El Campeón Course
Sublimely challenging. Frustratingly addictive.
Surrounded by an abundance of natural Florida beauty, the El Campeón 18-hole championship course was designed by Chicago-based course architect, George O'Neil and built in 1917 - with further enhancements in 1926 by Charles E. Clarke of Troon, Scotland.
El Campeón is one of the South's oldest golf courses and blends unusual Central Florida elevation changes of more than 85 feet with features of traditional golf design, including spectacular rolling fairways and undulating greens.
The course's signature hole is the par 5, 17th hole - which features a long double dogleg that has more obstacles than some entire courses! Play a Top 25 U.S. course on GolfAdvisor - El Campeon (#9) - 2016.
Book a Tee Time
You can also call 352.324.3885 or 407.886.6000 (toll free in the Orlando area) to book your tee time or enquire about active specials. If you are staying on a package plan, tee times may be made up to 60 days prior to your check-in day.
The course starts with a short par 5 over a creek to a narrow fairway divided by trees. Water on both sides of the green and numerous greenside bunkers challenge the shot maker going for the green on the second shot.
This par 3 requires a medium iron to a large, elevated green, bunkered on both sides with water coming into play on the right side. Reaching the green in one is essential for a good score here.
This par 4 with a slight dogleg left requires a big drive down the left side to avoid both a fairway bunker and a large strand of trees on the right side. The green is large and elevated with a bunker protecting the right side.
The real character of El Campeó n starts here. The tee shot must carry a lake to find the uphill fairway that rises 85 feet to the green. Right side placement will allow a clear angle to the green. The second shot is from a sidehill lie, while the severity of the sloping fairway requires one to two extra clubs to reach a green you can't see.
The fairway doglegs slightly left while sloping severely right to left. Two fairway bunkers on the right side come into play, as do the twin oaks that guard the elevated green, which slopes severely from right to left. Wherever the pin is, your target is left of that.
Starting from an elevated tee box, the fairway doglegs left. The second shot will be uphill to a large but blind green guarded on both sides by tall pines. The green slopes severely from back to front and also is protected by a greenside bunker on the left.
Another downhill tee shot, this one to a landing area that is larger than it appears. Trees guard the right side while lakes on the left feed a stream that runs across the fairway. Only a well-placed drive offers the chance of hitting the green in two as the fairway climbs uphill to a deep and narrow green. Par here is an excellent score.
A downhill par 3 to a generous green surrounded by water on two sides and bunkered on the left shoulder, providing the only safe bailout area. The elevated tee provides a clear view of the daunting shot in front of you but makes the hole appear longer than it really is.
From an elevated tee box next to the resort, this wide-open hole provides a mental break after the previous holes. For many players, a driver is not necessary. The only real trouble is a large fairway bunker midway on the right side. This is the rare opportunity to make up shots lost.
The longest par 5 on the course requires a strong drive followed by a second shot around a sharp dogleg right protected by a tall oak. A tee shot down the right side allows the long hitter to cut the corner across water shortening the hole substantially to set up a birdie opportunity. The green is well bunkered on both sides.
For the best approach, play your shot to the left side of this dogleg-left hole that is hemmed in by fairway bunkers right and tall trees left. The green slopes from front to back, making it appear closer than it is and tricking players into coming up short.
This strong par 3 usually requires a long utility club or wood to reach the small, elevated, two-level green. Sand on both sides protects theputting surface.
Over a lake and straight uphill, the landing area is tightened by large fairway bunkers. Take one to two more clubs to cover the uphill distance and reach a blind green that slopes from back to front.
Beginning at the highest point on the course, this par 5 plays downhill toward a lake on the right side before the fairway turns right and climbs uphill. A long drive to the narrowest part of the fairway rewards the long hitter with an eagle opportunity on the approach shot to an elevated green protected by multiple bunkers and a mature oak on the right side.
The shortest par 3 on the course sits on a peninsula with plenty of water to the left. Judge the distance carefully as even a slightly long shot can roll off the back and into the water.
Consider leaving your driver in the bag on this short par 4. The best play is landing short of the water hazard that runs down both sides of the fairway and fronts the island green protected on all sides by sand.
Off the tee, avoid the fairway bunkers on the left side and hanging oaks on the right. The second shot is challenged by a large, historic live oak positioned strategically in the center of the fairway. Stay to the right of the tree for the best line in.The green sits behind water and slopes severely from back to front, so a deep approach leaves a very challenging downhill putt.
The finishing hole provides a picturesque and tempting challenge. The tee shot crosses a lake to a narrow fairway that runs left to right. A longer drive, carrying farther into the right side of the fairway, leaves a much shorter approach shot to a long, narrow green protected by mature trees on the left and greenside bunkers on the right.
Proper golfing attire is required. No t-shirts or tank tops please. Shorts are allowed, but must be proper style and length (tennis shorts or athletic shorts are not acceptable).
"The ardent golfer would play Mount Everest if somebody put a flagstick on top."
~ Pete Dye, Golf course designer