The King is no longer around, but Arnold Palmer’s legacy is now stronger than ever at Shingle Creek Golf Club at Rosen Shingle Creek Luxury Hotel in Orlando, Florida, the closest hotel and golf course to the Orange County Convention Center and International Drive. Indeed, two years after the sports legend passed away, the Orlando luxury hotel is proud to be showcasing the newly rebuilt Palmer-inspired Shingle Creek Golf Club.
The championship course, a project completed by Palmer’s namesake golf design firm during his final days, might very well be remembered as one of Palmer’s best-ever resort layouts. Arnold Palmer Design Company’s Vice-President/Senior Architect Thad Layton, ASGCA, was the person responsible for shaping this lasting treasure. The new Shingle Creek Golf Course, reinvented through a special partnership with the design company, is a fitting homage to the American Icon’s illustrious career synonymous with his Winter home of nearly 50 years, longtime PGA TOUR venue Bay Hill Club & Lodge, where the Arnold Palmer Invitational will be contested March 7-10 and the design firm is headquartered.
To be sure, Shingle Creek has always been a favorite destination for avid local golfers and visitors seeking a top-notch golf escape amidst Orlando’s tourist corridor. Since the course opened 16 years ago on a 230 acre footprint alongside the historic headwaters of the famed Florida Everglades, now there is even more reason to revel in the renowned Rosen golf experience.
For instance, Layton designed three totally new holes on a 25-acre parcel of land on the northern end of the resort, recreated numerous other holes to accommodate a future resort expansion, and updated Shingle Creek’s aging greens and infrastructure without compromising the property’s eco-conscious landscape loaded with refreshing Florida flora and fauna.
Perhaps the most noticeable changes made to the course were Shingle Creek’s traditional “resort-style” greens formerly protected by ubiquitous bunkers and thick rough on the perimeter of the holes. Now the new layout features green complexes with fairway-cut surrounds or runoff areas, giving golfers of all levels more forgiveness and entertaining strategic options.
This design philosophy was embraced by Arnold throughout his four decades of designing more than 300 courses in 25 countries. That methodology remains true today for Layton and Senior Golf Course Architect Brandon Johnson, ASGCA, who are the new faces of the Arnold Palmer Design Company. In essence, Brandon and Thad are committed to designing golf courses that not only the professionals or low handicappers can play at a challenging clip, but even the high handicappers and inexperienced resort guests can enjoy.
According to Layton he made sure “strategy and variety” were front and center with some of the course’s new features to “harken back to the golden age of golf course design.”
Shingle Creek Golf Club guests will now notice elevated greens(featured on the opening hole) and newly designed bunkers strategically placed in the middle of the fairways like the pot bunkers on the par 5, 567 yard second hole and the brand new 14th hole, an exciting 307 yard, reachable par 4 that wraps around a newly created pond.
For Ryan Hosford, longtime Orlando PGA Professional and Shingle Creek’s Director of Golf, “the Palmer Design Team took what was already a high-profile U.S. Open and Amateur qualifying venue to a whole new level. It’s got some real character and a handful of holes you won’t forget,” said Ryan. “Nobody has greens like us… with the variety of shapes and sizes we have now.”
“Orlando is a golf town and our own backyard,” said Layton. “As such, we sought to design and build a golf course that would inspire and challenge every golfer. We wanted to handcraft a course with design features reminiscent of the finest classics in the world.” In some respects, it is a perfect tribute to Mr. Palmer, a classic person in many respects himself who inspired generations of golfers and non-golfers alike.
Shingle Creek is also home to the Brad Brewer Golf Academy, a Top 25 Golf School in America and one of the “BEST” golf instruction facilities in the nation. The Academy was expanded with a new short game practice area that doubled in size with the remodel. A state-of-the-art twin bay indoor to outdoor performance studio is equipped with Flightscope launch monitor and V1 motion analysis swing technologies. Hotel guests enjoy Learn, Play & Stay Academy programs. Brad Brewer is a Golf Magazine ‘Top 100 Teacher in America.’
For more information go to ShingleCreekGolfClub.com or call 866-996-9933.