Top Orlando golf courses this winter: The PGA Merchandise Show Power Rankings

We're going to switch up Power Rankings this week in lieu of the golf industry's big week in Orlando: the PGA Merchandise Show.

We've dug into recent ratings to find the top golf courses in Orlando so far this winter, should those of you going to the Show be looking for a sunny respite from the action at the Orange County Convention Center.

We've sorted the top-rated courses since Nov. 1, 2014 and found the current top 10 within about a 45-minute drive of the convention center (though many are within just 15-20 minutes).

Of course, you'll want to be sure to check availability at these courses. Facilities particularly close to International Drive are heavy with group outings during PGA Merchandise Show week.

And if you plan on seeing more of Florida than Orlando, here are GolfAdvisor's Top 25 Courses in 2014 in the Sunshine State.

Top 10 Orlando-area courses on GolfAdvisor this winter

1. Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Orlando, Grande Lakes: Located just east of the Orange County Convention Center, this Greg Norman design scores particularly high marks for facilities and course conditions.

2. Waldorf Astoria Golf Club: Another high-end course and also one of the newest in central Florida, this Rees Jones design near Walt Disney World opened in 2009.

3. El Campeon at Mission Inn Resort & Club: When you arrive in Howey in the Hills (46 minutes northwest of the convention center), it feels like modern development never made it this far. El Campeon is a wonderfully classic design with some rolling hills. If you truly need a break from the crowds of I-Drive, this is your horse.

4. Deer Island Golf & Lake Club: It's about 50 minutes north of the convention center in Mt. Dora, but those who make the drive love the change in scenery at this marshy course.

5. New Course at Grand Cypress Resort: For a little taste of Scotland about 15 minutes west of I-Drive, this links-inspired play, designed by Jack Nicklaus, is great for those who want firm and fast conditions and a break from your more traditional, water-heavy Florida resort golf.

6. Bella Collina Golf Club: Located west of Orlando just off the turnpike, this is one of the best area private clubs that offers limited public access.

7. Shingle Creek Golf Club: Convenience is king at Shingle Creek, the closest course to I-Drive and the convention center, and it boasts service and conditions to be a favorite spot for corporate outings.

8. Royal St. Cloud Golf Links: Some 30 minutes south of the convention center, this 27-hole facility that opened in 2001 is significantly improved, according to one recent review, from bunkers and tee boxes to bathrooms.

9. Grand Cypress North/South/East: The 27-hole course at Grand Cypress Resort, it's also designed by Jack Nicklaus and is more of a traditional Florida golf course compared to Grand Cypress' New Course.

10. Crooked Cat at Orange County National: The Cat edged out its sister course, Panther Lake. Both courses are among the area's best for lower handicappers. And don't forget: Orange County National's massive circular range is the host for PGA Show Demo Day each year.

Brandon Tucker is the Sr. Managing Editor for GolfPass and was the founding editor of Golf Advisor in 2014, he was the managing editor for Golf Channel Digital's Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and nearly 600 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at @btuck34.

Related Links

There are several excellent golf courses in the Orlando area where you can immerse in the private club experience. These bastions of well conditioned courses and top-notch service welcome non-member play at a less-hurried pace.
3 Min Read
If you're planning a trip to Orlando to visit Mickey Mouse or are coming in for business, be sure to bring your golf clubs. In fact, Disney itself has four golf courses, three of which have been used for the PGA Tour. Here's a look at some of the must-play golf courses in the Orlando area.
3 Min Read
There are countless reasons to visit Orlando. The no. 1 tourist destination in the world -- thanks in large part to Walt Disney World Resort -- makes life easy for visitors with a variety of resorts, theme parks, restaurants and golf courses that cater to all ages, tastes and budgets. Here are the top 10 reasons golfers should put Orlando on their wish list for 2014 ...
3 Min Read
Located just a couple of minutes from International Drive and the Orange County Convention Center, Shingle Creek Golf Club is one of Orlando's most popular daily-fee and resort courses not only because of its location but also because of its beauty, playability and conditioning.
9 Images
More from the author
5 Min Read
December 7, 2021
It may be the private club capital of Florida, but golfers endorse these public-access courses.
4 Min Read
December 3, 2021
It's never been easier to design custom hats, golf balls, clubs, headcovers and more.
2 Min Read
November 30, 2021
It's possible this little ditty finds you scooping up the last bit of cranberry pie crumbs out of the tray. Thanksgiving may have passed but the effects of celebratory eating around the table, and also possibly social imbibing during all the various football games throughout the weekend, are sticking with us. To our bellies and elsewhere.
4 Min Read
November 23, 2021
We scoured the web of golf and found holiday savings up to 50% off.
12 Min Read
November 18, 2021
Golfers can choose from a wide variety of portable launch monitor price points and user experiences. Here is what's new and the best ones to consider to improve your golf.
7 Min Read
November 9, 2021
Our community loves the value and experience at these popular and affordable military facilities and even book online.
17 Images
January 28, 2023
Our GolfPass members are kicking off the year with rounds all over the globe.
4 Min Read
January 17, 2023
After more than 315,000 reviews in 2022, these are the courses you and your fellow golfers loved the most.
2 Min Read
January 9, 2023
A popular golf resort goes to guest-only play during high season.
5 Min Read
January 17, 2023
After analyzing more than 315,000 golfer-submitted reviews, these 25 courses round out our list of the 50 most popular courses of 2022.
Now Reading
Top Orlando golf courses this winter: The PGA Merchandise Show Power Rankings