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Florida Golf Course Review

Champions Gate National Golf Club | Florida golf course

General Information

Champions Gate Golf Club features 2 outstanding Greg Norman designed 18-hole courses as the centerpiece of a tourist/commercial destination, that encompasses 1500 acres of prime real estate just southwest of Disney World. A 35,000 square foot clubhouse includes complete dining and lounge areas, function/banquet space for 250 people, a fully stocked pro shop and guest locker rooms. The world headquarters of the David Ledbetter Golf Academy is also on property - with expansive complimentary practice facilities including a short game area with sand bunkers. Adjacent is a beautiful nine-hole par three course that is lit for night play! The Omni at Championsgate is a world class destination with golf packages available at this fine resort featuring upscale accommodations and amenities. On property are expansive meeting/conference facilities, fine dining, swimming pools with a lazy river and water slide, 24-hour fitness center, full service spa, and recreational activities including tennis, basketball and sand volleyball. For more info on this luxurious resort, visit our page for the Omni (with direct link to their website) by clicking here

Omni ChampionsGate Resort 05
Omni ChampionsGate Resort05

The two golf courses provide an incredible amount a variety, with the International featuring an authentic links style layout, while the National is designed in the traditional American style with wood lined fairways and strategic water hazards. Both layouts afford private, country club playing conditions - and are always open for public play. Upscale amenities include valet parking, iced towel service, and the top GPS system available - Prolink (on all carts). Yardage to the pin is provided not only on the screen, but also on an indicator in the back of the cart! Playing guests without their own transportation can call for pick-up service from many local resorts.

National Course

The National is the original design at Championsgate, a traditional layout with elaborate bunkering and outstanding par threes.   Golfers of all abilities will be able to play from a distance that suits their game, as the four sets of tees disperse the yardage quite evenly. The blacks play to 7128 yards with a slope rating of 133, with the Blues at 6427/126 slope , the whites at 5937/124 slope and the reds 5150/111. The blue tees are a good test for the average golfer, as 3 par fours play to 400 yards plus. Besides the highly accurate GPS on all carts, The National course also provides yardage blocks at 100/150/200, marked sprinkler heads and tees, and daily pin placement information. You will find all the info you need however, with the extremely efficient GPS. You can even order lunch or beverages and have them ready for you.

Omni ChampionsGate Resort05
Omni ChampionsGate Resort05

Hole number one is a good opener, presenting a wide fairway that narrows about 130 yards out. A water hazard right and a huge greenside bunker on the left are the main obstacles to par. It is better to be long than short on the par three second, which precedes another wide par four that narrows on the approach. Golfers will find this often to be the case. There is ample room to grip it and rip it off the tees - but accurate iron and wedge play are paramount to scoring well. There is plenty of room on four, but a long waste area backed by trees on the right and more bunkers left of the green make the approach challenging. The short par four 5th doglegs left with a tee shot hit over the natural area and just left of the back fairway traps the recommended play. The putting surface here is very long and narrow.  From the back 2 tees, players will have to negotiate a natural area on the par three 6th. The forward tees provide a much clearer shot. On seven, the sculpted fairway narrows near the 100 yard marker left of the intricate bunkers, and leads to a small, well bunkered green. A tee shot just right of the fairway trap will cut off a little distance on 8, and the second shot should be aimed towards the right side for an advantageous approach. Be aware of the water hazard far right. Nine is a realistic birdie opportunity, if you can avoid the right fairway and front left greenside bunkers.

Omni ChampionsGate Resort 05
Omni ChampionsGate Resort05

The ample fairway tightens considerably about 125 out on the short par four 10th. This hole has been reconstructed - with water now running along the right side, instead of the bunkers and forested area pictured in the yardage guide. A lay up near the 150 area is a prudent move, or a long drive to the left side past the trees, that reaches the fairway about 70-80 yards away. Eleven is a wide open par three and is followed by a gorgeous par four with an extremely narrow landing area. Big hitters will have to be very accurate as the huge, elaborate bunkers choke the fairway from 120 yards in. A lay up to the 140 area is recommended, as the bunker complex surrounding the green is just as daunting, and will be tough to negotiate from any of the fairway traps. The par five 13th plays a whopping 627 yards from the tips (581 from the whites) - and is best played from the left side. Many sand traps guard the approach area and the putting surface, making this a demanding 3-shot five par. There is little room for error on 14, which is a par three over a marsh, and 15 can be tricky if you do not pay attention to the GPS diagram. The water on the left is not visible off the tee, and comes into play just past the 150 yard area. With the trio of sand bunkers guarding the right side, this tee shot requires accuracy over distance. The fairway from 140 in is extremely narrow. A shot placed to the right center may provide good position to set up a birdie on the very short par four 16th. Play it smart here. Another 3-shot par five follows. Seventeen is no bargain, no matter how you slice (or hook) it. Just try to keep it in play along the fairway flanked by water left and many bunkers right. The approach will be tough from any angle. Players from the tips will especially have their work cut out for them, as the opening shot must find the fairway over a large natural area.  A large waste bunker complicates the approach on 18, with the better angle for approach being from the left side. Hug the right side and the second shot becomes much shorter, but with a more difficult angle.

Omni ChampionsGate Resort 05
Omni ChampionsGate Resort05

The National Course at ChampionsGate features the same upscale, country club conditioning as the International. The sculpted fairways and bunkers and consistent greens make this an incredibly enjoyable experience. Water comes into play on many holes, but few forced carries means that this layout can be maneuvered by all levels of players. Come out early and enjoy the complimentary practice balls, set in stacks on the grass range. The expansive practice green and short game area are conveniently located and can also be enjoyed by members and guests. Stay afterwards for a snack, dinner or beverage in the fine clubhouse. A day here is one well spent. The Omni is a gorgeous resort property, and with the stay and play packages available, David Leadbetter Golf Academy, lit nine-hole par three course plus tremendous clubhouse and practice facilities - this is truly one of Florida's top golf destinations. A Third championship course (also to be designed by Greg Norman) is also in the works!

Champions Gate National Golf Club | Florida golf course

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For the Two Guys Who Golf pictorial review of the Champions Gate International Course - click here.

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