FAQs ‹


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Walt Disney World Golf Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

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Tee Time Reservations,  Cancellations/Rain Checks and Discounts

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Contact Information” title=”What are the phone numbers for the Disney golf courses?” open=”off”]

For official information, please visit the Walt Disney World® Golf Pages at DisneyWorld.com. You can call Disney’s golf line directly at 1-(407)-939-4653 (WDW-GOLF), submit online reservations or send an e-mail (via Palmer Golf) for tee times.

Direct numbers to the pro shops at each course are not available.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Advanced Timeline” title=”How far in advance can I make a tee time reservation?” open=”off”]

Guests staying at a Disney on property resort or at one of the Downtown Disney Resort Hotels can make reservations up to 90 days in advance.

Non-Disney resort guests can make reservations up to 60 days in advance with a credit card deposit.

Some discounts on green fees have shorter advance reservation timelines. Be sure to check the details of any discounts that you may intend to use.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Gift Cards or Room Charge” title=”Can I use Disney Gift Cards to Pay or Charge the Round to my Walt Disney World® Resort Room?” open=”off”]

Yes, you can use Disney Gift Cards and/or charge the round to your Walt Disney World Resort room.
Be aware, that you will need to provide a credit card to confirm your reservation in advance, either online or when calling.
When you check-in at the pro shop for your round, you can then use the gift card or have the fee charged to your resort room at that time.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Age” title=”Is there a minimum age to be able to play the Disney golf courses?” open=”off” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

On the 18-hole courses, where the use of riding golf carts is mandatory, you must be at least 16 years of age with a valid driver’s license (not a “learner’s permit”) to be able to drive the carts. Thus, if you do not meet this requirement, you must be playing with an adult who does.

On Disney’s Oak Trail nine-hole walking course, there is no minimum age to play unescorted. However, there is a reasonable expectation that you can play golf, know the basic rules of the game and will be respectful of others in your foursome, so as to not interfere with their enjoyment of the round. Thus, there is some discretion on the part of the master starter relative to allowing you to play and of course, parents or guardians should use appropriate discretion to ensure that minors are mature enough to play on their own.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Non-Metal Spikes” title=”Do the Walt Disney World® courses require non-metal spikes?” open=”off” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

Yes, the Disney courses do require non-metal or “Soft Spikes” on your shoes, or some of the newer “spikeless” golf shoes.

If you do not have any on your shoes, Disney will provide them for you.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Rider” title=”Can I have a non-player ride along and watch?” open=”off”]

Yes, Disney will allow non-players to join you, for a fee of $15.00.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Play as a Single” title=”Can I play as a single?” open=”off”]

You can make a reservation as a single player, but will likely get paired up with other players to fill out a foursome. If you wish to actually play alone, that is really at the discretion of the starter and dependent upon how busy the course is. If you happen to time your round during a slow time of year like summer and there are openings in the tee times, you may get out alone. It will really be hit or miss, so don’t plan on it being very likely.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”9 Hole Rates” title=”Does Disney offer 9-hole rates if we don’t have time for a full round of 18 holes?” open=”off”]

At the present time, Disney, as with most resort courses, does not offer a 9-hole rate.

There may be selected promotions available from time to time that offer 9-hole packages, so be sure to check my Discounts page.

An alternative, if your time is tight and you can play later in the day, is to take advantage of the “twilight” rates on the courses. These are generally notably cheaper than a full 18-hole rate and if you wish, you can play until it gets too dark to see, or drop out after nine holes. See the Courses/Fees page for more detailed information on these rates.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Cancel” title=”I made a tee time reservation at one of the Disney courses. What happens if I need to cancel?” open=”off”]

The current policy requires you to call Disney and cancel your tee time at least 48 hours in advance to get a full refund if you charged the reservation to a credit card or your resort room. Cancellations made within 48 hours may be subject to being charged the full greens fee.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Rain Check” title=”What happens if we start playing a round and get rained out? Can we get a rain check?” open=”off”]

If it was raining when you start on the first tee, there will be no rain check.

If you are on the 7th hole or less when you have to stop, you will get a full round rain check. If you are on the 8th through the 16th holes, you will get a 9 hole round rain check. If you are on the 17th or 18th holes, there will be no rain check.

Keep in mind that rain checks are at the discretion of the Pro Shop, so please be aware of the weather conditions and make an informed decision when you go out to play.

There is no expiration date on the rain checks, since Disney recognizes that you may not be back for some time before your next trip.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Golf Packages” title=”What about multi-day golf packages at Disney World?” open=”off”]

There are a variety of multi-day packages available at Walt Disney World®. The “Magic Your Way PREMIUM” packages do include rounds of golf. Since package prices will vary depending upon which resort you wish to stay at and what time of year you stay, your best source of up to date information is to call Disney World Central Reservations at 1-407-W-DISNEY for more detailed information and pricing on the various options available to you.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Group Events” title=”Can I plan a group event at Walt Disney World®?” open=”off”]

For groups of 16 or more, please call the Disney Golf Event Manager at (407) 454-5000  If your company is planning a meeting at Walt Disney World®, visit the Resort Meetings Resource Guide at Disney.com for more information.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Discounts for Active Duty Military” title=”Are there greens free discounts available for active duty and retired military personnel?” open=”off”]

Yes, there are!

Active duty and retired military service personnel can obtain discounted tee times up to 30 days in advance at any of the Walt Disney World® courses. The discount will vary depending upon the when during the year you wish to play and the time of day. You will need to show an active Department of Defense ID when you check in at the pro shop. Visit GolfWDW.com for details.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Discounts for Seniors” title=”Are there greens free discounts available for seniors or juniors at the Disney courses?” open=”off”]

There are presently no discounts for seniors.

Beginning in July 2012, Disney began to offer discounts for juniors (age 17 and under) at the 18 hole courses. These rates are 50% of the full price (non-discounted) green fees at the courses. The discount does not apply to twilight, super-twilight or summer price slice rates. If these discounted rates are lower than the twilight or super-twilight rates, then the 50% discount rate applies. If the twilight or super-twilight rates are lower, then those apply.

There are also junior discounts at Disney’s Oak Trail 9-hole course.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Handicap Certificate” title=”Do I need an official handicap certificate to be able to play at the Walt Disney World® courses?” open=”off”]

U.S. golfers will look at this question and say “What is Marc talking about?”. Many U.S. golfers know of the USGA (GHIN) Handicap Card, but it is typically only used when entering a competitive event where your USGA handicap is required for adjusting your score and/or putting you into groups with comparable handicaps.

But outside the U.S., many golf courses, especially in the U.K and Europe, require a formal handicap certificate to play and may require you to demonstrate minimal proficiency in golf skills before being allowed to play.

In the U.S. however, no public courses that I am aware of, nor most private courses, require these additional steps to be able to play and that includes the Walt Disney World® courses. So the answer is an emphatic “No”.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Contact Information” title=”What are the phone numbers for the Disney golf courses?” open=”off”]

For official information, please visit the Walt Disney World® Golf Pages at DisneyWorld.com. You can call Disney’s golf line directly at 1-(407)-939-4653 (WDW-GOLF), submit online reservations or send an e-mail (via Palmer Golf) for tee times.

Direct numbers to the pro shops at each course are not available.

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Getting To/From The Courses and Club Storage

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Resort Club Storage” title=”I am staying at one of the on property Disney resorts. Do I have to keep my clubs in my room taking up space?” open=”off”]

No. When you check-in at your hotel on arrival, one of the Disney Cast Members should ask you if you want to store your clubs with the hotel bell caps. If not, make sure you tell them that you want to. That way, you do not have to take up room space or closet space with your bag.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Get to the Courses” title=”How do I get from my Disney resort hotel to the courses? Do I have to drive myself or lug my clubs on the Disney buses or monorail?” open=”off”]

Disney provides free taxi rides to the courses from their on-site resorts. You will get a voucher from Guest Services to give to the taxi driver. The voucher includes a gratuity for the taxi driver. Decide how far in advance of your tee time you want to be at the course, giving yourself enough time to check in, hit some balls at the range and practice putting

Note that this service is not available for guests staying at the non-Disney owned hotels on property, such as the Swan and Dolphin or the Downtown Disney hotels.

Then decide on what time you want to leave the hotel to arrive at the course, giving yourself a good 15-20 minute travel time from your resort to the courses, depending upon where you are staying and which course you are playing. Call Guest Services a half hour before you want to leave the resort and let them know you want a taxi to take you to the course and what time you want to be picked up.

If you stored your clubs with the bell caps, this would be a good time to let them know that you will need them retrieved from storage and brought out front.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Return to Resort” title=”How do I get back to my resort from the course?” open=”off”]

Basically the same process. Let the Cast Member in the pro shop know when you want to leave, giving them a good 10-15 minutes advance warning. They will call a taxi and give you a voucher for the return ride. Again, the voucher includes a gratuity for the taxi driver.

Upon arrival at your resort, you can again leave your clubs with the bell cap. Don’t forget to get them before you leave the resort to go back home!

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Playing More Than One Course” title=”I am playing more than one of the Disney courses on different days. Do I have to carry my clubs back and forth between the courses and my resort?” open=”off”]

No. If you are playing more than one of the Disney courses (or even the same course more than once) and you won’t need your clubs between the rounds, you can leave your clubs at the first course when you finish your round. Disney will transfer (if needed) your clubs to your next course in time for your next round.  This is the case even if you go from one complex like the Magnolia/Palm courses to the Lake Buena Vista facility.

When you finish your first round, a Cast Member should ask you if you wish to do this. If not, be sure that you let them know that you will be playing another round at one of the Disney courses and that you would like them to store and transfer the clubs for you.

Don’t forget to take your clubs with you back to your resort after your final round!

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Equipment Rentals, Lessons and Caddies

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Rental Equipment” title=”Do the Walt Disney World® courses have rental golf clubs available?” open=”off” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

Yes. TaylorMade clubs and Adidas shoes are available at the pro shops. Check the main Courses/Fees page for pricing.

The equipment rental prices are per “day”. However, if you are playing more than one round at Disney on the same day:

• If you play two rounds at the same complex (i.e. Palm/Magnolia or Lake Buena Vista) be sure to let the pro shop staff know when you get your clubs. You do not have to re-pay for the second round.

• If you are playing at different complexes (i.e. Magnolia in the morning and Lake Buena Vista in the afternoon), hold on to your rental receipt and show it to the staff in the pro shop at your second course. You do not need to re-pay for the second round.

There are no multi-day or weekly rental rates at this time.

Junior golf clubs are available at no charge and are provided via U.S. Kids Golf.

It is strongly recommended that you reserve rental club sets when you make your tee time reservation.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Golf Bags” title=”Do the Disney World courses have golf bags available, if I just want to pack my clubs to save space?” open=”off”]

Yes, they do. I am told that they will usually have full size loaner (no fee) bags available and that normally, you do not need to pre-reserve them.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Caddies” title=”Do the Walt Disney World® courses have caddies available?” open=”off”]

No. With the exception of sanctioned competitive events, riding carts is mandatory at the Disney courses. No walking, therefore no caddies.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Lessons” title=”Do the Walt Disney World® courses have golf lessons available?” open=”off”]

Yes. Check the main courses page for pricing and confirm the details and options with Disney directly as details have changed over time.

Standard “one hour” lessons are typically 45 minutes in length, are available any day of the week, typically between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, though most are in the morning. All are by prior appointment only.

Disney also offers 30 minute “tune up” lessons, half and full day programs, group lessons and on course playing lessons. Lessons can include video analysis and golf club and shoe rental, if needed.

For more information, contact (407) 939-4653.

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General Course Information

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Course Difficulty” title=”Which is the most difficult, or conversely, the easiest of the 3 Disney courses?” open=”off”]

This is, in some respects, a very easy, but also a very complicated question. If you are familiar with the U.S.G.A course rating and slope designations, skip down to the last paragraph for the answer. If not, please read the following:

[Major Golfing Terminology Digression…..]

For those not familiar with the course rating/slope information which is used to define course difficulty, the following is from the U.S.G.A. Manual:

“Course Rating is the USGA’s mark that indicates the evaluation of the playing difficulty of a course for scratch golfers under normal course and weather conditions. It is expressed as strokes taken to one decimal place, and is based on yardage and other obstacles to the extent that they affect the scoring ability of a scratch golfer.”

“Slope Rating is the USGA’s service mark which is used to measure a player’s potential scoring ability on a course relative to the scoring ability of a scratch golfer on that course. It is a measure of how much above or below the Course Rating a player with a given Handicap Index will score. A golf course of standard relative playing difficulty has a Slope Rating of 113. The lowest USGA Slope Rating is 55 and the highest is 155.”

The course ratings and slopes are relative indications of course difficulty based not just upon distance, but water hazards, bunker placement, length of rough, trees, terrain and speed of greens and similar course features. Course rating is based upon the difficulty for a scratch golfer, while the slope is based upon the difficulty for the mythical “bogey” golfer (a golfer with a 17.5 to 22.4 handicap index who can hit a tee shot of about 200 yards), relative to the performance of a scratch golfer.

So how is all this information really used? Simply put, to figure out how many more strokes the bogey golfer “should” play a given course over the scratch golfer, divide the course’s slope by 5.381 (a constant value used by the U.S.G.A.) and add the result to the course rating. For example, on the Magnolia course below with a slope of 140, you would expect a bogey golfer to score about 26 more strokes (140 divided by 5.381) than the scratch golfer. The scratch golfer, by the course rating, would be expected to score a 76.4 (call it 76), or four strokes over par 72. Thus the bogey golfer should score about a 102 (76 + 26) on this particular course. Keep in mind that this would be from the back tees and the bogey golfer should really not be playing from back there.

You can now begin to get a feel for how the U.S.G.A. handicap index and course rating, by themselves, are not enough. If you just used the U.S.G.A. handicaps at Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course to “give strokes”, the bogey golfer would get shortchanged by at least 7 strokes and probably lose more quarters than he/she needs to….;-). Why? Because not all golf courses are created equally and they don’t play with a consistent level of difference between the scratch golfer and the bogey golfer.

For more information on slope and course ratings, Dean Knuth, the former Senior Director of the U.S.G.A.’s Handicap Department and the developer of the slope/rating system has a site called the “Pope of Slope“. He describes in detail the history, derivation and purpose of the course rating and slope system.

To quote from Dean Knuth’s site above: “Depending on the difficulty and placement of obstacles, two courses with a difference in Course Rating of only three or four strokes could produce score differences of twelve strokes or more for average players. This portability error gave average and higher handicap players a major advantage over lower handicap players when competing at easier courses. The converse was also true. More than ten years of research, data collection and field testing produced a two parameter system. More than 10,000 courses in America were rated for both scratch and “bogey” golfers to produce both a USGA Course and Slope Rating. The “Slope” System provides that through charts, golfers receive additional handicap strokes when competing at difficult or “high Slope” courses and fewer strokes at “low Slope” courses. The relative increase or decrease in handicap strokes is proportional to the magnitude of players’ handicaps.”

So, what does that mean? It means that if you are a 20 handicapper (U.S.G.A index), and your are playing against a 3 handicapper (U.S.G.A index) you would get more than 17 strokes if you are playing a difficult course with a “high” slope rating and less than 17 strokes if you are playing an easy course with a “low” slope. The rules of golf can work in your favor. If you know them. Bottom line, if you have a game going on the course, you’d better know your slope adjusted course handicap if you are going to properly “level” the playing field. When we play against another golfer, it is the slope adjusted course handicap that we should be using for the purpose of “giving strokes”, not the U.S.G.A. handicap index.

How do I know what my slope adjusted course handicap is? The best way is to check with the pro shop and ask to see the slope chart for the course once you have decided which set of tees you are going to play from, since the more forward tee positions will have lower ratings and slopes than the back tees. The basic math from the U.S.G.A. Handicap Manual for the calculation is:

“A player’s Course Handicap is determined by multiplying his USGA Handicap Index by the USGA Slope Rating of the course played and then dividing by 113. The resulting figure is rounded off to the nearest whole number (.5 or more is rounded upward).”

Also, the U.S.G.A. has a page on their web site, where you can actually calculate your slope adjusted course handicap.  Have your U.S.G.A. handicap index and the slope rating for the set of tees you will play from at the course available and go the U.S.G.A. Course Handicap Calculator.

I should note that while the U.S.G.A. lists the highest slope rating above as 155 in its manual, the highest I have found is a course called Koolau on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Koolau’s slope is listed at 164! The world renowned Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey, which is consistently ranked as number one in the Top 100 Greatest U.S. Courses by Golf and Golf Digest magazines has a slope of 153, the highest in the continental U.S.

[OK, back to the Walt Disney World® courses.]

The information below is listed from the ‘back’ tees and sorted top to bottom by the course slope, which gives a ranking from the perspective of the bogie golfer. The rankings are based upon more recent course evaluations by the Florida Golf Association, so note a major shift relative to previous information. So, the Magnolia is the most difficult and the Palm is the easiest.  However, none of the three Disney courses are “easy”. A course of “average” difficulty would have a slope of 113. From the more forward tees, not only do the courses play shorter, but frequently some hazards are also taken out of play, so the course ratings and slopes are of course lower for those tee positions.

Course Rank Course USGA Rating USGA Slope Course Yardage
1 Magnolia 76.0 141 7516
2 Lake Buena Vista 72.3 133 6745
3 Palm 73.7 131 6870

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Afraid to Play” title=”I am an average golfer, should I be afraid of playing the 18 hole championship Disney courses?” open=”off”]

With the idea of going out and having fun in mind, don’t feel as though you can’t go out and play these courses. Yes, they are championship caliber courses. Yes, they have played PGA and LPGA Tour events on the courses. But if you play 18-hole courses at home, don’t be hesitant to play here. If you play “pitch and putt” or “par 3″ courses at home, or have young kids with you, play Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course, which is the 9-hole walking course. Use your best judgement so that both you and the others on the course have a good time. Also, at discounted prices, much less full price, these 18 hole courses are not cheap. Add to that, the price of lost balls (there is a lot of water on these Florida courses) and you can have a very expensive day.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”My Favorite Courses” title=”Hey Marc! What are your favorites of the Disney course layouts?” open=”off”]

Well, I am glad you asked. I get frequent e-mails from folks with the question, so here are my comments on the courses, in descending order of preference. Understand that this is entirely subjective on my part and others may feel quite differently.

1. Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course (Joe Lee) – One of the three original Disney courses and one of the two upon which the annual Disney PGA Tour event was played. The famed Mickey Mouse bunker is on the par-3 6th hole. This is a must play for nostalgia and variety. Parts of this course (14 thru 18) take you back near the Magic Kingdom Resorts and so can be a little noisy at times.

2. Disney’s Palm Golf Course (Joe Lee/Palmer Design) – Co-located with Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course, Disney’s Palm Golf Course underwent a significant renovation and modernization in 2013 by Arnold Palmer Design Company. Holes 1 thru 6 take you near the Magic Kingdom Resorts, but then you move back away from the area. Disney’s Palm Golf Course was the second course that was used for the annual Disney PGA Tour event.

3. Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course (Joe Lee) – The last of the three original Disney courses and located near the Old Key West Resort and Downtown Disney. Recent changes make this course more difficult than it used to be. An island type green on the par-3 7th hole makes for an interesting challenge. This course used to be one played during the annual Disney PGA Tour event and a former LPGA event (BellSouth). The third Joe Lee design, with more of a “country club” feel than the Palm and Magnolia. If you have played the other two, play this one for some variety.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Hidden Mickeys” title=”I have seen pictures or commercials of the golf courses with a sand bunker that looks like Mickey Mouse. Where is that?” open=”off”]

That Mickey Mouse bunker is on the 6th hole of Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course. It is a par 3 and from the back tees it plays 195 yards. The bunker is on the front (tee) side of the elevated green, such that if your shot is short, you’ll end up in the Mickey bunker. Of course, if you are really short, there is water in front of the run up to the green. As an aside, the bunker is known as a “Hidden Mickey”. Hidden Mickeys can be found all around the parks, resort areas and other locations.  They are outlines of Mickey using the typical one large circle for the face, with two smaller circles for the ears, generally hidden in “plain view”. Sometimes, the Hidden Mickey can be a “side” view of Mickey’s face too. There is a site on the web at Hidden Mickeys Guide with more information.

magnoliateemarker

MagnoliaMickeyBunker

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Aeration” title=”When does Disney typically aerate the courses?” open=”off” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

The courses are generally aerated sometime between May and August. If you are playing during these months and want to avoid the impact of these activities, call the main golf number (1-407-WDW-GOLF) and check on the specific dates that these are planned.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Golf Merchandise” title=”I’d like to order some Disney merchandise. Can I get it without being there?” open=”off”]

Yes! Contact Walt Disney World® Merchandising. They can get you ANY merchandise available anywhere on the Walt Disney World® property. To contact them you can call them at (877) 560-6477, fax them at (407) 352-6369 or e-mail them at Merchandise.Guest.Services@DisneyParks.com. They will ship your order in or out of the United States.

If you are interested specifically in Disney Golf logo branded merchandise, please contact the Retail Operations Manager, Matt Mackley, at mmackley@palmergolf.com

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Guests with Mobility and Visual Challenges

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Mobility” title=”What arrangements are available for limited mobility golfers?” open=”off”]

There are two principal options for limited mobility golfers:

1. If you can utilize a standard golf cart, there are limited mobility flags that can be put on the carts to identify your presence to golfers behind you and to the course rangers.

2. If a regular cart is not appropriate for you, there is a special golf cart stationed at Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course. The cart can be moved to any of the three courses with at least a half day’s notice. Based upon the description of the cart, I believe it to be one of the Solo Rider carts. More information is available at http://www.solorider.com. The cart has a swiveling seat to enable you to turn in the seat to hit the ball without having to get up. There is also a special golf bag holder on the front of the cart to facilitate access to your clubs and hand controls for moving the cart itself.

If you require the Solo Rider cart, I would recommend that you make it known at the time of your reservation and re-confirm it a couple of days ahead of your reservation. It was suggested that you call the main Disney golf line at 1-407-WDW-GOLF and request to be connected to (or get the direct phone number for) one of the golf managers at the Lake Buena Vista course to confirm the arrangements.

Of interest to you (if you are not already familiar with them) may be the modifications to the USGA Rules of Golf for Golfers with Disabilities. More information is available at the USGA.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Visual” title=”What arrangements are available for visually impaired golfers?” open=”off”]

According to the Disney folks, they can accommodate arrangements for visually impaired golfers. It is strongly advised that once you know your schedule and the date(s) and course(s) you wish to play, call the main Disney golf line at 1-407-WDW-GOLF and ask to be connected with one of the golf managers at the course(s) you want to play. They will arrange for a three-way call and work with you to make appropriate arrangements for your round.

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General Considerations For Playing Golf

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Pace of Play” title=”I have heard a lot about pace of play or slow play. What is it and how can I help keep things moving?” open=”off”]

The great American author Mark Twain called golf “A good walk spoiled.” The last thing most golfers want to endure is a five or even six hour “walk” or in this case, “ride”. Resort courses have become known for their “slow play”. Slow play occurs when folks take too much time during their round, resulting in groups getting backed up and you waiting, perhaps for several minutes, for the group in front of you to hit before you can continue to play. It makes the round of golf frustrating and takes you out of your rhythm or routine. Bottom line, it is not fun.

Disney is making a strong effort to make your experience an enjoyable one and has put rangers out on the course to keep folks moving along. If you decide to play one or more of the Disney 18-hole courses, the key is to move along “at pace” and play the right tees for your level of game. This means that you should be able to play these courses in about four and a half hours. Don’t go playing from the back tees if you are a double-digit handicapper. [See the individual course scorecards for details on suggested course pace of play and the suggested tee position based upon your handicap.] In other words, it is less of a concern that you might need 120+ strokes to get around the course, as long as you don’t slow things down and interfere with the rest of your group or the groups behind you, in their enjoyment of the game. The rangers on the courses are there to assist folks in keeping up with the pace of play and they will give you and others a gentle reminder if play slows down.

My first 18-hole round was at a championship PGA Tour course (TPC Las Colinas). Was I nervous? You bet! But I was indoctrinated by friends with the philosophy of playing at pace:

“Stay just behind the group in front of you. Not just in front of the group behind you”

There are some simple considerations to help with pace of play to guide you, especially when you are riding carts, as is mandatory at the Disney courses. These go not just for the high handicapper, but all golfers.

• Arrive at the first tee a few minutes early.  Be ready to play when its your group’s turn.

• No Mulligans.

• Take only one practice swing before you hit, not three or four. Sure you watch the pros do it, but what is the biggest problem on the Tour? Slow play! Besides, unless you are playing with your boss, unlike the pros, your income isn’t likely dependent on every stroke…

• Play “ready golf” when appropriate. The “away” golfer may not be ready before you are. If you are ready, go ahead and hit.

• Keep your time looking for lost balls to a minimum. The rules give you 5 minutes maximum. You don’t need to take all 5 to realize that the ball is a goner. Please be careful when looking for your ball off the course! It is Florida swampland after all…keep an eye out for all sorts of critters…your health isn’t worth saving that one penalty stroke!

• If you think that your ball may be lost or “out of bounds” (OB) after you hit it, play a provisional ball, then go verify the lost or OB status of your ball. That way, you do not need to go back to the location of your last hit to put a new ball into play, saving several minutes of time.

• Take three or even four clubs with you when you get dropped off at your ball. That way, you have the right club and at least one club shorter and one longer just in case. This is especially important if you are restricted to keeping the carts on the paths. Walking back and forth across the fairway to the cart after realizing you have the wrong club is a major time killer. After your shot, walk to your partner’s location.

• Keep at least one spare ball in your pocket, so you don’t have to go back to the cart for one when you lose your ball in play. Make it two, if your balls tend to “seek water”. If you put two balls in a direct hazard (yellow stakes), take a drop on the other side to keep things moving.

• When you are hitting your approach shot to the green, take the clubs you need for that shot plus a wedge, chipping iron and your putter and have your partner drive the cart forward. Then walk to the green after your shot. That way you don’t need to take the time to go back to the cart again for your putter when you get to the green. You also have a wedge or chipping iron for that short shot if your approach shot didn’t make it on the green.

• If you can do so without bothering your playing partners, begin to read your putt while others are putting, rather than waiting for your turn.

• Mark your scores when you get to the next tee box, so that the party behind you can go ahead and hit.  Don’t stop to do it after coming off the green.

• Stopping for a rest room break, the beverage cart or a snack at the turn consumes time that is included in the pace of play for the course. You need to find ways to make up those minutes out on the course.

• Last but not least, don’t be afraid to just “pick up” your ball after 10 strokes. Set your ego aside and move on to the next hole. The Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) system by the U.S.G.A. shows that for a 40 or over handicapper, you can only take a maximum of 10 strokes on a hole anyway. ESC defines less strokes for lower handicappers.

Saving only ten or fifteen seconds per hole per person, times 18 holes, times your foursome, can total 12-18 minutes by the time you finish the round. That puts you (and everyone behind you) a full hole to a hole and a half behind the pace. Keep these thoughts in mind as you play, not to distract you, but to remove yet another source of stress: feeling the group behind you close in and rush you as you play. If that does become a problem, don’t be hesitant to wave them up and let them play through at the next tee box.

Bottom line: Have a good time which ever course you play!

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Leave the Course” title=”Leave the course in better shape than you found it. What does that mean?” open=”off”]

A key part of the game of golf is respect. Respect for the history of the game, respect for the rules, respect for your fellow players and respect for the course. To leave the course in better shape than you found it is key to insuring the viability and quality of the golf course for yourself and others in the future to continue to enjoy it.

Key to fulfilling this ambition are the following:

• Avoid taking divots with practice swings. Take only one swing.

• Replace divots or fill them with soil/seed mixture if provided. Repair not only yours, but others that you may see nearby.

• Smooth footprints or other marks in sand bunkers after playing from a bunker.

• Repair ball marks on the green (yours and others). Repaired marks will heal in 2-3 days, versus 2-3 weeks for unrepaired marks. Be sure to insert your repair tool at the edges of the ball mark and bring the edges in toward the middle. Then tamp down the spot with your putter. Never lift the middle of the ball mark upward, which would leave a bald spot on the green. How do you know when it is fixed properly? When you would putt over the mark with your own ball. For more information on repairing ball marks go here: GCSAA Resource Center

• Remove balls from the hole with your hand, never with the head of your putter, which can damage the hole.

• If you wear metal spikes, repair any damage the spikes may have caused. Don’t drag your feet.

• Check with the starter the day you play to see if there are any restrictions on the use of the carts on the course, such as “90 degree rules”. Be sure to keep your cart 30 yards away from the greens or bunkers and avoid driving the cart over wet fairways.

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Miscellaneous Questions

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”Miniature Golf” title=”What about miniature golf at Disney World?” open=”off”]

Walt Disney World® does have three “Minnie”-ature golf courses for your enjoyment. There are the Fantasia Fairways (18-hole par 3 and 4 putting course), Fantasia Gardens and Winter Summerland. The two Fantasia courses are across the street from the Swan and Dolphin hotels and the Winter Summerland course is near the Blizzard Beach water park. For more information, go to the Walt Disney World® recreational activities web site.

[/et_pb_toggle][et_pb_toggle admin_label=”DLP” title=”What about golf at Disneyland Paris?” open=”off”]

“DLP” has 27 holes configured as 3 groups of 9 (violet, orange and vert, each par 36) which were designed by Ronald Fream. To play 18, you play any two of the three 9′s, thus three different 18 hole setups (violet/orange, violet/vert and orange/vert). For more information on the courses, check out the DLP Golf Page. The courses are located within a short drive of the theme park.

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