Two premiere golf courses are features at the Champions Gate Golf Resort in Orlando – The International Course and the National Course – both designed by the Australian Hall of Fame golfer and architect Greg Norman. For six years from 2003 to 2008, the International Course hosted the professional tours father/son PNC Challenge. Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate is the four-star luxury hotel complex that surrounds the thirty-six holes of championship golf. Like the Reunion Resort just across the highway, Champions Gate delivers premier golf only minutes from the Orlando theme parks. It’s an excellent base for the golfing family.
The International Course
Norman brings his Australian roots to bear at the International Course with its coastal links-style. Amongst wetlands, dunes, pot bunkers and tall natural grasses, water is visible on virtually every hole. With few trees to work with on this wide open landscape, Norman incorporates the marshland and water on many holes to create hazards. Pot bunkers frequently interfere in landing areas. The short Par4 Hole #4 is an excellent illustration of this. The sloping around water features encourages balls toward the hazard, but often the marshy terrain around the hazard will capture them first. These areas are visible as shown on the Par4 Hole #7 but need respect. Our local playing partner warned us against going left on Hole #13. Large swaths of waste bunker areas like this one must be avoided.
Norman provides good sized landing areas at the International Course. More severe bunkers, waste areas and marshland/water to counteract as the finishing hole shows. While the International is challenging, it’s not as picturesque as it’s sister course – The National. Natural rolling terrain with thick Cypress groves created a different experience. If you have time for only one, play the National Course.