MetroWest Golf Club: An Orlando classic that's gotten better with age

By Ed Schmidt, Contributor

ORLANDO, Fla. -- When you stand on the exaggerated elevated tee box on the 13th at MetroWest Golf Club, you're rewarded with a magnificent view of the downtown skyline in the distance some 12 miles away.

18 Holes | Public | Par: 72 | 7051 yards
MetroWest Golf Club - 13th
Orlando's skyline is visible from MetroWest's 13th hole.
MetroWest Golf Club - 13thMetroWest Golf Club - 14thMetroWest golf course - 16th

With its dramatic elevation changes, MetroWest is an anomaly in Orlando's fairly flat golf course line-up. Its engaging terrain is one reason it has consistently been rated as one of Orlando's best public golf-course experiences by major publications and websites since it opened more than two decades ago.

Increasing its appeal is a 2013 rejuvenation project that encompassed resurfacing all greens with TifEagle turf, an ultradwarf Bermuda grass, laser leveling and resurfacing all tee boxes, renovating bunkers and expanding practice facilities with a new teeing area.

MetroWest Golf Club: History and setting

Set in a sprawling, 1,800-acre, master-planned residential community in southwest Orlando off Kirkman Road, MetroWest Golf Club opened in the late '80s.

More than 1,300 trees were planted on the golf course before its opening, and they've matured wonderfully adding more character and challenge through the years.

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. as a Signature Course, the 7,051-yard, par-72 MetroWest is a traditional parkland-style golf experience. Large, mature oak trees, spring-fed lakes and spacious, undulating greens surrounded by sculpted bunkers provide an inviting setting for a round of golf.

The blue men's tees measure 6,619 yards, the white's are 6,104 yards and the forward tees are 5,325 yards.

MetroWest: Course strategy

A thoroughly playable design, MetroWest Golf Club allows you to tee it high and watch if fly off the tee with its generous, open landing areas on most tees.

Chances are you'll bust a few drives on your round, but you'll be hard pressed to outperform a certain esteemed professional golfer named John Daly.

Several years ago, Daly teed up from the back tees on the par-4 ninth and whacked a wind-aided drive some 400 yards over water onto the green. When you play this hole, make sure you see the plaque on the tee that commemorates the feat.

The hole that can destroy your round before it barely gets started is the brutish 610-yard (from the back tees), par-5 fourth. This dogleg-right design, the no. 1-handicap hole, requires a solid tee shot and a well placed second shot to set up any chance at birdie or par.

On the back nine, the 562-yard (from the back tees), par-5 14th lurks with lots of challenge, as well. The difficulty increases as you get closer to the green with an approach shot from a severe downhill lie to a green bordered on the left by a lake and on the right by a menacing bunker.

Jones Sr. provides two awesome finishing holes, which separate the pretenders from the contenders in tournament play and on course wagering. The par-3 17th requires a 226-yard (from back tees) poke over water to a smallish green and the 18th -- a 413-yard (from back tees) par 4 -- encourages a well-placed drive with an approach shot over water to a bunker protected green.

Amenities at MetroWest Golf Club

The 23,000-square-foot clubhouse, overlooking the 18th green and Lake Hiawassee, features Westerly's, a full-service restaurant and Sundance Tavern, a golf-themed sports bar and grill.

If you want to grab lunch before or after a round, Westerly's quality equals the golf course. You can get classic selections such as grilled wings and an Angus beef burger, as well as some different entrees such as the Grown Up Macaroni and Cheese, with smoked shredded chicken and smoked gouda, and the Grilled Ahi Tuna Steak served in two tacos with spicy mayo coleslaw.

Sundance Tavern is a conveniently located so you can retrieve a sandwich quickly at the turn or enjoy a cold libation and watch a sports event after a round.

MetroWest Golf Club: The verdict

MetroWest Golf Club has been one of the most popular daily-fee golf courses in Orlando since opening. The recent renovation has greatly enhanced the play experience, and golfers benefit from the club's emphasis on service and premium playing conditions.

If you enjoy golf courses with elevation changes where you can play your ball from different lies and you like Robert Trent Jones Sr.'s traditional golf design style, you'll love MetroWest Golf Club.

Ed SchmidtEd Schmidt, Contributor

Ed Schmidt, publisher of The Golf Travel Guru Blog, is the author of two books on Florida golf and more than 2,500 articles and columns on golf resorts, courses and destinations around the world. Follow Ed on Twitter at @golftravelguy.

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