Eagle Creek Golf Club - Orlando's True Scottish Golf Experience

Eagle Creek Golf ClubPicture this: The breezes are blowing across Central Florida (aren’t they always?), but unlike other courses in the area, Eagle Creek is firm and fast, with Scottish-style revetted bunkers between you and the pin 40 yards away. You shape a bump and-run shot within three feet and drain the putt to get into your buddy’s wallet. You’ve just experienced something you’ll find nowhere else in the Orlando area, the true Scottish golf experience of Eagle Creek Golf Club, located just southeast of Orlando International Airport.

From the moment you arrive inside the gates at Eagle Creek and are greeted by the Union Jack flying alongside Old Glory, you know you’re in for a unique round. By the time you leave, you’ll likely have not only used every club in your bag, but something even more important, your imagination. For Eagle Creek offers a challenge nobody else in Central Florida can, or will. By not overseeding the summer Bermuda with winter rye, Eagle Creek gives you a taste of Scottish-links golf, with dry, hard and fast fairways and firm greens. At Eagle Creek, brown is beautiful.

Oh, the folks at Eagle Creek aren’t just letting the sheep roam a dormant course for the winter, it’ll still be immaculately manicured, the greens cut to exacting specifications and the sodstacked bunkers groomed as smoothly as any course anywhere. But Eagle Creek thought you might enjoy the challenges of the great links courses of Scotland and Ireland, without the hassle of the trip overseas.

You’ll certainly hit your drives longer, you’ll play an entirely different game, on a course that’s got a lot of character, but won’t beat you up. And when the day is over, you’ll probably have more stories to tell your friends about the unique, and fun round of golf you just played. And isn’t that what the game is all about?

The “game” at one of the country’s only par-73 layouts has always been distinctive, a European/American design of Floridian Ron Garl and Englishman Howard Swan, exemplifi ed by the final hole. It was originally designed as a long par-4 with a lake behind the green and a shaved area behind that saved for lawn bowling, croquet and the like in front of the clubhouse to complete the European theme. During construction, course owner Peter Emerson Jones had the brainstorm to move the green behind the lake and make the hole a fabulous 535-yard risk-reward par-5. That forced-carry finish over a coquina rock bulkhead ended up costing Jones $250,000 to reconfigure the hole, but the “extra” par-5 that brings the course to its signature par-73 has created more than that in “buzz”, much of it from the players in the Belfry restaurant that now overlooks the green, where the advice to “lay-up” or “go for it” flows freely. You think former Gator Chris DiMarco laid up when he set the course record of 63?

Eagle Creek Golf Club Orlando’s True Scottish Golf Experience

Maybe DiMarco’s success with the European flavor at Eagle Creek was a precursor to his great run at the British Open? Eagle Creek is also the first course Central Florida to install mini-verde grass on its greens, a strain designed to hold up better under the strain of the Florida climate. And when tightly-mown, the mini-verde greens run better than 10 on the Stimpmeter.

For a course known for the playability of its par-5s, the par-3s, as a group, might affect your score more. Three of the four are handicapped among the 12 toughest holes on the course, because they’re all over 170 yards even from the mid-handicap yellow tees. The 11th is home to much of what makes Eagle Creek distinctive, a waste area trimmed by native grasses near the tee and a large green guarded by a trio of Swan’s sod-stacked bunkers, manicured to give you brick wall-like feeling of denial.

Among Garl’s signature bunker complexes (there are 98 bunkers at Eagle Creek, not counting the waste areas) are sets of cross-bunkers on two of the par-5s and a combination of four revetted bunkers in the front of the par-4 14th green.

Eagle Creek Golf Club - Orlando's True Scottish Golf Experience

Has it worked? Course critics, professionals in the golf industry, and most importantly, players like you, continue to add to the accolades at Eagle Creek. It all began soon after the first tee went into the first tee box, when Travel and Leisure Golf Magazine selected it as one of the best courses to open in Florida since 2000. Among the other “bests” from the critics include Florida Golf Central’s “Best 18th Hole in Florida” award for the 535-yard signature finishing hole. The 18th was also honored as one of the “Best 18 in Orlando” by Golfweek’s Golf Life Orlando Magazine and even the 19th hole (home of the Belfry restaurant) is on a list with such private clubs as Isleworth in Orlando Magazine’s “Best 19th Holes”.

You always like to be recognized by your peers. Eagle Creek had held a number of Florida State Golf Association events in its first seasons, but was honored with hosting the 62nd Florida Open in the fall of 2006, won by former Florida Gator All- American Camilo Benedetti. FSGA Executive Director Rick Whitfield commented that Eagle Creek’s layout was “unusual compared to the typical Florida course. It has great bunkering, some elevation change and there are several great risk-reward holes that added excitement to the Florida Open.” Eagle Creek also played host to the Hooters’ Collegiate Women’s Match Play Championship in the fall of 2006 and the 2007 Florida State Public Links Championship.

But the most important reviews came from the golfers who play Eagle Creek every day, and they gave the course 4-1/2 Stars in Golf Digest’s Places to Play. Nobody in the state rated higher. And Golf Digest readers ranked Eagle Creek among the very best in “consistently excelling in the area of customer service.”

Eagle CreekEagle Creek is home to the internationally-recognized Graves Golf Academy, where Todd and Tim Graves have developed training techniques based on the teachings of the legendary Moe Norman, who’s simple and efficient swing theories have helped thousands of golfers improve their games.

Going the extra step has led to the success of a place like Eagle Creek. The club’s attention to environmental details has resulted in inclusion among the Audubon Society’s International Silver Signature Courses. The professionalism of the staff that’s committed to exceeding expectations is one of the reasons so many groups have enjoyed successful outings at Eagle Creek that come with the Five-Star Tournament experience that includes being featured on the Parview GPS system along with updated leaderboards from the pro tournaments. The award-winning banquet and catering staff looks forward to hosting your special event for up to 150 guests, but just as important is the iced towel on a warm Florida afternoon offered by the customer service rep overseeing the pace-of-play.

Eagle Creek Golf Club was designed to blend unobtrusively within the masterplanned Eagle Creek golf community that is developing a variety of single-family homes, villas, townhomes, condominiums and apartments to create a unique neighborhood close to schools, shopping, full-service recreation facilities and a network of walking trails.

You can find out more about the development online at www.eaglecreekcommunity.com.

Located just two miles off Highway 417 (Central Florida Greenway) and 11 minutes from Orlando International Airport, with shower and locker facilities in a gorgeous 14,000 square-foot New England manor clubhouse, Eagle Creek is still the best place for that “last” round of Orlando golf for vacationers. And now it’s the place for the most unique round.

For tee times, or more information on groups, outings and memberships, call (407) 273-4653 locally, toll-free at (866) 324-5342, or visit their Web site at www.eaglecreekgolf.info.

 

 

Please Share