You won't forget the memorable holes at Disney's Magnolia and Palm golf courses
Though the courses have contrasting identities -- Magnolia is heavily wooded and difficult, while Palm is more open and easier -- both have their fare share of memorable holes, many of which have been the stage for exciting moments on the PGA Tour.
Next time you play golf in Orlando, check out these memorable holes from Disney's Palm and Magnolia:
Best of the Magnolia Course at Disney
Throughout the 40-year history of the Classic, the par-4 fifth hole has been the toughest in relation to par. In addition to long (492 from the tips), No. 5 is guarded along the entire right side by a thick, marshy forest that plays as a lateral hazard.
Bailing out left off the tee is safer, but you're left contending with more trees, two fairway bunkers and a long approach to a narrow green guarded by three bunkers.
The most talked about hole at the 2009 Classic was undoubtedly No. 17 at Magnolia, and it wasn't just because this dogleg-left par 4 plays long and difficult. Magnolia's penultimate hole marked the end of the first-ever Kodak Challenge, a season-long, 30-hole competition on the PGA Tour.
Kevin Streelman arrived at Disney with a two-shot lead in the competition, meaning a birdie at 17 would clinch the $1 million prize. During Round 2 on Friday, with the New York Yankees' Johnny Damon playing alongside him as part of the pro-am format, Streelman took advantage of benign conditions and a forward tee and hit driver, sand wedge to four feet. He calmly drained the putt to wrap up the title.
If you're planning to play Magnolia yourself don't be fooled by Streelman's easy success. No. 17 is a tough hole for mere mortals, requiring a solid driver/long-iron combo.
The par-4 finishing hole at Disney's Magnolia is another memorable one, mostly because of the famous shots that have been hit here.
At the 2005 Classic, Lucas Glover holed out from the front-left greenside bunker to win by one. Three years later, Davis Love III saved par from the back bunker and held on to beat Tommy Gainey by one.
Avoid the Mouse Trap
While the 17th and 18th holes are indeed memorable, the most recognizable on the Disney property is arguably No. 6 at Magnolia.
This medium-length par 3 over water is protected by a deep greenside bunker known as the "Mouse Trap" because of its Mickey Mouse shape. It's not the most scenic par 3 you'll ever play, but odds are you'll remember it, especially if you manage to get up and down for par from one of Mickey's ears.
It's not just tough holes that are memorable, the easy ones are, too, which is why Magnolia's par-5 10th makes the list. Here, the generous fairway is rendered nearly defenseless with the inclusion of only one measly bunker up the left side. If you can manage to avoid it, you're left with a straightforward layup or a decent chance to go for the green in two.
No matter the approach, No. 10's only defense is its elevated green, which slopes back to front. Keep it below the hole for an easy putt.
In the final round of the 1983 Classic, Payne Stewart chipped in for eagle here, propelling him to his second of 11 PGA Tour victories. Seven years later, he set the course record with a 61 in Round 3, but ironically parred No. 10.
Best of the Palm Course at Disney
Disney's Palm has fewer memorable holes, but the two that stand out are really impressive.
No. 6 is the signature hole at Palm, and it might also be the best hole in the 36-hole Magnolia/Palm combo. This brute has options off the tee and into the green, the true mark of an excellent par 4. A conservative tee shot up the right side avoids a large lake that hugs the left fairway, while an aggressive drive up the left side invites watery disaster.
The approach shot is a forced carry to a green hugged tightly by water front and right. The bailout shot is left of the green. No matter your score, consider it a small victory if you can avoid hitting into the water on this hole.
The 18th hole at Palm is a memorable par 4 that would make for a compelling finish to a competition -- whether friendly or otherwise. Hitting the fairway is paramount here, because the second shot is a forced carry over water.
Bail out short left of the green for a chance at making a sweet closing par.
May 4, 2011