Peter Kacheris, managing director of Bonnet Creek, home to the Waldorf Astoria® Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, announced the addition of the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club to the destination’s extensive list of amenities. Created by acclaimed golf course architect Rees Jones, the 18-hole, 7,113-yard championship course is the centerpiece of the first golf club for the Waldorf Astoria brand. The Waldorf Astoria Golf Club will also feature a clubhouse and be open for play October 1, 2009, the same day as all of Bonnet Creek, conveniently surrounded on three sides by Walt Disney World® Resort.
“As the first Waldorf Astoria to be built outside of New York City, our desire is to pay tribute to the landmark hotel’s legendary past and create new traditions. Due to our distinctive preserve setting, there is a sense of being alone with nature, playing the ‘game of kings’ in a fairy tale forest,” says Kacheris.
One of the few golf courses in the Orlando area to be free of real estate dotting its greens, the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club is open to all players – those staying at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando or Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and those who want to experience a piece of history. Although designed with a five-tee system for all playing abilities, the course is challenging. Winding through a large wetland preserve, it has a par 72, slope 130 and 72.5 rating from its professional tees.
Holes are visually arresting from tee to green and require intelligent management of the game. Bunkers are carved to be reminiscent of the hazards designed on courses a century ago. Majestic stands of pine and cypress trees line the fairways. The style was dictated by the land’s existing contours, which Jones then enhanced, always mindful of the natural elements and environmental sensitivity.
“Opening the first Waldorf Astoria Golf Club in conjunction with legendary designer Rees Jones is a tremendous monumental addition to Bonnet Creek and the golfing public,” states Ted Ratcliff, senior vice president, North Eastern Americas for Hilton Hotels Corporation. “We are thrilled to be part of Orlando’s prominent golf community and look forward to introducing the Waldorf Astoria experience to visitors of our hotels and the destination.”