HAWKS LANDING GOLF CLUB (407-238-8660)
at the Marriott Orlando World Center
Florida Golf Course Review
Hawks Landing is an original Joe Lee design that was renovated in 1999 by Robert Cupp, and is now one of Orlando's premier golf courses - and the shining jewel of Marriott's
Orlando World Center Resort. This fabulous resort features outstanding accommodations and amenities, and is centrally located, close to Disney and to all of Orlando's main attractions.
Open for public play, Hawks Landing features a completely upscale golfing experience with country club conditioning upon an outstanding track, plus amenities that rival a private
club. The clubhouse includes a full service pro shop and a beautiful restaurant and lounge affording great views of the course. Two huge putting greens compliment a spacious
grass range and short game area. Also on site is the Bill Madonna Golf Academy - Bill is a Golf Magazine Top 100 Golf Instructor. He and his staff offer world class golf instruction
. To visit Bill's site click here.
The golf course presents a completely different experience from the one I was afforded on a leisurely round 10 years ago. As it winds its way around 200 acres situated on the
Marriott resort property, Hawks Landing has been enhanced by manicured fairways and greens, tailored tee boxes, aquatic vegetation amongst numerous water hazards, and a
great variety of trees. The landscaping has been enhanced, making this one of the most beautiful courses in Florida. The sculpted fairways are ample but mildly undulating, and
approaches to the large, true rolling (TifDwarf bermuda) putting surfaces demand a steady hand. Quality, white sand bunkers frequent the sides of fairways and greens and also
add to the aesthetic beauty. At 6602 yards with a 131 slope rating, Hawks Landing presents a good challenge for avid golfers. The green tees play to 6165 with a 129 slope, the
gold measure 5601 (slope of 119/Men 130/Women) and the silvers measure 4746 with a 117 slope rating.
The course is well marked with 100/150/200 yard markers on the fairways and cart paths, plus sprinkler heads measured to the front, middle and center of the green. Each tee box
also provides measurements to the center of the green. Pin placements are rotated on a daily basis, with the hole locations indicated on pin placement cards provided on each
cart. Golf purists will be delighted to know that walking is allowed at Hawks Landing!
The opening hole presents a wide fairway and doglegs right past the 150 yards marker. A simple bump and run shot can be played if your approach is short. Number two is a
great par three - because it was the site of Sparky's first HOLE IN ONE! I used a six iron from 156 out and because of the front bunkering never saw it
go in. Luckily we checked the hole. The third also doglegs right, with a pond to the right mostly hidden - check out the hole diagram booklet on the cart
on this (and all holes) to avoid registering unwanted penalty strokes - the booklet is quite helpful. The short par four 5th is a good scoring hole if you
can avoid the water far left and the row of bunkers lining the right side. Lay up to the left center and the approach is simple. Thers is a great view of the
Marriott in the background. The fairway narrows about 130 out on six, with tropical foliage lining both sides. Another water hazard awaits past the green
on the left, making this approach a tight one. The bunkers short left of the green on seven are about 25 yards in front of the putting surface (basically an
optical illusion as they seem to be near the green) - meaning that they really should not merit consideration on the tee shot. The 8th is another short
and tight par four - but driver can be used here. A good tee shot should set up a nice birdie opportunity. The ninth is a beautiful and challenging four par.
Be mindful that the water hazard cuts into the fairway along the left about 120 out. Aim for the 150 stake, and though bunkers guard the front, short is better than long on the approach.
The trip to the tenth conveniently takes you past the clubhouse and the beautiful landscaping, leading to a very score-able par five to begin the back side. Long hitters can reach in
two, but played as a 3-shot hole, can be a good birdie or easy par. Eleven is a beauty - a mid range four par that invites a tee shot to the 150, with a demanding approach shot to a
green bordered by water on 3 sides. The twelfth features more wet stuff to the left, and another beautiful, tight approach. Tee shots hugging the left side have to contend with the
possibility of landing in the bunker, and those right will have a long way to reach in regulation. - tough shot either way! There is water short right and also long on the par three
13th, and water is also in play about 145 yards from the green on the challenging par four 14th. The putting complex is well bunker short of the green. After a simple ( and the
shortest hole on the course) par three, the dogleg left par four 16th follows - with another challenging approach to a green that is nearly surrounded by water. Seventeen is a nicely
designed par 3. The closing hole is memorable. After a fairly simple tee shot, you are confronted with a demanding second shot to a fairway that narrows as the water hazard
comes into play along the right about 190 out. The beautiful approach must carry the hazard and land softly, as there is more trouble past the green complex. This is a superb
finishing hole on a spectacular and lush golf course that has all the elements in place - and is all that one expects from an upscale golfing experience. 2,000 miles from home,
and I just happen to meet up with a friend and twoguyswhogolf client from Detroit (Greg Jones), traveling with his wife on a golf (for him) holiday. It was a thrill to record my first ace
with a friend and my son as witnesses...Sure, this has a lot to do with me remembering this experience - but anyone playing at Hawks Landing will find it to be a special day.
Rates are upscale - but you get what you pay for here. Enjoy a vacation at the Marriott World Center, or plan to include this course as a special round in your golfing itinerary - highly
Click here to visit the Two Guys Who Golf Detailed Information page with a link to this course's web page (if available).
For more information on the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort click here.