Kissimmee is More Affordable, Closer to Courses, Magic Kingdom

By Dan Vukelich

If you’re thinking about a golf getaway to Orlando before winter loosens its grip, set your sights a little to the south, to Kissimmee, Fla., a happening town that boasts easy access to 22 public and private courses.

Kissimmee, population 60,000, is a 25-minute drive from Orlando International Airport and an even shorter drive to Disney World. One of the town’s premier hotels, the Embassy Suites by Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista South, is just a 16-minute drive from the Magic Kingdom.

If you’ve been to Orlando before, you’ve probably stayed or played in Kissimmee, the next town south on Interstate 4. You’ll likely save money by staying in Kissimmee versus the lodging offerings along International Drive by virtue of Kissimmee’s 45,000 accommodation choices, which include 22,000 affordably priced vacation home rentals.

Getting to the course will be easier, too. In traffic-choked Orange County, two of the region’s top golf resorts – Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate and Reunion Resort & Golf Club – are far more accessible from Kissimmee than its larger neighbor to the north. In the nearby village of Celebration, you’ll find Celebration Golf Club, one of only three courses in the world co-designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. and Jr.

Championsgate offers two courses designed by Greg Norman. It’s also home to the world headquarters of the David Leadbetter Golf Academy.

Celebration Golf Club features the Golf Channel Golf Academy. The course also is home to Florida Elite Travel, a golf-travel booking agency operated by Florida PGA professionals knowledgeable in the area’s offerings.

Reunion has three courses designed by Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson. More