Founded in 1911, the Country Club of Orlando is
one of the oldest country clubs in Florida and their old Donald Ross-designed
course has undergone a number of renovations down the years, most recently by
Forse Design in late 2017.
Ron Forse changed everything but the routing here in 2017………and for the better.
While Forse’s specialty is course restoration (he’s done 39 Ross restorations), the biggest challenge at CCO was restoring the greens. With Ross’s field sketches unavailable, Ron had to adopt a WWDD (what would Donald do?) approach. So he decided to emulate a number of Ross greens that he thought would fit a particular hole. As a result, the golfer will see greens that (s)he might also see at Ross beauties such as Mountain Ridge, Oyster Harbors, Salem, Weston, and Country Club of Buffalo. In other cases, Ron used original ideas he thought would fit the site—the most notable being #9 with its double punchbowl green.
Every green but the first has some nifty contours, and each green offers choices—either running or aerial—on the approach shot. Over half have strategic choices from the tee as well. (My favorite was the dogleg on #14, guarded by an immense tree the members call Willie Mays. For those of you as slow as I, it was so named many years ago because “it catches everything”.) And all three par 5s require some though on the second shot—an area where architects often fall asleep. I enjoyed this course as much as a number of Florida top 50 courses here (Old Marsh, Copperhead, Timuquana and North Palm Beach) and more than a number of others (Pine Tree, Sawgrass, World Woods Oaks, Hammock Dunes Creek) ranked on this site.