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Mission Inn’s El Campeon Ranked #1 in Florida

The iconic El Campeon Golf Course at Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-In-The-Hills, Florida continues to enjoy its 100th anniversary by celebrating its latest honor as the Number 1 golf course in Florida in the recent Golf Advisor “Top 100” list of courses overall since the rating began in 2012.

El Campeon, which opened with nine holes originally in 1917, was ranked #16 overall in the nation on player surveys- joining an elite group in the Top 20 that includes the Plantation Course at Kapalua, Hawaii and both Pacific Dunes and Bandon Trails in Oregon.

Golf Advisor is the leading source of golf course ratings and reviews by golfers who share their first-hand experiences at thousand of courses worldwide. A more crowd-sourced list than other major golf course rankings, Golf Advisor reviews are scored more heavily on the total experience-accounting for good staff, service, facilities, value and conditions-with less emphasis on course design. More than 650,000 reviews have been recorded over the past five years.

El Campeon, “The Champion” in Spanish, is an original member of the Florida Historic Golf Trail, a collection of more than 50 courses across the state. The Mission Inn Resort’s 100 year old golf course designed by golf professional and architect George O’Neil of Chicago is unique to central Florida with 85 foot elevation changes as it rolls through former citrus groves and hardwood forests. Originally named the Florida Chain-O-Lakes Country Club, the golf course was one of the first in Florida with grass greens, instead of sand, and one of only two courses in the state built to the regulation length of 6,300 yards at the time. Over the years it has gone through two significant renovations, in 1926 and 1969.

The Inn’s second course, Las Colinas(The Hills) designed by NBC commentator and PGA  professional Gary Koch, opened in 1992 to immediate acclaim, and is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Golf Digest  recognizes both courses among their “Best Places to Play” in North America.

With over 1,100 acres, Mission inn Resort & Club has dramatically been adding amenities throughout the years. The Resort now features 190 comfortable rooms, suites and villas, fresh water fishing, Marina Del Ray, full service Spa Marbella, El Corredor Fitness Center, a great tennis facility, trap &  skeet shooting, and Four Restaurants.

There are over 30,000 square feet of meeting space with break out rooms at one of the great gathering places in Florida. The Mission Inn Resort is offering a Centennial Group Meeting Package. The value-laden Package offer has been extended through December 2017 at $100 per person, per night double occupancy, and is available for groups of 20 people or more- includes deluxe guest rooms, breakfast buffet, conference space, morning or afternoon refreshment break, audio-visual credit, program setup and professional coordination. The ultimate gathering place, Mission Inn has years of experience delivering what meeting planners want for their group.

Linda Walker, President of the Florida Ski Council says about Mission Inn, where her association holds its annual meeting, ‘We’re outdoor people. At Mission Inn we have meeting spaces within walking distance of trap and skeet shooting, fishing, nature walking trails and world-class golf. These are rare luxuries at a trade show.”

Jim Owen, Director of Golf at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta and organizer of the NCAA Division III Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships, held annually at the Inn says, “It’s challenging to please so many people for a week, but Mission Inn pulled it off again. With two bonafide championship caliber courses, honestly, I don’t want to go anywhere else.”

Located just 35 miles northwest of Orlando, Mission Inn’s Spanish Colonial-inspired architecture is a picturesque location in the beautiful rolling hills of Lake County reminiscent of times gone by. It is the ultimate gathering place.

For additional information about the “Centennial Meeting Package” or the resort, call 352-324-3101 or 800-874-9053. You can visit MissionInnResort.com as well.

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Dave Daubert

Lehigh University graduate, Procter & Gamble retired. Previously a Managing Editor and Feature Writer for a regional golf monthly magazine for 11 years. Married to wife Carol and residing in Solivita, an active adult community in Central Florida

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