Disney World Has World Class Golf Courses: A Fan's Take

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Anyone that thinks Disney World is just for kids, has not played golf there. With four 18 hole world class golf courses, the resort is a golfers paradise. Three of the courses hold PGA tournaments, and are operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management.

The Magnolia Golf Course is the longest of all the courses, and is host of the Children's Miracle Network Hospital's Classic each fall. At 7,190 yards long, the course has 11 water hazards and 97 bunkers. The Magnolia has had two major facelifts since 1971. The last was in 2005, when the length was extended by 300 yards.

The Palm Golf Course is another of Disney's PGA courses, and hosts the National Car Rental Classic each October. Luke Donald was the 2011 champion, and took home $846,000 for his efforts. Golfers sometimes come across unintended hazards on the course such as alligators that come out to sun themselves. The Palm course is rated among America's top 75 golf courses.

Disney's Osprey Ridge Golf Course is considered the most visually stunning of all the courses. Designer Tom Fazio used more than a million cubic tons of dirt to create the sand ridge that runs through the middle of the course. At Osprey Ridge, seclusion is a key element. With thousands of pine, bay, palmetto and cypress trees, you never know you are at one of the world's busiest amusement parks. Golf Digest ranks Osprey Ridge one of the best golf courses in Florida.

Disney also has a nine hole golf course that is perfect for a morning's play, and is a great challenge for young teens. With hole yardage ranging from 132 to 517 yards, a morning on Oak Trail Golf Course is the ideal family affair.

You do not have to worry about the kids feeling left out either. Disney has two great mini golf courses that have all the bells and whistles that kids enjoy. Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf course features a forty foot Mount Olympus complete with waterfalls. Mickey Mouse, an alligator and other Disney characters are also there to greet you. I do have one word of advice for the folks. If a snippet of Fantasia music played repeatedly is not your cup of tea, take some earplugs.

Golf is the major summer time sport here in Northeast Harbor. I've played each year here for the past decade. When I lived in Georgia, I had the opportunity to be a spectator at two of the Augusta championships.

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