Orlando Golf Course Review – Errol Estates Country Club

Errol Estate Country Club is located in Apopka, FL, also known as northwest Orlando. It’s a Joe Lee design that opened in 1973 and features three nine hole courses; Grove, Lake and Highland.

It was originally a private golf club with 18 holes, but two years later, Mr. Lee came back to build a 3rd nine hole. Somewhere along the lines it was downgraded to a semi-private course and just last year, they stopped selling memberships and have begun striving to revitalize the course and bringing in some new blood.

Each nine hole has completely different character, style and challenges and affords the player the opportunity to play three different golf courses depending on the type of they’re interested in.

The overall course design falls somewhere in between modern and classic. Any combination of the courses will pit the player against hilly terrain, low-profile bunkers, traditionally placed water, couple of blind tee shots and slightly sloped greens. Lee did a great job of melding the course into the natural contours of the local environment.

For the Errol Estates golf course review, we played the Grove & Lake combination.

Lake Course

The Lake course is 3,406 yards and is the longest of the three, also, as the name might imply, has the most water. The fairways are wide and there’s a good amount of wind to contend with.

The first hole is definitely a memorable one. It’s a 568 yard par-5 that plays from an elevated tee box, providing you an astonishing view of the entire hole. Beware, those of you whose tee shots, like mine, trend to the left side of the hole. There’s the first of many water hazards lurking there and trust me, it’s not as out-of-play as it might seem.

Throughout the rest of the course, you’ll wind your way through pine and oak trees and if you’re lucky, you’ll avoid the worst of the strategically placed vegetation. Although it’s the longest of the courses out at Errol Estates, it’s also the easiest.

You’ll finish the course opposite the way you started, playing an uphill 426 yard par-4 with a tee shot over a small strip of water. It’s not really an issue clearing the water, unless it gets inside of your head. This tee shot requires accuracy as the fairway is bordered by encroaching trees and bunkers.

Grove Course

The Grove Course is the toughest nine measuring 3,339 yards and in my opinion the most enjoyable of the thee.

You’ll face narrow undulating fairways and strategically placed clusters of trees and hills. Accuracy is vital to survive this track, and you’ll enjoy every painful moment of it.

My favorite is the 488 yard par-5 fourth hole. It’s a super tight hole that goes to the left and any straight shots longer than 200 yards will land you in a wetland oak grove. If you survive the tee shot, you’ve gotta clear a small stream that cuts across the hole on your way to the elevated tri-bunker green.

The first hole is pretty fun as well, it’s a downhill double dogleg (left than right) with trees on the left, water on the right and some strategically place bunkers that can ruin a good starting hole.

Number three is a fun, windy beautiful par-3 hole tucked away in stand of oak trees.

The wind is a huge factor that can exponentially increase the difficulty of this course. It’s noticeable on almost every hole with #1, #2, #6 and #8 being the most adversely affected.

Highland Course

The shortest of the Errol Estates courses, Highland measures 3,329 from the tips. Named for it’s various elevation peaks and valleys. Like the other two, the first hole is an elevated tee shot, but unlike the other two, so it the finishing 9th.

I’ve played this particular course twice in the past and the most memorable moment for me is standing on that 9th tee box taking in the panoramic view. It’s like you’ve been teleported to some golf course in the Dominican Republic. It’s a beautiful downhill shot, with water on the left and a bunch of housing that looks like Spanish villas. It’s a very enjoyable hole. Even a substandard drive will get you close to 300 yards and if you pure it.. (whistle) LOOK OUT BELOW!! :)

You’ll encounter terrain on the Highland course that one doesn’t expect from an Orlando golf course. Plenty of uphill and downhill plays with no water to contend with. It’s a great opportunity to post a lower than usual score. :)

The 8th hole, however, is reputed to be the most frustrating hole on the course. It’s a 445 yard par-4 triple D (double dogleg downhill) hole. You’ll also have pit your formidable golf skill against more encroaching trees, bunkers and marshland.

Overall

I played Errol Estates country club for the first time during the 2nd Annual Future Stars Foundation Pro-Am.  It was played on the Lake/Highland combo. I tried to view the round with the “course reviewers” eye, but I was too busy trying to keep up with Carling Coffing and her birdy dances.

At the time, though, there was a lot of rubbish strewn about on the course. By rubbish, I mean piles of cut trees, rakes leaves, and other foliage, which was quite an eyesore and super frustrating as one of our playing partners landed his approach shot in one. It wasn’t in that great of shape either.. not nearly what you’d expect when you’re forking out $200 bucks to play..

I’m happy to report, however, that the new management and new initiatives have made a positive impact. Instead of playing a course that was maintained just enough to “get by,” now your swinging your sticks off of turf that is on its way to former glory. The clubhouse could definitely use some work though, it’s aged, but not in a good way. I suppose it could be viewed as “comfortable” but it doesn’t exactly convey a sense of prosperity.

Errol Estates has one of the most inconveniently located driving ranges I’ve ever had the misfortune of encountering. It took me quite a bit of time to find it, even AFTER I was given directions. I’ll give you a hint, it’s on the other side of the parking lot across from the clubhouse.

The course was in good shape, nothing to brag about, but also nothing to complain about. It’s well worth the price of admission, I think the tee times are between $30-$50 during peak times.

Overall, I really enjoyed Errol Estates. I’m a big fan of the “build your own golf course” motif. Each course is distinctive and provides it’s own set of challenges for you to contend with. If you’re looking for a reasonably priced golf course that’s in good shape and has some character, check them out, I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

For all you locals or Orlando frequenters, what is your opinion of Errol Estates?

If you liked this one, feel free to check out my other Orlando golf course reviews and if you’re looking to play, here’s a selection of discount tee times.

  7 comments for “Orlando Golf Course Review – Errol Estates Country Club

  1. at

    Sadly, after today I am BEYOND disappointed with the staff and management and their audacity to offend people in front of their children. I am a home owner in Errol Estates, and, although I am not a member of the country club, I am a frequent visitor to the Pool Bar. For the past two months my friend/neighbor and I have gone to the Pool Bar, at about 10 am at least three days a week to swim and tan. The only reason that we started to attend the Pool is because Errol Estates Country Club put a HUGE banner facing Errol Parkway that said ‘Now Open to the Public’, they also took out a billboard advertisement on the corner of 441 aka Orange Blossom Trail which read ‘Now Open to the Public’. Before ever attending, I called the country club to inquire about the prices. I spoke with a woman named Misty or Missy who explained that the price was $2 per person to swim. I have visited by myself and my children (not with my friend) and my friend has attended by herself (without me), each time we were charged $2 per person, and no one ever asked us if we were Errol Estates Country Club members. Today, June 16 2011, for the first time, I took my 4 daughters ages 4, 11, 13 and 14, to the pool. We also traveled with my friend and her 2 children ages 1 & 6. After about 30 minutes of hanging out my friend’s 6 year old daughter became nervous (because she was learning to swim) and she threw up a little at the edge of the pool. Immediately we began to try to clean it up, one of the staff members inside the bar brought us out a pitcher that we could use to clean it. Less than 5 minutes after we were approached by Misty/Missy who claimed to be the pool manager. She immediately assumed that we were not members and said to us : ;Ladies, we charge $2 per guest that comes with a country club member, or we sell a summer pass for the pools $250 for 6 months, I will allow you to swim today but for future reference you will have to buy a pass.’ When we tried to explain to her that we had been coming to the pool for months, she interrupted us and said that she was ‘trying to be nice’ but if we didn’t like it then we could leave. Then she walked back into the bar area and closed the door behind her. Never, have I felt so offended, or disgusted by the way someone has approached me. When I went into the bar area to speak to her, I was yelled at by her and her staff, I was told that they would give me my $2 back, and that I needed to leave. When I asked to speak to the manager of the country club, she told me ‘no’ that I could ‘walk my a$$ up there’. Needless to say I was shocked and appalled that this was going on. At one point I pleaded with one of the three staff members that were behind the counter to explain to the manager that we were frequent visitors. She didn’t say that she didn’t recognize us, but that ‘a lot of people come here’. My friend and I are there at 10am, we are usually the only swimmers for the hour we are there and we are hard to miss because we come in after a jog, sweating, wearing sneakers with workout clothes on. As I continued to try to speak to them to get a better understanding of what was really going on, one of her staff members reached over the counter towards me and said ‘you bit**es need to get the f*** out of here. My friend, who was overwhelmed by this point and holding her 1 year old in her arms at the time, starting to yell back at her. Then we were told that they were calling the police for trespassing. We left the building to walk up to the clubhouse and look for the manager. He was uninterested in the story, treated us like he could care less and when we demanded that he fire the girl that yelled and cursed at us, he said ‘I already fired her’. We asked ‘when’ and he said three weeks ago…. Hmm? So it seems that they have already had several issues with there pool staff but were not willing to admit that their staff was at fault on this day. Why? Well, I have concluded that it was blatantly RACISM. My friend and I could both easily pass for caucasian/Italian woman, however my friend’s children have a black father, and are obviously mixed. The four woman on the other side of the counter at the pool bar were white, blonde hair and blue eyed. You draw the conclusions that you want. End of the story, we were issued Trespassing Warnings by the Sheriff’s Office. It was the most embarrassing, disgusting, apalling, racist experience of my life.

  2. Jesse Carroll
    at

    My wife and I played the Lake and Highland courses yesterday (24 July 2011). If, as stated in this review, the course owners are trying to revitalize the course then they have failed. The fairways are weedy or bare and the greens are in such poor shape we agreed to a two putt maximum. I will say that the surround scenery and the over layouts are intriguing. At this point we do not intend to play Errol Estates again. Zellwood Station is only a short drive north and (at least the last time we played there) is in much better condition.

  3. Donna K
    at

    My Husband and I recently were looking at homes here in the Errol community since there were some aggressive pricing in the area and near the 429 interstate. We wanted to play a round of golf while we were in the area and I am not sure what the situation with Errol is, but after playing there decided not to make any offers on the home we were looking at. Course is in by far the worse condition of any course we have played in the central Fl area. We started looking here a year ago and it was called Errol Resort open to the public, now its Errol County Club( different logo even!) Not sure if they are having an identity issues or what. As a potential real estate buyer, we were totally confused and bought in another area of Orlando.

  4. Joe Nateroli
    at

    We played Errol, Lake to Highland, two weeks ago. I got to tell you I couldn”t believe the great condition it’s in after reading past comments. Big difference between last summer when those comments were made and these days. Greens are smooth, true and medium speed. Fairways filled in. Looks like new sand in some traps. Don’t know what the otherr nine looks like but I can recommend Errol thesedays.
    Joe Nateroli….

  5. Natalie Meyer
    at

    I recently played at Errol. The courses are in great shape and the grounds are beautiful. The new owners are doing a remarkable job. As far as the pool goes, I know that for a while there was a management company that allowed the public to pay a day charge to use the pool. When that management company left the old rules went back into play and you are required to be a member or accompanied by a member. It sounds like to me that management was trying to explain that to the young lady at the pool. Does not sound like a case of racism at all. The young lady states that they were trespassed, therefor the officer must have felt they were doing something wrong! Note that in the story her comment says the manager offered to let them continue to use the pool for the day.Seems like to me she was just trying to do her job and that the women at the pool were looking for a fight. So rediculous!!!!! I strongly suggest you play golf at Errol again, just so you can see the difference in the course. You will be amazed at how quickly it has turned around!!!

  6. Alexis Marcone
    at

    I have had the same terrible experience at Errol Pool Bar with the same three white blonde girls. I am an Errol home owner, with Errol pool passes. Infact I used to like to go up there and have a couple cocktails by the pool, but the staff has driven me and my friends away. It started with a girl there claiming to be the manager, when my friend and I walked into the pool it was completely empty, so we joked about Gavin VIP seating, o ly when we said that we hear mimicking from inside the bar. Honestly we ignored it cause it was going to be a fun day in the sun. So then we go up the bar and order our drinks, only to get them served to us in mouth wash cups they use at the dentist and charged 5$ per thimble! So since I had water I just ignored the bartenders pathetic attempt to make a drink. Well a girl I was wih tried I ask the bar tender what the problem was, as I was laying outside, I had the most obnoxious blonde girl carrying a cigarette in her hands yelling at me about how dare I ask what her problem was. And that she already knew who I was, and honestly the girl was trying to get psychical with me. When I called my fiancé who is good friends with the pool manager Misty, se started trying to grab my phone out of my hands. Now, I am a 100 lb 25 year old woman, I was not going to fight any trashy bar tender. But she kept coming in my face, cursing at the top of her lungs and smoking like a pirate on the pool deck, and not to mention there were 3 young kids already by te pool, and a couple older ladies attpring to enjoy the sun. Later on I found out that the girl at the pool bar tried to fight the “pool manager” and was trying to get the address to my house for calling and complaining about her. And having video of te altercation because my friend was smart enough to recor the situation. Come to find out, the girls never get fired. Infact she is still working there. So me, my 5 year old step son and my friends cannot go enjoy a neighborhood pool that we have payed for passes to because Errol appearanty encourages trashy staff.
    I’ve never been a fighter, but I wanted to punch that bar tender in te face so badly! It was a terrible experience and something needs to be done about Errol pool. It is out of control. This is a country club, NOT obt’s community trash pool. And I would like to feel unthreatened to go enjoy the pool with my family when it’s literally 100 ft from my house.

  7. Albert
    at

    As a homeowner myself, the Country Club does seem to have some “grand old” attitudes still lingering around from the “good ole days”. I use to be a member who would frequent and enjoy the amenities in my own backyard. But honestly, I did witness some non-welcoming moments by the staff on certain patrons that cannot be chalked up to un-professionalism or bad manners; it was more like a “cultural” attitude and it made me not want to re-joing or visit at all. A real shame too; its very beautiful course standing still in time, ugly times unfortunately.

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