Orange County National: Nirvana for Serious Golfers

By: Tim McDonald

ADD TO FAVORITES

Everything about Orange County National Golf Center and Lodge screams "hard-core golfer." I don't mean your handicap or how well you play. When I say "hard-core," I'm talking about those golfers who want to eat, sleep and drink golf. You can have a handicap of 30 and still be a hard-core golfer.

Orange County National – "OCN" as golfers know it – offers the die-hards a little slice of heaven. Wait, make that a big slice please.

First of all, it's set down in the rolling hills of central Florida, a little north of Orlando and far from the madding crowds and distractions of big-city life. There's really nothing much around, just the lonesome road that leads in and out. You're here to play golf, not shop, dance, sightsee or drink fancy beverages with umbrellas stuck in them.

The complex is smack dab in the middle of rural, orange grove country. That means beautiful, hilly and undulating terrain – perfect for golf courses.

The lodge is also perfect, at least to me and, I suspect, most hard-core golfers. This is no five-star resort we're talking about, but the rooms are clean and comfortable with all the amenities you need. Most importantly, you step out of your room and walk across the street to the mammoth driving range – which by the way was named best driving range in America by Golf Magazine. I mean, you could set down a small Midwestern city in it. If there are better practice facilities anywhere, I haven't seen them.

Everything is within walking distance: the lodge, practice facilities, clubhouse and courses. OCN has a big, well-stocked pro shop and a good, lively restaurant. What more could you want? Oh yeah, the actual golf. OCN has two of the best public access courses in Florida, Crooked Cat and Panther Lake. Sorry, I've run out of space babbling about OCN. Next blog: OCN golf courses in depth.


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