Orlando's Metrowest Golf Club boasts variety, good conditions and friendly service
ORLANDO, Fla. – When you consider the vast number of golf courses in Orlando and add to it all the other activities in this tourist hotbed, choosing where to play golf usually comes down to one thing: convenience.
With that in mind, if your travels take you to the Universal Orlando area, Metrowest Golf Club is only a 10-minute drive, and it's a sure bet for challenging variety, consistent conditions and friendly service.
Opened in 1987, Metrowest Golf Club is one of only two golf courses in the Orlando area designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. (Celebration Golf Club is the other), and as other courses have sprouted up, Metrowest has maintained its position as one of the elite daily-fee golf courses in Orlando.
Most golf courses in Orlando begin with a friendly opening hole, and the first hole at Metrowest Golf Club fits that bill – sort of.
The opener features a generous fairway with no water, but three bunkers protect one of the smallest greens on the golf course.
An indicator of the challenging variety at Metrowest Golf Club, the next three holes are a long par 4, a long par 3 and a long par 5. Each hole during this stretch requires a good tee shot to have a chance for a good score, particularly at No. 4.
At 568 yards from the second-longest set of tees, No. 4 is a true three-shotter, featuring a cluster of deep bunkers protecting the right side off the tee and an imposing old oak along the left. Favor the left for a good angle for your second shot.
No. 9, a short par-4, is a great capper to the outward nine and thus is recognized as the signature hole at Metrowest Golf Club.
At 372 yards it may not look like much on the score card, but playing downhill and curving sharply around a lake, it can bring out the inner John Daly in anyone. There's even a plaque on the back tee commemorating the day Long John himself drove the green.
For more modest golfers, a play down the right side avoids the lake and leaves a simple short iron into the green.
At Metrowest Golf Club, expect the best service
Metrowest offers several amenities that stand out, including off-the-course features such as free valet parking with the option of getting your car detailed during your round, and fully-stocked locker rooms with shower facilities – a rarity at most stand-alone public golf courses.
On the course you can look forward to GPS carts with measurements directly to the flagstick, and cheerful, good-looking beverage-cart women.
Inward holes provide exciting stage
Even if your round at Metrowest isn't a serious one, it's always fun to play intriguing holes down the stretch. Such is certainly the case at Metrowest Golf Club.
The inward fun begins at No. 14, a reachable downhill par 5. At 528 yards, a good drive will leave you with a chance to go for the green, which plays slightly downhill and thus a club short.
If you decide to go for the 14th green in two you better be committed -- a lake on the left side wraps around the front and back portion of the green to form a peninsula. The safe shot is to bail out right but doing so could leave you with an awkward bunker shot back toward the water.
As is the case with any great match play hole, things can change quickly -- and often -- at No. 14.
No. 15 is the first of two par 3s coming in that require a carry over water. No. 17 is the longest par 3 at Metrowest Golf Club. Either hole is a fantastic par.
The dogleg-left 18th hole is the longest par 4 on the back nine, and a lake short-right of the green isn't for the faint of heart. It's a strong finishing hole, with the two-story clubhouse serving as a backdrop.
From the 14th tee to the 18th green, every shot has a consequence, which is the way any championship golf course should be.
Metrowest Golf Club: The verdict
When you pull in the parking lot at Metrowest, you'll notice plenty of tree cover, a rarity in this part of the country. Once you get out on the golf course you'll find more trees, but condos and homes are visible on most holes, removing it from the parkland category.
The variety at Metrowest Golf Club is its best attribute, as no two holes are the same. You'll hit a different club on each par 3, and the par 5s require you to play aggressively on some shots, while having to lay back on others.
In addition to good variety, the conditions are usually very good. The greens, in particular, are some of the best in the area.
June 7, 2010