In this section learn more about the history of the course and its hometown, see a selection of historic and current images of the course, learn about what the course is like today, and discover nearby historic sites.
The Winter Park Golf Course is located in the City of Winter Park in Orange County. Chartered in 1887, the city of Winter Park was developed as a winter resort for wealthy northerners seeking refuge from harsh winters, and a tranquil place to rest and relax. The city was first named Lakeview in 1858 and re-named Osceola in 1870. Eleven years later, the name "Winter Park" was chosen by its founders, who wanted the town name to reflect the pleasure of enjoying an outdoor park in winter.
The city's golfing heritage dates back to 1900 when its first course, located south of the existing course and adjacent to Rollins College, was designed by John Dunn of Scotland. Dunn's golf course was closed in less than ten years due to the growth of the town and college.
In 1914, Harley A. Ward and Dow George were commissioned to lay out a 9-hole course on 25 acres at the north end of town. That same year the Winter Park Country Club was formed. One of the club's first activities was to build a clubhouse, which is still in use today. In that same year the newly formed club contracted with Dow George to build an additional 18-hole golf course which would wrap around the 9-hole "short" course. Complaints of cattle wandering on the fairways prompted the city to install a gate and fencing around the course in 1915. However, a few years later the club turned its links into a green pasture for sheep and goats in order to help solve the shortage of meat supply during World War I. This also reduced the club’s need to frequently mow the fairways.
In 1926, with the opening of the Aloma Country Club and Golf Course, across Lake Osceola, the Winter Park Country Club golf courses were closed. When the Aloma facility went out of business ten years later, the Winter Park Country Club re-organized at their old site. They combined holes from the 18-hole and 9-hole golf courses to produce a new 9-hole layout. The golf course and clubhouse were rehabilitated, and the course was reopened in 1937.
In 1999, the Winter Park golf course became the first golf course in Florida to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. At the same time, the clubhouse was also listed on the National Register.
The Winter Park Golf Course includes a 9-hole, par-35 golf course featuring two sets of tees playing from 2,300 to 2,400 yards.
Located in the heart of Winter Park, the golf course is a staple for locals and tourists alike. On any given day of the week, visitors can find a good group to play with. In 2010, Winter Park Golf Course was voted the second best public golf course in the greater Orlando area by Orlando Magazine, and was featured on an episode of The Golf Channel's travel show GolfNow.
Residents of Winter Park have embraced the history of their golf course and are proud of their unique facility. Together with passionate golfers, recognizing the significance of the course, they have worked to maintain this course as one of Florida's very best public access golf courses. Take a look at this City of Winter Park video celebrating the course, its history, and recent restoration of the clubhouse and pro shop.
The historic canals of Winter Park - Since the 1930s, one of the most scenic ways to see and experience Winter Park is on a boat tour through its lakes and historic manmade canals. The Winter Park Chain of Lakes are an interconnected system of six lakes in Winter Park and Maitland that are joined by navigable canals. The earliest canals date back to the 1870s. Under the Federal Emergency Relief Administration in the 1930s, the canals were widened and deepened to allow for larger boats. Since then, canal boat tours have been a popular attraction for locals and visitors. Today, visitors can take an hour-long guided scenic boat tour through some of the lakes and canals. For the more adventurous, there are guided tours of the canals and lakes on stand-up paddle boards. Visit Scenic Boat Tours, MauiB, or Paddleboard Orlando for more details.