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Florida Golf Course Review

Celebration Golf Club 06

Designed by Robert Trent Jones and opened for public play in 1996, Celebration Golf Club boasts one of the finest daily fee courses in Central Florida. This golf facility (named "Business of the Year in 2004 by the Kissimmee/Oceola Chamber of Commerce) is a centerpiece of the Celebration residential community, which features classic architecturally designed homes, an innovative school and health care center, and recreational and community services that provide advanced lifestyle opportunities for today's families. Located just minutes from Disneyworld near the I-4 and 192 intersection, the Celebration Golf club is designed around a series of pristine lakes with clusters of native oak, pine and magnolia trees dotting the landscape. Water comes into play on 17 of the 18 holes, with the par four second being the only exception.

Celebration Golf Club 06
Celebration Golf Club 06

Golfers will find finely sculpted greens and tee areas, and will be happy to know that the short rough that defines the ample fairways is quite playable. Forced carries off the tee are frequent, though reasonable in length - and players from the forward tees catch considerable "breaks" in distance and tee positioning, which often take the hazards out of play. Uniquely, Celebration provides 5 sets of tees - with the fifth set (green tees areas) aligned to provide par threes at each hole. What a great idea - as beginners/juniors can "practice" on the 2219 yard layout from the par three tees while experienced golfers can choose challenges from 7035, 6566, 5958 and 5181 yards. This is wonderful for "family golf" and is great for newcomers who want to join their golf buddies without being totally intimidated on what can be a challenging course (140 slope rating from the tips).The average player will find the Gold tees (6566 yards and 135 slope) to be reasonable - although the scorecard indicates that men with a 15+ handicap should choose the silver tee areas (130 slope).

Celebration Golf Club 06
Celebration Golf Club 06

Amenities at Celebration include a beautiful clubhouse and a pro shop fully stocked with golf accessories and attire. The men's/women's locker rooms provide showers and changing areas, and a full service restaurant and lounge serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Two ice chests are standard on each cart, along with rear canvas shields that provide shelter for clubs during rain and inclement weather.

The Golf Academy at Celebration is one of the finest in the country where the golf instructors then will work with you as an individual. Golf lessons are tailored to you. This philosophy, this style of teaching, is one of the areas that truly separate The Golf Academy from the others. They will analyze your golf swing using their state-of-the-art video equipment. When you leave, you will be able to view your lessons with your own personalized take-home video, which is included with your instruction package. Whether you are new to the game, or looking to lower your handicap, The Golf Academy at Celebration has the right program for you. For more information on the golf academy - click here.

On course, sprinkler heads are measured to the center of the green and each tee box has posted measurements.. All the above amenities, as well as top notch conditioning and service, serve the public well, and have made the Celebration Golf Club a worthy host of the Florida State Public Links Championship! 

Celebration Golf Club 06
Celebration Golf Club 06

The opening hole is a fair starter - a short par four with a tee shot over a pond and water on the left all the way to the green, from 160 yards out. There is plenty of room on this rolling fairway. There is no water on the second - although a marsh area must be carried off the tee - with a length of 140 + yards necessary to reach the fairway from the gold tees. From short grass, this is one of the easiest holes on the course. Number three is a simple par three with plenty of room for error right and left of the green. This precedes an interesting par five - with water hazards in play off the tee and on the approach. Long hitters can hug the left side opf the fairway and attempt to reach in two, but the tight approach beckons for golfers to play this as a three shot hole. A large bunker between the putting surface and water hazards provides ample reason to aim for the right side of the green. The par 3 fifth has water left and woods to the right, but at 138 yards from the golds is one of the best birdie holes on the front. These 5 opening holes present an opportunity to get off to a great start - and help one to warm up for the next four which are the 7th, 3rd, 1st and 5th handicaps. A very reasonable carry over water to a wide fairway awaits on six. A huge bunker complex divides the fairway into a wide area right and a narrow opening left about 110 yards from the green. Though not overly long, most will attempt to reach in three and play for par - as the approach is extremely tight. There is plenty of room between the fairway bunkers on number seven, but the rolling fairway tightens with two bunkers just left of the putting surface - making par a good score here. Eight is equally difficult, with a tight fairway leading to an approach that must avoid the water and natural area short right. The ninth fairway presents a wide landing area, but a natural area right and considerable mounding along the left create the possibility of a difficult lie. Par is a good score to close the front.

Celebration Golf Club 06
Celebration Golf Club 06

Bunkers on either side of the fairway encourage a lay up off the tee on the short par four 10th. Mounding and a perched green creates an approach to the flag that is nearly blind here - pay attention to the pin placement sheet. Cutting some distance off the tee by bending a shot to the right over the water and towards the fairway traps is recommended on 11 . Anything hit to the extreme left of the fairway may go through, and will almost certainly leave a two shot approach and very little chance at par on this long dogleg right par four. After a wide open tee shot on twelve, a long iron placed past the fairway bunkers about 100 out will leave an easy approach and a possible birdie try. Between the 12th green and the 13th tee boxes, you are treated to a short drive through an upscale residential community - the homes here actually add to the charm of the course. The par 3 thirteenth demands a carry over water from the two back tees, but 30 yards of fairway provides bailout room and ample landing areas for those landing short of the elevated green complex. Aim for the 150 on the short but tight par four 14th. Dense woods on both sides of the fairway and wetland preserves left of the green make this a target golf hole. A lay up past and just to the right of the 150 stake will leave the most advantageous positioning to approach the elevated green on 15. Accuracy is the key on this 335 yard par four. A high, soft shot is needed to carry the deep bunker fronting the green. There ia abundant room left on the par three 16th. Anything leaking right will probably find the water hazard that protects the putting complex on that side. Another short par four follows, and demands a tee shot hit down the middle to about the 100 yard marker. Anything longer may find the water right or one of two fairway bunkers left. The approach is extremely narrow. An ample landing area greets you on the finishing hole, which is the longest hole on the course. The advice in the yardage guide booklet - complimentary to all players - is to lay up on the second shot, short of the water hazard on the right, about 100 yards from the green. We second the motion. Like seventeen, the fairway narrows considerably as you approach the green. A deep bunker left and the hazard right, make this a challenging shot.

Celebration Golf Club 06
Celebration Golf Club 06

A day at Celebration Golf Club is one well spent. On our visit, the course was in wonderful shape from tee to green. The golf ambassadors were knowledgeable and friendly, and the practice facilities left nothing to be desired. Besides an ample putting green and short game area with practice bunkers, a unique water driving range is also on property. Accolades include: *Ranked in the "Top 25 Public Courses" by Golf World's 2009 Readers' Choice Awards; *Rated 4 1/2 Stars & in the Top 200 in North America for Service & Course Conditioning by Golf Digest's "Best Places to Play"; *Ranked in the Top 25 Best Family Golf Resorts and in the Top 30 Courses for Women by Golf for Women Magazine.  Our personal experience there bears this out! . Stay & Play packages are available through the Gaylord Palms Resort - click here to visit their website.

Celebration Golf Club 06

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