ORLANDO, Fla. – It must be stated honestly that the first priority in considering the Rosen Shingle Creek resort was convenience, with its close proximity to the Orange Country Convention Center for the PGA Merchandise Show in January.
“It’s not what you would call walking distance to the convention centre, but it’s a mile-and-a-half, two miles away, a short cab drive or a short drive,” said director of golf Dave Scott. “I suspect the most convenient thing to do is take a cab.”
That’s precisely what we did, although I discovered on the final day that there was a shuttle leaving the hotel for the convention centre, my fault for not looking into the matter before the show began.
However, the price of a cab was between $10 and $12 per trip, about the same price as parking during the show and not even close to what it would cost to rent a car, which is normally what I would do when in Orlando.
After years of attending the show, I usually go with the philosophy that, as long as accommodations are clean and comfortable, it’s all good because due to appointments and evening functions, there’s very little time to spend in your room or around the pool, as tempting as that may sound.
That business-first attitude was severely tested from the moment we rolled into the 230 acres surrounding a resort with 1,500 rooms, four outdoor pools, nine restaurants, fitness centre, spa, meeting facilities and a variety of other amenities that do tempt visitors to blow off an appointment or two at the convention centre.
Besides those temptations and a staff that is obviously well-trained in customer service, those with golf as a passion and profession have plenty to capture their attention at Shingle Creek, including the Brad Brewer Golf Academy, which offers adults and juniors individual and group instruction, academy programs, customized group instruction and team-building activities.
Brewer co-founded the Arnold Palmer Golf Academies and has worked with several corporations to provide executive golf education on how to use the game to forge business relationships. A former Nike Tour / Australasian Tour player, he has been recognized by several national media outlets for his teaching.
From our 14th floor room, we also had a panoramic view of the Shingle Creek Golf Club, a David Harman design that stretches to 7,228 yards with five sets of tees to accommodate all skill levels.
“It’s what I would call a typical Florida course — pretty flat. The greens are big and contoured. It has 99 bunkers, water on 15 of the 18 holes so very Florida-ish,” said Scott of a course that has hosted Hooters Tour and U.S. Amateur sectional qualifying, among other high-profile events.
Scott adds that golfers seeing the open fairways of Shingle Creek should not assume that it’s not a test of golf.
“Number 14 has 19 bunkers. It’s a par four, 450 yards from the back tees. The one right after it is a beautiful downhill par three that can be up to 197 yards from the back tees with a little canal running in front of it and it comes right back to the hotel,” he said.
“Seventeen is a beautiful hole, same thing with it coming right back at the hotel, about a 190-yard par three,” he added. “Number six is probably our most difficult hole relative to par. It’s a 475-yard par four from the back tees.
“We have some shorter holes like nine around the hotel. It’s kind of a lay up and a short iron to the green over water. Eight’s kind of the same way, so it’s a really nice mix of holes.”
For more on the Rosen Shingle Creek, see the website, www.shinglecreekgolf.com.