Part of the Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort series
If you own Saratoga Springs, you own a vacation home on a golf course! Lake Buena Vista Golf course surrounds the SSR resort. The primary focus of today's show is the Lake Buena Vista golf course; however, we also touch on the other golfing opportunities at Walt Disney World.
When we were casting the show, Alicia convinced me that golf is an excellent family show. We put together a Lake Buena Vista Golf Course review show only using family members. Chad's cousin Hunter, who recently took up the sport of golf, joins the show. Given the fact that Alicia's family owns the Golden Sands Golf Course and Bucket Bar in Michigan, we thought it would be fun to have her sons join the show as well.
Alicia is a golf pro and loves inspiring people to try golf. The Kolenda family owns and operates the Golden Sands Golf Course and Bucket Bar in Mears, Michigan. Alicia is the manager and golf pro at their course, while William and Drew work in almost every capacity possible. Most of their time is spent maintaining the fairways and greens. Alicia is also the varsity coach at a local university.
Alicia's sons Drew, and Will have also joined the show today to give their perspectives on golfing at Walt Disney World. They like to call themselves the ‘bucket bros' and along with honing their golf skills, enjoy off-roading. They do a lot of the course maintenance at their family's course and then enjoy the rest of their days golfing. Both are also on their varsity golf teams.
Saratoga Springs Resort and Lake Buena Vista Golf Course
One of the great features of staying at Saratoga Springs is that its surrounded by the Lake Buena Vista Golf Course. The course wraps around the resort, the treehouse villas, and even though the Old Key West resort. Drew and Will have played all the Disney courses except for Oak Trail (where carts are prohibited).
Lake Buena Vista course is 18 holes, very well kept, but very wet. The wildlife is impressive, with deer and other wildlife often appearing throughout the course.
Alicia points out that some of the courses were developed by golf legend Arnold palmer. As an interesting piece of trivia, Arnold Palmer was one of the first people to ride the monorail before it opened to the public. He was also instrumental in establishing well-respected golf tournaments at Walt Disney World as part of the PGA and Open circuit.
Quick Facts and Tips:
- Cost – deals for DVC members – reasonably priced
- Sunrise 9 hole – $35 includes cart, breakfast sandwich, and a drink, rentals for $15**
- Sunset 9 hole – $25 includes cart, snack like a hotdog and an alcoholic beverage at the end, rentals $15**
** See GolfWDW.com for booking and exact pricing.
- All children under 18 years old get free rentals – excellent quality Taylormade equipment.
- Alicia does bring down her 7-year-old's set because her equipment is so much smaller.
- Suggestion to play a family scramble if you're not avid golfers – always hit the next shot from the best ball, working as a team rather than keeping individual scores.
- If you're trying golf for the first time here, the golf carts are programmed to keep you on course, can track your score, and have maps. You can even order drinks to your cart!
Disney Vacation Club Golf Members
- Only one person needs to be a member to get discounts for your entire travel party.
- Often these promos cater to DVC members because they know that we are looking for activities like spas and golf outside of the parks.
- If staying at another resort, you can ask Concierge to order you a car to the golf course of your choice. They will give you a taxi voucher! Just let them know ahead of time what your tee time is. Chad thinks this is the deal of the century!
- They have a great pro-shop and clubhouse with great merchandise. And items often go on sale.
- Booking is made directly through the golfwdw.com or by calling – 90 days out is preferable
- The golf cart order is from the clubhouse snack bar and takes about 10 minutes.
- Like to the official DVC Membership Extra.
- Review from DVCNews.com of the DVC Golf Member program.
What Do You Love About WDW Golf?
- Alicia's girls love the hidden Mickeys on the tees, the signs, and at the bottom of the cups on the greens! Even the sand raps are Mickey-shaped!
- Alicia loves seeing all the Disney-ness around her while she enjoys her favorite sport.
- The bothers have an on-going competition as to who has the best Disney score. They love the weather and not having to do golf course maintenance. Gardening maintenance is remarkable!
Other Thoughts on WDW Golf
- Oak Trail offers footgolf – which is like golf but with kicking a soccer ball. Same difficulty with water traps and trees.
- Winter-Summerland has better art and sculptures
- Fantasia Gardens have a more technical, hilly and challenging course
Final thoughts on golfing at WDW:
- Drew – Always tells people that it really boils down to having fun. Respect the course and the game but ultimately have fun
- Will – Take in the nature around you while on the courses down there
- Alicia – Go experience Disney Golf, even if it's just to walk around. Take a family lesson, have a family round, hit a bucket of balls. It's a super-fun-not-too-pricey activity to enjoy together as a family.
- Hunter – I'm hoping that the PGA Tour returns to WDW courses. I'd like to use some of Chad's points and watch a tournament!
- Chad – I want to play at WDW with Alicia's family one day!
Today's episode was produced by Chad Pennycuff. Edited and engineered by Kenny Kingborough of Harbor Red Studios. Show notes by Sandy Symianick. Facebook admins and moderators of the My DVC Points Community Group: Andrew Darden, Valerie Fairnington, Donna Bickert, and Jeremy Murray.
If you enjoy the show, please consider buying Chad a dole whip and joining the VIP Producer's Club. Your support allows us to continue producing high-quality content every week. Patreon's receive a bonus episode once a month diving a little bit deeper into ways to make the most of your membership and have access to the Podcast syndications of our live shows.