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The redesign, led by One Club Limited and its Chief Golf Course Designer Ken Baker, will involve the reconfiguration of several of the Magnolia Course’s finishing holes – Nos. 14, 15, 16 and 17 – which have played a role in several exciting finishes over the course’s 42 years on the PGA Tour schedule. Additionally, the course’s 18 greens will be upgraded to create an enhanced putting experience. Work is underway with the new Magnolia course set to reopen later this year on Walt Disney World Resort’s 50th anniversary.
“We have assembled an incredible team that is dedicated to creating the best possible experience for our customers around the world who travel here on a championship-caliber golf vacation,” said Bruce Gerlander, chief executive of Arnold Palmer Golf Management, which operates golf courses at Walt Disney World. “For more than four decades, Disney’s Magnolia has been the favorite stop on the PGA Tour and we have been planning this colossal project methodically for years.”
Here is how each of the finishing holes will be redesigned:
- No. 14 – Currently a par 5, will become a par 4, with a new green space
- No. 15 – Currently a par 3, will change location to a long par 5 with a dogleg to the right
- No. 16 – Will change location and remain a par 4, but will now have a dogleg to the left
- No. 17 – Currently a par 4, will become a par 3, with new tee locations
Additionally, holes 16 and 17 will be connected by a newly constructed trolley bridge through the forest, creating scenic nature views for golfers traveling between these holes. And several fairway and greenside bunkers are improved as well as several new tee boxes are added to test every level of player. The Magnolia Course was last modified in 2015 when its bunkers and cart paths were upgraded.
“These will be dramatic changes to the Magnolia course that will create a playing experience that will be both challenging and fun for all golfers,” said Faron Kelley, vice president of Disney Sports. “We know our guests expect a magical experience every time they come to golf at Walt Disney World and this redesign is part of our ongoing commitment to achieving that goal for every golfer who approaches that first tee. .”
A pair of great champions, Sergio Garcia and Gary Woodlandrecently got a glimpse of the redesign and the two came away impressed.
“It’s going to be amazing. 15 (becoming) a big par 5; 16 is a long par 4 and they brought the water in perfectly,” Woodland said. “You’re going to have four fence holes in the stretch that will test every aspect of your game. It will be a great ending here in Magnolia.
Garcia added: “It’s a fun course to play. When (golfers) finish their rounds they can’t wait to come back and I think that’s something the Magnolia course will have.
More than a decade ago, Walt Disney World Resort and Arnold Palmer Golf Management launched a 20-year strategic alliance underpinned by a commitment to continually improve and enhance the Walt Disney World Golf experience for all Guests. The major overhaul of the Magnolia Course follows substantial changes to Disney’s Palm Golf Course in 2013, Disney’s Oak Trail Golf Course in 2014 and 2018, and Disney’s Lake Buena Vista Golf Course in 2018.
As one of the original Walt Disney World Resort golf courses that opened in 1971, the Magnolia Course is a well-maintained, par-72 course with elevated tees and greens, rolling terrain and a Popular Mickey Mouse-shaped sand hazard on the 6th hole. .
Located across from Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, the course was designed by Joe Lee and is aptly named for its more than 1,500 magnolias. With tees ranging from 5,127 to 7,516 yards from the tips, it’s the longest of Disney’s four golf courses.