club, Winter Pines Golf Course, Orange County National Golf Center (their Panther Lake and Crooked Cat are amongst the very best public courses in the entire state, according to Zagat,) and several pro shops, to see to all of your needs in both new and pre-owned clubs and other equipment. This is a pleasant neighborhood, a continuation of Orlando, really, with every amenity available. Continuing north on I4 (or by surface streets,) you'll come to Altamonte Springs, which enjoys the Rolling Hills Golf Club, Casselberry Golf Club, Country Club at Deer Run, and a large mall as well as several stores all around, for shopping convenience. A drive further north from Altamonte Springs on I4 (or highway 17/92) will take you on to a cluster of fine courses, including Timacuan, Golf and CC, Magnolia Plantation Golf Club, Heathrow Country Club (private, and apparently enjoying the word-play on the Sanford/Heathrow airports of London, England) and the Tuscawilla Country Club nearer to Winer Springs. Though you'll need your car to get to these, the quality of the courses and play are well worth the bother! Continuing on I4 will take you into the northern end of the Central West region, at Daytona Beach.

Kissimmee

Located in the southwest part of the greater Orlando area, Kissimmee is home to a dozen truly fantastic courses and resorts, including the Grand Cypress Resort, Ginn Reunion Resort, Falcon's Fire Golf Club, Celebration Golf Club, Wyndham Palms Resort and CC, Remington GC, and of course Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club. No golfer could possibly be less than thrilled with a vacation in such a place, and the family entertainment is non-stop, featuring everything imaginable, and some things most would never have thought of. You'll be able to enjoy upscale shopping at the malls, water parks, Disney (of course) Universal Studios, Medieval Times, Arabian Nights, Dolly Parton's Stampede... there's even a skydiving simulator with a huge wind turbine! Between the wonderful winter weather, impeccable golf courses and resorts and all the family entertainment, it's no wonder that Orlando and Kissimmee have become one of the biggest golf vacation destinations in the world!

Points South (Winter Haven, Lakeland, Sebring and Lake Placid)

Winter Haven and Lakeland are relatively near neighbors, and can be accessed by the scenic route down highway 27, or the fast-track down I4 to Lakeland, and exploring from there. You'll find dozens of quality clubs and resorts, with courses that will challenge as well as courses for the beginner and everyman (or woman). Go further south yet on highway 27, and you'll come to Sebring and nearby Lake Placid. Much like the other parts of this region already described, you'll find course after course to play and enjoy! Make your own golf trail as you explore the awesome golf courses in the southern part of Central Florida!