Watson brings traditional parkland style to Orlando's Reunion Resort
Reunion Resort - Watson golf course - no. 9
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Reunion Resort - Watson golf course - no. 9
For many, the Watson Course is the favorite among the three layouts at Renion Resort near Orlando, Fla. Courtesy of Reunion Resort
Reunion Resort - Watson golf course - no. 1
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Reunion Resort - Watson golf course - no. 1
Tom Watson eases you in with the first hole on the Watson Course at Reunion, a straightforward par 5. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Reunion Resort - Watson golf course - no. 3
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Reunion Resort - Watson golf course - no. 3
The first par 3 on the Watson golf course at Reunion Resort plays 170 yards from the back tee. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Reunion Resort - Watson golf course - no. 6
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Reunion Resort - Watson golf course - no. 6
At 366 yards from the back tees, the par-4 sixth on the Watson Course at Reunion Resort is a good birdie opportunity. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Reunion Resort - Watson golf course - no. 7
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Reunion Resort - Watson golf course - no. 7
With lots of sand and native grasses, the par-3 seventh hole on Reunion's Watson Course is beautiful and well protected. Courtesy of Reunion Resort
Reunion Resort - Watson golf course - no. 9
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Reunion Resort - Watson golf course - no. 9
There are lots of fairway bunkers to avoid on the par-4 ninth hole of the Watson golf course at Reunion Resort. Courtesy of Reunion Resort
Reunion Resort - Watson golf course - no. 11
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Reunion Resort - Watson golf course - no. 11
Long hitters can get pretty close to the green on the par-4 11th hole of the Watson Course at Reunion Resort, but it comes with considerable risk. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Reunion Resort - Watson golf course - no. 15
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Reunion Resort - Watson golf course - no. 15
The uphill 172-yard, par-3 15th on the Watson Course at Reunion Resort plays longer than its yardage. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
Reunion Resort - Watson golf course - no. 18
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Reunion Resort - Watson golf course - no. 18
The toughest part of the finishing hole on the Watson golf course at Reunion Resort is the sloping green. Mike Bailey/Golf Advisor
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Watson golf course shines at 54-hole Reunion Resort near Orlando, Florida

REUNION, Fla. -- There are three golf courses at the Reunion Resort near Orlando, and all of them -- the Watson, Nicklaus and Palmer Courses -- are championship tests and meticulously maintained. Each are also very different from each other and reflect each architect's personality.

Reunion's Watson Course might be the most unique. First of all, because Tom Watson doesn't have nearly as many courses to his credit as Nicklaus and Palmer, and secondly, because it's in a different style than the other two. This traditional parkland layout isn't typical Florida golf. It has a windswept appearance and is framed by 15 varieties of native grasses, azaleas, camellias, hibiscus and other plants. It also has a lot of bunkers and waste areas, which force golfers to think their way around the course if they want to be successful.

With five sets of tees, this par-72 course can play as long as 7,154 yards or as short as 5,395. The fairways are generally fairly generous, so it's playable for most levels of players, but the elevated greens and bunkers certainly present their challenges.

The Watson Course is open to guests of the resort as well as guests of members.

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.

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Watson golf course shines at 54-hole Reunion Resort near Orlando, Florida