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Osprey Ridge Golf Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.0

Golf - Resort Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Lake Buena Vista, FL
Date Last Played: February 20, 2010

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Osprey Ridge Golf Course Review

Osprey Ridge is one of the five courses owned and operated by Disney World. Typical of all of the Disney courses, Osprey Ridge offers excellent service, near perfect conditions, beautiful landscaping, and a fun round of golf that is fair yet demanding. Osprey Ridge leaves the clubhouse and meanders through: the natural terrain of stands of live oak, pine, palmetto, cypress and bay trees; a wide variety of natural vegetation and wetlands (there is a very scenic cart ride between holes though the wetlands); and several sparkling lakes with water features - offering scenic beauty, serenity (if you exclude some of the sounds of Disney World), and an opportunity to see deer, huge turtles, bobcats, and a variety of birds including Osprey nesting on several tall nesting poles. The hanging cypress moss gives the course an eerie feel. Osprey Ridge has been recognized as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Wildlife Sanctuary and Golf Digest ranked Osprey Ridge as one of the best in Florida, rating it 4½ stars.

But don't let the perfect conditions, beauty, and serenity mislead you, like most Tom Fazio designs, this course is no walk in the park and on each hole Fazio will throw something at you to keep you on your game. You'll need to contend with:

  • water on ten holes
  • mounding and elevation changes
  • 72 soft white sand bunkers of all shapes and sizes - some of which are massive
  • several dog legs
  • tight landing zones as well as approaches to well protected greens
  • forced carries
  • risk reward opportunities

For example, #9 is a fantastic 510 yard par 5 that horseshoes around the lake (populated by an alligator who is frequently seen taking a peaceful swim) requiring a precise drive and an accurate approach to avoid the trees, natural areas, 7 bunkers, and water. Osprey offers plenty of variety and some spectacular holes and the last three are some of the best we played in Orlando.

 

When we played in February, a lot of the landscaping was dormant and the previous week had some unusually cold and nasty conditions. Regardless, Osprey Ridge was in excellent condition and very well maintained, manicured, and landscaped. During the season, the fairways will be colorful and thick and lush. The greens vary in shape and size and include both slope and undulation. They were a tad fast but true and pretty easy to read. Most of the Osprey Ridge greens are fairly well protected with several soft sand bunkers. Pin placement can be a par buster. Beware of #18 - each day an Osprey Ridge guest gets to call the pin placement for that day!

 

The GPS is excellent and includes a number of tips as well as some golf facts. With five sets of tee boxes and yardage ranging from 5282 yards to 7039 yards, you can bite off as much of a challenge as you're up for or pick a tee box that will result in a fun, memorable, and relaxing round. Osprey Ridge is a must play if you're in the area. We played Osprey Ridge as part of a fun filled seven days in Orlando where we rode in an Indy race car, saw alligators on an air-boat ride, sky dived in a wind tunnel, flew a 1946 World War II fighter trainer, para-sailed, swam with the manatees, ate too much good food, enjoyed some fun nightlife, golfed 9 different courses, and got very little sleep! Read our Orlando Vacation article to learn more about this adventure packed vacation.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Gold 7,039 73.7 127
Blue 6,629 71.7 124
White 5,996 68.8 117
Red 5,283 70.2 124

Course Information

Course Architect:
Tom Fazio
Greens Condition
9.5
Greens Difficulty
8.0
GPS:
Yes
Course Map
Beware of water on 9 holes and the 72 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.0 out of 10
Beauty:
9.5
Difficulty:
7.5
Variety:
9.0
Fun to Play:
10.0
Value:
8.0
Condition:
10.0
Front Nine Rating:
9.0
Back Nine Rating:
9.5
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$98.00 to $174.00

Service is typical Disney - attention to detail and a focus on the guest. The practice facility and pro shop are excellent.

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Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating

The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this:  links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course.  In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40.  We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.