MetroWest Golf: What You See is What You Get

    By Patrick Farnan

    For all the gimmickry and nuance common in modern golf course design, the MetroWest Golf Course west of Orlando is a pleasant reminder of how simplicity can shine.

    What you see is what you get: Big and wide fairways provide generous landing areas. There is little of what could be described as rough. The greens are large and rolling, but no 15-foot drops or runoffs that guide a mis-hit putt into an adjoining sand trap. There are no visually daunting 180-foot drops from tee to green, no 175-yard carries over gardens of doom. No, this is simple straight-ahead golf that provides a fair and attractive layout, beautiful views and well-paced play.

    MetroWest is, indeed, a pleasure to play.

    “This is not necessarily an easy course because you still have to hit good shots to score,’’ said Al Duernberger, 66, of Farmingdale, N.Y. “But it is kind of an easy-going course that is all out there in front of you, no tricks, no games, and is really a pretty course that is fun to play.’’

    Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., the 18-hole layout opened in 1987 in the rolling countryside west of Orlando. It has plenty of contour and water comes into play on four holes. Many of the greens are elevated and, typical of the designer, most of the holes provide the golfer with some bailout, even if that only means wide fairways.

    The course is well-maintained. Tees are primped, sand traps have good bases and are well manicured. The greens are big enough to provide several pin settings that can change the nature of the hole, or at least the approach and/or chip. In the summer, the greens can get exceedingly quick, but the place slows a bit in the winter when MetroWest, like many Florida golf courses, overseeds with a heartier grass.

    The course stretches out to almost 7,100 yards from back tees, but three other sets of tees make the layout suitable for most any golfer. At its shortest, MetroWest measures about 5,300 yards.

    “It is a pretty friendly course, not scary by any standard,’’ said Pete Kao, 75, of Philadelphia, Pa. “I’m not saying it is easy, because it is not. But you don’t have to fight it.’’

    Part of the pleasure of MetroWest is the splendid vistas of adjoining neighborhoods through which the course travels. On the back nine, in particular, the course reaches its highest elevation, offering panoramic views of downtown Orlando and the surrounding region. Then, too, areas immediately off the fairways are tidy. Palms, native grasses and shrubs and pruned and shaped.

    MetroWest offers a great mix of holes with different challenges. Even at their shortest the par 3s require good shots, particularly the 15th, which travels over water to a green sloped back to front. Two the par 5s can be stretched to nearly 600 yards or beyond. And the par 4s offer a delightful variety of short, medium and long, including the 9th, which wraps around a lake and thus offers golfer to bite off as much as they can chew.

    This is a golf course that’s worth your time. 

    When you go…
    MetroWest Golf Club
    2100 S Hiawassee Road
    Orlando, FL 32835
    (407) 299-1099

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