With the annual PGA Merchandise Show coming to Orlando, Fla., next week, it got me thinking about the many golf outings conducted there over the years with visiting golf pros, attendees and exhibitors.
In fact, having gone to about 15 of these shows, I'm guessing nearly half the golf I've played in Florida has come during or around PGA Show week. And while great weather is never a given in Orlando this time of year, more often than not, it's pretty good. Plus, the resort courses are heavily overseeded, so they're always in great shape during the winter and early spring.
You don't have to go to the PGA Merchandise Show, of course, to visit Orlando (which is also home to the Golf Channel and the TravelGolf Network as well as a couple of famous theme parks). In fact, right now, several resorts are offering special packages worth checking out.
For example, the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate has an unlimited golf package, which extends past sunset. The resort, which is also home of the David Leadbetter Golf Academy, boasts the International Course and National Course, both designed by Greg Norman. And although playing 36 holes in one day might be tight this time of year, you can check out the resort's lighted par-3 course behind the fabulous Omni hotel after dark. I've seen folks play it in flip-flops with a beverage and a cigar, which is not a bad way to end the night after dinner.
If Mickey Mouse is more your style, however, you might want to check out the Disney 2-Round Pass, which begins on Feb. 26 and lasts throughout the year. For $139, you can play any two of the four courses at Disney World, including the courses used for the PGA Tour's Children's Miracle Network Classic -- the Magnolia course and Palm course. The Magnolia is where you'll find the famed Mickey Mouse bunker on the 230-yard par-3 sixth.
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