Some short par 4s that can make or break your round of golf in Orlando

By Jeff Berlinicke, Contributor

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The short par 4 is one of the most deceptive challenges in golf.

Metrowest golf course - hole 9
The ninth hole at MetroWest Golf Club is 405 yards from the tips, but 336 yards from the whites.
Metrowest golf course - hole 9Bay Hill Club & Lodge - 13th holeWaldorf Astoria Golf Club - hole 13Disney's Osprey Ridge Golf Course - hole 15Disney's Lake Buena Vista Golf Course - hole 6Falcon's Fire Golf Club - No. 2Hunter's Creek Golf Club - 12th hole

Especially if you can go deep with the driver and see that tantalizing short distance and start thinking eagle. Maybe with a Big Bertha and a Pro V1 it seems possible.

Not quite. Almost every golf course in Orlando has a par 4 that is reachable with a drive, or at least a driver-wedge. That doesn't mean an eagle or a birdie. It might mean a snowman. When you check out the yardage on a short par 4, there's always something nasty, maybe a dogleg, or a drive over water that has to be hit perfectly or it's swimming with the other Callaways that tried to make it over the pond.

That's not to say that a short par 4 can't be reached, it's just that you'd better be prepared for the consequences. The most overused term in golf is "risk-reward." When it comes to short par 4s, it actually makes sense. Just be ready for the consequences of the risk.

Orlando offers plenty of short par 4s than can make or break your round. Here are some of them:

MetroWest Golf Club (No. 9)

MetroWest Golf Club plays to more than 7,000 yards from the tips, but this hole is a bit different. It's 405 yards from the tips, but 336 yards from the whites. John Daly made a mockery of the hole several years ago when he hit it around the water that borders the fairway on the left and cleared the green. Daly, one of the best short game players in golf, birdied the hole.

Bay Hill Club & Lodge (No. 13)

Arnold Palmer didn't design the Champion Course at Bay Hill Club & Lodge to be easy. After all, it's one of the top spots on the PGA Tour every spring. And No. 13 isn't a lot of fun. At 370 yards from the back, it's reachable for the bombers, and the members can get to the green from 335 yards, but there's a massive fairway bunker on the left and water down the right side.

North Course at Grand Cypress (No. 1)

Grand Cypress consists of three nine-hole courses, all Jack Nicklaus signatures. On the North Course, the first hole is an immediate challenge. At 363 yards from the back, and 339 from the whites, it is tempting to go for it, but the green is tiny and can ruin a round with 17 holes left to play. Bunkers guard the green all around. It's reachable, but only with a Tin Cup drive.

South Course at Grand Cypress (No. 5)

The fifth hole on the South Course at Grand Cypress has bunkers all the way down the right, but it is tempting at 333 yards. Keep it left and it is reachable.

East Course at Grand Cypress (No. 6)

A driver and a flip sand wedge might get you close, but don't be tempted by the 372 yards. The sixth might be the shortest hole on the East Course at Grand Cypress, but that doesn't make it the easiest.

Waldorf Astoria Golf Club (No. 13)

"Sir Harry" plays to 320 yards with a dogleg left and a carry over water. Missing the green means time in the sand if you go for it. The 13th hole is the shortest par 4 at Waldorf Astoria Golf Club, but it's also the toughest.

Disney's Palm Golf Course (No. 13)

Assistant Professional Ray Wolf says none of the par 4s on any of Disney's 90 holes of golf offers a reachable par 4, but there are some that can be little more than a drive and pitch such as No. 13 at the Palm Golf Course. It's a dogleg right that goes 364 yards from the tips.

Disney's Osprey Ridge Golf Course (No. 15)

At 357 yards, the 15th the easiest hole on Disney's Osprey Ridge Golf Course, but the green is tricky and there are bunkers everywhere. It might be tempting to go for it, but ending up in trouble negates anything from a long drive.

Disney's Lake Buena Vista Golf Course (No. 6)

It's only 354 yards, but you'd better be able to hit it at least that far because water fronts the green on No. 6 on Disney's Lake Buena Vista Golf Course. The safe play is a driver-wedge.

Falcon's Fire Golf Club (No. 2)

At 357 yards, there is water everywhere around the green. Where there isn't water, there are bunkers. The second at Falcon's Fire Golf Club is clearly only a drivable hole for the bombers.

Hunter's Creek Golf Club (No. 12)

With a dogleg left and a pond fronting the green, this uphill 12th hole at Hunter's Creek Golf Club is still reachable from the tips, but you'd better be able to play a right-to-left draw or just go for the fairway and play it safe.

Jeff BerlinickeJeff Berlinicke, Contributor

Jeff Berlinicke is a golf writer based in Tampa, Fla. He writes for multiple publications including the Tampa Tribune, Golf Fitness Magazine, and the Associated Press. He has also received multiple honors from the Florida Press Association.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • no 13 at Bay Hill?

    jon e wrote on: Jul 19, 2011

    Have you played this hole? Thew water is right infront of you protecting the green not down the would be a miraculous shot to get on the green in 1.....virtually impossible even for Mr Palmer!