Date of play: 14 March 2011
Along with 3 golf mates on an early golf vacation I played five courses in the Orlando area: Eagle Creek, Waldorf Astoria, Harmony Golf Preserve, Orange County National and--- lastly (very lastly)---- Mystic Dunes Golf Course. For context, all of us have played a lot of different courses over the years and range in handicap from 5 to 20. Despite great reviews and ratings Mystic Dunes seems to have on various golf sites and magazines we were very disappointed to the point of that we felt we had been had.
Mystic Dunes is a poorly designed, tricked out track. I think Gary Koch should be embarrassed as the designer. The most problematic and annoying feature of the course is the greens. Most greens are either small and domed or large and excessively/severely tiered. In a few instances the only thing that seemed to be lacking was a windmill to putt through. As it relates to the second fundamental problem of the course--- maintenance--- such severely tiered or domed greens are very difficult to maintain---- cutting properly and keeping watered (tops of domes or low spots). The course also has a number of holes designed for blind shots, unnecessarily so. For a resort course that probably has a lot of one-time golfers, the blind holes are just a pain in the ass--- not clever or fair.
The course was in poor condition when we played in mid-March 2011. The grass on the greens on the front nine was sparse--- bald spots and thin. The greens on the second nine were all top-dressed--- we were not informed of this when we started play. Needless to say, putting on top-dressed greens takes a lot of fun out of any round. Putting is a crapshoot. Fairways on the front-side were loaded with small, dry leaves and pretty thin.
Mystic Dunes does not deserve high ratings we used to select this course. If other courses we played, listed above, were “A’s”, Mystic Dunes would be a “C minus.” It is not a difficult course, it is a tricked out course that is not a good test of golf or a pleasurable round. With all the other golfing choices in the Orlando area, I would not recommend Mystic Dunes. Before writing this review I revisited some of the course rating and review sites. I read several recent glowing reviews of Mystic Dunes which makes me think Mystic Dunes marketers are writing their own copy. I just cannot believe anyone could play the course I played and give it a good review.
One other tip, our Garmin gps navigation system took us to what was the front entrance to the property--- it is now the locked back entrance.
Great course, great service, great layout.
No parallel fairways, in fact I can only think of 4 holes where you can see the next tee from the green. I can only think of one hole where you can see another fairway from the one you are playing.
These greens are either very big and undulating (on the long holes) or small and undulating (on the shorter holes) and if you play this course twice you can have 2-4 club differences on most greens and the putts be totally different day to day.
Very close to Disney, easy to find, winter starters and rangers are in Red Blazers, vests, ties, and knickers and work very hard to please. Played in about 4:20 to 4:30 in busy winter season.
I play this course often in the winter and enjoy it every time. Once out on the course you will not believe you are two miles from Disney World.
A very challenging and nice course in good condition. The greens provided a challenge. Fun course.
a fun, challenging course to play. Good shape. A few funky holes but overall a decent course.
The tricky greens were in shaky condition with many browned out areas. Not impressed by the greens, but the staff was friendly and the rest of the course was nice.
The greens were very undulating and a bit goofy. The course is close to Disney. Other courses in Orlando outshined Mystic Dunes, but it was a nice course and the staff was friendly.
Mystic Dunes is a good golf course. The greens are a little bit tricky. Fun to play.
A nice course in decent condition. Better courses to play in the area.
A fun layout, but disappointed by the roll on the greens. Staff was friendly, but course condition was a few steps below other courses we played.
Beautiful course in fine shape. Some tricky holes.