Champions Gate Golf Resort in Orlando features two premier golf courses – the International Course and the National Course. Both were designed by the Australian Hall of Fame golfer and architect Greg Norman. 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 National Course
While the International Course has active elements of an Australian links design, the National Course is totally different. Namely, it’s an American style course that weaves through hundreds of acres of secluded woodlands, wetlands and former orange groves. The layout is unusual. The front nine heads away in a linear hole-to-hole fashion and loops around from holes 8-11. It then heads back to the clubhouse in another linear way. Hence, on more than half of the holes, you cannot see other holes or players. Accordingly, this gives it a remote, secluded feeling. Strongly framed holes combined with smaller greens provide ample opportunity for precision shot-making.
Native birds are abundant and close. Carefully sculpted bunkers are vivid yet shallow and playable. Our favorite was the Par3 Hole #15. The tee shot must carry over a marsh and scrubland. But two tall tree trunks interfere with the shot for the entire right side of the green. Multiple teeing grounds move right significantly changing the shot depending on the pin placement.
Seldom are two sister courses side-by-side so different. Hence, both are worth playing. Nevertheless, the National is the course to play if you only have time for one.