Kissimmee Bay Country Club & Remington Golf Club

Remington Golf ClubOne of the greatest things about golf is its diversity in experience. Because the game is driven by the courses we play, one day’s round can be as different, yet equally as enjoyable, as the round before and the next one to come.

A links-style course offers one set of challenges and visuals, while a traditional American-style course provides an entirely different set. It is, to be sure, a unique aspect to the game -- every time you think you’ve experienced it all, another course comes along and changes your entire perception and, often times, appreciation for the game.

Such is the case with Kissimmee Bay Country Club and Remington Golf Club, a pair of Orlando sister courses that share their designer, zip code and popularity in common, but have unique personalities and challenges all to their own. Though located a mere mile apart from one another, Remington and Kissimmee Bay are two vastly different golf courses.

While Kissimmee is carved around gorgeous century-old oaks, Remington offers a more wide-open feel with multiple water-hazards and tie-wall bulk-headed greens.

The sharp contrast between the two courses is even more surprising given they were crafted by the same architect. Renowned designer Lloyd Clifton crafted Kissimmee Bay and collaborated with his son, George, and fellow designer Ken Ezell at Remington – collaboration so wellreceived that Remington landed on Golf Digest’s “Best New Courses” list in 1996.

Kissimmee Bay Country ClubWhile Clifton certainly gave each course its own unique characteristics and identity, he did share his affinity for risk/reward design, placing multiple waterhazards and strategic bunkering throughout both layouts. The two also reflect Clifton’s flair for thoughtful, scenic and even at times strategic landscaping that lends to the enjoyment of a round at both courses.

Over the years, Remington has earned quite the loyal following, in large part due to its popular “All You Can Play” program that allows golfers the opportunity to play multiple times in a given day for one low price. The “All You Can” program also extends to the practice facility, and even to the clubhouse where golfers can eat all they can; but hopefully following the round rather than before it. For its part, the semi-private Kissimmee Bay not only gets golfers playing but also offers them a history lesson on the game as the home to the Langley Golf Museum. Before or after the round, visitors and members can tour an eclectic collection of a thousand-plus pieces of golf memorable ranging from antique clubs and balls to historic photos and colorful postcards from courses around the globe. This, coupled with a friendly atmosphere and, of course, a memorable golf course, makes a visit to Kissimmee Bay a truly unique event.

At Remington, Clifton crafted a contemporary design that is equal parts challenging and fair. The layout features rolling fairways, lush greens and water hazards on all 18 holes. Ultimately, it is not simply the presence of these hazards but rather their positioning that adds to Remington’s challenge. Clifton expertly wrapped many of the holes around the water hazards, creating numerous risk/reward opportunities that will test the mettle of the most daring golfer and the accuracy of those that choose to play it safe.

Remington Golf ClubWith five sets of tees, Remington can play as short as 5,200 yards or stretch out beyond 7,100, making it playable for golfers of all skill levels who can bite off as much or as little as they care to. The course offers a nice variety of holes, including an impressive set of par-3s that are among the best in Central Florida. Water looms on two of the holes and the greens on all four par-3s are well-guarded by bunkers, placing a high premium on accuracy.

Among the highlights on the front nine is the 402-yard par-4 eighth hole. While finding the fairway on this hole is important, the true test comes on the approach shot to a half-island green that is raised out of the water by rail-road ties. With water protecting the entire right side of the putting surface and a large bunker posted on the back left, the eight green may very well prove to be the toughest to hit in regulation at Remington.

The challenge of Remington’s inward nine is highlighted by the 580-yard par-5 13th. With a sharp dogleg left, position off the tee on this hole is critical to set up a manageable lay-up before attacking one of the most difficult greens on the course. The putting surface is protected by numerous bunkers and is perhaps the most undulated on the course, making par no gimmie even when hitting the green in three.

Since its 1990 opening, Kissimmee Bay has separated itself from other Central Florida courses in regard to its design, friendly atmosphere and member amenities. Like Remington, Kissimmee features its fair share of water hazards (16 of 18 holes, actually) but unlike many Florida layouts it also meanders through clusters of pines that help to craft both the feel and the challenge of the course.

Kissimmee Bay Country ClubMuch of that challenge comes from the live oaks and towering cypress trees that line the fairways at Kissimmee Bay and the dozen water hazards that are strategically placed throughout the course.

Always in impeccable condition, Kissimmee was nominated as “One of America’s Best New Courses” by Golf Digest and has an active and thriving membership base, which also enjoys privileges at Remington as part of the program.

Though it stretches to only 6,800 yards and plays to 6,000 from the white (middle) tees, Kissimmee Bay boasts a collection of par-5s that, to many, are the highlight of the round. To wit, the 585-yard ninth takes a back seat to no other par-5 in the area, challenging golfers with three separate water hazards that come into play on each shot heading to the green. The crescent-shaped hole wraps around a lake to the left off the tee and features a second lake to the right challenging the second shot and a third body of water protecting the green on the approach shot. Par is great on this hole, but most players will accept finishing it with the same ball they started a victory enough.

On the back side, Clifton crafted several fun shot-making holes around and between five ponds, highlighted by the beautiful par-16th, which features breathtaking views across Lake Tohopekaliga. As lasting memories go, this hole will create one for sure.

Committed to providing a fun, family atmosphere, both courses are currently offering a “Juniors Play Free” program that allows free access after 2 p.m. to junior golfers accompanied by a paying adult. For more information on this program or to get current rate information, visit each course’s web site at www.remington-gc.com and www.kissimmeebaycc.com.

 

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