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Florida Golf Course Review

Ridgewood Lakes Golf Club 06

Ridgewood Lakes is a Ted McAnlis championship design that is well known in the Central Florida area for its wonderful year round conditioning and outstanding service. Rated by Golf Digest in 1994 as the "Best New Course" and as one of the "Top 30 Courses in Florida", Ridgewood Lakes is a lush, rolling layout that is located just 15 minutes from Disney and to the resorts and attractions in Kissimmee. During our review, we personally appreciated the extremely friendly service afforded to my group. Golf Director Jason Dewildt and his staff are optimizing the potential of this facility to make it a wonderful experience for golfers and vacationers to the central region of Florida - emphasizing affordable rates and fine playing conditions.

Ridgewood Lakes Golf Club
Ridgewood Lakes Golf Club

The facilities at Ridgewood Lakes include a beautiful southern style clubhouse with pro shop, restaurant and lounge, plus an outdoor patio. Banquet/outing facilities can accommodate a full golf ledger of 144 people, with a variety of meal options available. There is a practice range and putting green, all set in a tropical environment with an abundance of palms and indigenous foliage. The canal that runs through the property is lined with palms and tropical plants, creating a lush setting that is home to abundant wildlife.

Ridgewood Lakes Golf Club
Ridgewood Lakes Golf Club

On course golfers will find the track well marked, with 100/150/200 yard markers on all the fairways and pin placement information provided. 4 sets of tees allow players to choose distances measuring from 5217 to 7016 yards. The tips rate a 140 slope, while alternate sets measure 6547/131 slope, 6031/119 slope and 5217/114 slope.

The opening hole is a short par four that doglegs sharply left past the 150 yard stake. Land it left and past the 150 off the tee. And an easy approach is your reward. Number two is a gorgeous four par that turns right up the fairway. There is water all along the right, and the green is well bunkered.  The third is a pretty par three over a marsh with water short right but plenty of room for error. This precedes a challenging par four defined by trees on the left and a formidable bunker on the right. The fairway narrows considerably past the 150. The 150 yard stake makes a great target on 5, which is a great scoring hole. The par 3 sixth is rated as the easiest hole on the course, with bunkers on both sides of the raised greens the only obstacles to par or better. Number seven doglegs right, with the 150 yard marker again a good target off the tee. The tee shot is a tight one, but the fairway opens up for the approach. Aim left of the right fairway bunker on 8, and look for a birdie on the simple approach to a very flat green. On the finishing hole of the front, the recommended play is to aim to the right of the tall red/white pole, which sits just left of the corner of the marsh. The water hazard is in play on the approach as well, with a shot to the right side of the putting surface being the safe play.

Ridgewood Lakes Golf Club
Ridgewood Lakes Golf Club

The back side used to be the front (and vice versa) and was switched in the fall of 2003 - for those of you who may have played here before... Number ten bends left with a tee shot aimed at the back fairway traps the recommended play off the tee. This green is extremely flat and presents a good birdie opportunity if you can reach in regulation. The wide fairway, with plenty of room left, narrows with a pond to the right near the 150, and another one squeezing the approach area about 100 yards away. This is the course's number 1 handicap. Twelve is a score-able four par, if you can avoid the huge bunkers on both sides of the green. There is water short right and a canal runs the length of the hole on 13, which features a tight approach between two palm trees with the canal crossing about 30 yards from the green.  The 14th is tight off the tee, as it plays to a fairway defined by a creek and trees left and a fairway trap on the left. A sand waste area cuts across about 130 yards out. A pond short of the par three 15th makes the tee shot a demanding one. Bunkers surround the green, but there is some bail out room short right. The par five 16th begins with a tee shot over a pond and canal to an ample fairway, with the hazard along the left running just past the 150 marker. 17 is a simple par three with a natural area far left and a hidden bunker situated green-side past the pampas on the left. Golfers will be confronted with a demanding tee shot on the closing hole, although there is more room than it appears from the tee. The fairway opens up along the left side, providing ample landing space for a shot to that side. This is a recommended play, as a canal and a long row of bunkers lines the right.

Ridgewood Lakes Golf Club
Ridgewood Lakes Golf Club

There is nothing fancy about a round at Ridgewood Lakes. There is a simple clubhouse with down to earth food and beverages, and a well conditioned golf course that is fun to play. Prices are reasonable - and the drive from the main attractions in the Orlando area is a relatively short one - and away from most of the traffic congestion. Highly recommended!

Ridgewood Lakes Golf Club

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