Walt Disney World® Golf And Arnold Palmer Golf Management Celebrate Five Years Of Golf Operations!
In August of 2011, the Walt Disney World® Resort and Arnold Palmer Golf Management (APGM) announced the beginning of a 20 year partnership, whereby APGM would take over all operations of the golf courses and related facilities to engage in the extensive improvement and promotion of golf at the Walt Disney World® Resort. That partnership went into effect on September 25, 2011.
In September of 2016, we celebrated five years of golf operations at the Walt Disney World® Resort and thought that this would be a good time to look back at the significant improvements in both facilities and services that have taken place under our stewardship to date.
- We opened our new, dedicated web site here at golfwdw.com to provide a platform by which our Guests can make online tee time reservations and obtain a variety of information on the golf courses and the services that we offer.
- We ceased the annual process of the overseeding our golf courses, which has led to significant improvements in golf course health, increased playing time during the fall weather transition and material reductions in our environmental impact.
- We introduced the Walt Disney World® Golf eClub, which offers our Guests the opportunity for advanced notifications of golf specials and events, before they are announced generally to the public.
- We also opened up our new Facebook page, to increase our social media engagement with our Guests and fans, to provide timely updates, photos and historical facts regarding the Walt Disney World® golf courses.
- Disney’s Palm Golf Course underwent major renovations under the expert guidance of the Arnold Palmer Design Company. The renovations were extensive, brand new teeing grounds, bunkers, and greens, and we were honored to have taken top honors in the Golf Inc. Magazine Renovation of the Year Awards for 2015. Guest feedback regarding the changes has been nothing short of phenomenal.
- We introduced the Players Club Membership Program, which we liken to a gym membership for your golf game. For a low monthly fee, members gained access to daily golf clinics taught by Michael Schlager, our PGA Director of Instruction, unlimited driving range access, and discounted fees to play our four golf courses. In early 2016, we announced significant enhancements to the program, expanding the geographic area in Central Florida where residents are eligible, additional benefits, improved schedules, and a Facebook page to facilitate communications.
- We began to offer focused golf camps for junior players, age 7 to 17, to enhance their ability to enjoy the game of golf and improve their skills under the guidance of Michael Schlager, our PGA Director of Instruction. The camps, which are offered at various times of the year, may be single-day or multi-day, offer lunches, snacks and beverages as well as games and prizes for the participants. It is our goal to facilitate the increased participation in the game of golf by juniors.
- We introduced the Sunrise 9 program, which enables our Guests to play a half-round of 9 holes of golf early in the morning, along with a pre-round breakfast sandwich and beverage and a beverage following play.
- We renovated Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course where we re-built all of the teeing grounds, and constructed for the very first time, dedicated junior teeing grounds for those youngsters just getting into the game of golf. We also removed in the region of 30 large trees from the property that were hampering healthy turf growth and playing conditions.
- Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course underwent major updates to the bunkers, extensive tree work and cart path repairs. Our Guests have been extremely positive about their feedback on the improvements to the course.
- We introduced our new Walt Disney World® Golf Blog, to provide the means for our Guests and fans to keep up with new developments at the Walt Disney World® golf courses and other relevant news in the world of golf.
- We introduced the Play Around The World Pass in addition to our classic Two Round Pass, to provide additional cost savings for Guests wishing to play multiple rounds of golf at the Walt Disney World® golf courses.
- We introduced Jiminy Cricket as our Pace of Play Ambassador, to provide additional information to our Guests to assist in speeding up the time it takes you to play a round of 18 holes, with the goal of playing in under four and a half hours.
- We also introduced Chip and Dale as our Food and Beverage Ambassadors, to provide additional information to our Guests regarding our fixed food and beverage locations around the courses. Replacing the typical roving carts also helped to improve pace of play, by reducing the average time to play a round by 15 minutes. We also enhanced the menus available at each of the food and beverage locations on and off the courses.
- We introduced a partnership with Ship Sticks, to offer convenient and cost effective shipment of your golf clubs to and from the Walt Disney World® Golf courses from your home or business, when playing our courses.
- We introduced our Walt Disney World® Golf Getaway Packages, to combine the magic of a Walt Disney World® Resort stay, with world-class golf.
- Golf Advisor designated Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course as a Top 10 golf course in Florida for junior and beginner golfers.
- We completed the substantial enhancements to our food and beverage services on and off the golf courses. We now provide a dedicated page on our web site to provide additional information to you.
- We have enhanced the merchandise that is available in our pros shops, with a variety of Walt Disney World® Golf logo merchandise, including the recent introduction of official Mickey Mouse head covers. We also recently upgraded the rental golf club equipment available to our Guests, with the latest from TaylorMade Golf.
- We continue to build relationships with corporate, charitable, community and academic partners, to host a variety of special events at Walt Disney World® Golf. These have included the PGA Junior League National Golf Championships, the MAAC Men’s and Women’s Championships, the Special Olympics Florida Invitational and State Golf Championships and the ISPS Handa Demonstration Event following the 2016 Invictus Games. Additional events are scheduled during the remainder of 2016 and into 2017.
As we look back over the past five years, we are very proud of our accomplishments and honored to have received multiple awards for them. We are proud of all of our staff, from our maintenance crew, to our pro shop, food and beverage and operations staff, to our PGA Professionals. We could not have done all of this without them.
We are most proud of the overwhelmingly positive feedback that our Guests and partners have provided to us as we continue to invest in improving their playing and service experience here at Walt Disney World® Golf.
Stay tuned, as we have many more plans for the years ahead, as we continue to invest in the golf courses, facilities and services, to raise the bar in terms of what it means to experience Walt Disney World® Golf.
We look forward to welcoming you to the “Happiest Place on TURF!”