THE WINTER PARK NINE IS TRULY DEVINE

Story by: Mike May

A pristine piece of property where passionate players purposely pepper the pins in pursuit of Old Man Par.  That’s the best way to summarize playing golf at the Winter Park Golf Course (761 Old England Avenue, Winter Park, Florida).  This nine-hole golf course, which opened for play in 1914, is a recreational ‘green lung’ based in the heart of Winter Park.  This majestic municipal golf course is maintained like a private country club.  No expense is spared as golf program manager Gregg Pascale and his team focus on keeping this golf course in tournament-ready shape, year round.  This golf course’s condition is a reflection of Winter Park’s commitment to excellence.  While the Winter Park Golf Course – aka, the Winter Park Nine -- focuses on catering to Winter Park residents, it’s open for play to all golfers visiting central Florida. 

This majestic municipal golf course is maintained like a private country club.  No expense is spared as golf program manager and team focus on keeping this course in tournament-ready shape, year round.

“Most golfers only play nine holes,” said Pascale.  “Players are in and out in less than two hours.  We do have a $9.00 replay rate for those who want to play 18 holes.”

The Winter Park Nine has an atmosphere which transports you to yesteryear Florida.  It all starts with its many old oak trees which drip with Spanish moss.  The golf course is surrounded by these oaks which line the fairways.  The Winter Park Nine is tree-lined, but not tree defined.  Those oak trees provide clearly defined fairway corridors for each hole, but their presence is not claustrophobic.  There’s also a large clock next to the first tee that reminds all golfers to be on time for their tee time.  Another throwback to a bygone era is that walking is the preferred way to travel around this golf course.  In other words, carry your own bag or use a pull cart.  The Winter Park Nine, which was designed with match-play scoring in mind, is an easy course to walk.  Plus, the distances from greens to tees are minimal.

“Another appealing aspect of the Winter Park Nine is the diversity of those who play here,” added Pascale.  “It could be a 91-year-old followed by a young junior followed by a Masters champion.  Nick Faldo used to come out here and play when he lived in the area.”

Given the atmosphere and the setting of the Winter Park Golf Course, it’s not surprising that it’s one of the 53 golf courses on the Florida Historic Golf Trail.

The Winter Park Nine, which was designed with match-play scoring in mind, is an easy course to walk. 

The Winter Park Nine is different from many Florida golf courses because there are no water hazards.  It’s greens are its greatest defense mechanism as they are filled with many undulations and contours.  The size of the greens also provides a number of pin positions.  That is especially true on the 3rd green which can easily be two club lengths between the green’s front and back.  To add to the Winter Park Nine’s degree of difficulty, which only measures 2,480 yards from the tips, golfers may encounter pin placements which are located near greenside bunkers.  Don’t be overly aggressive as you attack some pins, as you might miss the green and finish on the short side in sand.

While playing the par-five, dogleg 4th hole, don’t try to cut the corner with your tee shot because an overly confident angle of attack may finish in the local cemetery which borders this hole’s left side.

Inside the Winter Park Nine’s clubhouse, the ceiling beams feature a timeline of the club’s historical moments.  The timeline describes significant events during this club’s first 100 + years and features a list of people who have helped shape this golf course’s first century of play. 

If you are a passionate player who purposely peppers pins in pursuit of Old Man Par, then you must contact the pro shop of the Winter Park Nine to secure your tee time -- 407.590.3339.

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