Review of the Arnold Palmer Golf Course at Reunion Resort in Orlando, Florida

9th Hole at the Reunion Resort Arnold Palmer Golf Course
9th Hole at the Reunion Resort Arnold Palmer Golf Course

The Reunion Resort is a luxury vacation rental community located around 10 minutes from Disney World in Orlando, Florida. The Reunion Resort is known for high end luxury vacation rentals but it also has three championship golf courses which were designed by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Tom Watson so a very high pedigree.

Reunion Resort Vacation Rentals are not the only reason to stay there!

The three golf courses wind there way around the Reunion Resort community with lots of the vacation rentals backing on to the courses offering fantastic views especially at sunrise and sunset.

The Reunion Resort golf courses are now about 10 years old so well established and are known for having very quick and undulating greens which I can 100% confirm is true. They are some of the quickest and toughest greens I have ever putted on especially if the pins are tucked away or there is a 40mph wind blowing, like yesterday!

The Reunion Resort golf courses are not your average resort courses, they have been designed by world class golfers for tournament play so you have to think your way around, not just smash it down the fairway.

Most resort golf courses have big round greens that are fairly forgiving but not Reunion, these are various shapes and sizes with small sections that stick out where a pin can be located but be warned if you miss the green sand is waiting to greet you at every turn.

I have been lucky enough to play all three Reunion Resort golf courses many times over the years and I would rate them in this order of difficulty, Palmer, Nicklas and Watson.

I will start with my review of the Reunion Resort Arnold Palmer course and add two more blog posts about the Nicklaus and Watson courses shortly.

7th hole on the Palmer Course at Reunion Resort in Orlando
7th green on the Palmer course at Reunion Resort in Orlando

The Reunion Resort Arnold Palmer Course

The Palmer course is the shortest of the three at 6,916 and has a number of tight golf holes (holes 3 and 4) and others with long carries over water (holes 7, 8, 12, 13 and 14) but I rate this as the easier of the three. Don’t get me wrong this is not easy by any means but it’s the easier of the 3. The greens are very quick and undulating but I think it is a little wider off the tee in places and has a lot of waste bunkers to catch tee shots that miss the fairway.

One of the best holes on the course is the 7th which is a short par 4 back towards the hotel / clubhouse, this can vary from  210 – 300 yards depending on which tee you go from. If it’s playing down wind longer hitters can have a crack at the green but only a very well stuck shot will find the putting surface. The correct way to play the hole would be a layup short of the right hand trap and then a short pitch shot to the pin but take a look at the green as you want to be on the right side of the flag. One of the keys to a good round of golf at any of the Reunion Resort courses is making sure you are below the hole as putting from above the holes can make your brain hurt!

If you are reading this you will probably say ok great advice but how do I hit it in the right place on the green, well this only comes with playing the courses a few times and looking at the green and trying to remember where you can hit it and where you can’t. The first time you play any of these courses you are sure to hit it in the wrong spots and leave yourself horrible bending putts.

I think my first round on the Palmer I hit it on the high side of every flag on the front nine and had 30 putts!

Other good holes on the Palmer course are the 8th and 9th, a well stuck tee shot is needed to set you up with a chance at a birdie. The 13th is another great par 4 and very tough from the back tee especially if the wind is in your face. With water right and left there is no bail out, only a good shot will make it!

The par 5 15th is a great birdie hole but don’t be too greedy off the tee and try to cut the corner as you could end in a watery grave. A well stuck tee shot will only leave you around 200 yards up the hill but it’s a large green so you have a little room to play with, this is definitely one of the easier holes on the course if you can keep the tee shot in play.

After the par 3 16th you reach the short par 4 dog leg left 17th. From the tee there is a large bunker running down the left side of the fairway and the longer hitter will be thinking of going over this but having tried this many times it’s not worth the hassle as if you don’t get over you have a 60-100 yard bunker shot which is not easy and if you do get over you tend to run off the fairway on the other side which then leaves you a tricky pitch from the bushes. It’s better to play down the right side of the fairway and then hit a longer club in, this will lead to more birdies and pars.

The 18th hole on the Reunion Resort Palmer course is a nice finishing hole that without any wind should be a driver, 8 iron but if the tees are up, you can easily run through the fairway and have a very tricky shot off of the hard packed sand so again use the GPS on the cart and make sure you choose the right club.

As I said earlier these courses are tournament standard and can be very demanding if you don’t plot your way around them, there are hundreds of bunkers waiting to catch an offline shot or poor club selection.

Overall the Arnold Palmer course is a lot of fun to play and will definitely challenge any standard of golfer. The Reunion Resort has great practise facilities with a huge driving range that includes free range balls with your green fee which is a nice touch that not many other courses in the area offer. There are also a number of putting greens as well as the Annika Academy (Annika Sorenstam) where you can get your game looked at by some world class teaching staff.

The green fees vary a lot at all of the Reunion Resort courses so it’s best to contact them direct for rates. January, February and March are probably the busiest and most expensive months to play the courses but they have very good staff and rangers that keep things moving along so you shouldn’t end up with a 5 hour round which everybody hates.

Let me know if you have played any of the Reunion Resort golf courses and what you think of them and the resort facilities.

If you are looking to stay on site, we have a large selection of luxury Reunion Resort vacation rentals available direct from the owners, please visit our web site for more details.

Check back soon for my review of the Nicklaus and Watson courses.

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