Less than 24 hours away from round 1 of the Florida Junior at Orange County National, the IJGT team is on site marking the course, setting hole locations, and getting all of the prep work done before competition begins. As junior golfers arrive and play their practice rounds today, we have a little preview of conditions going into the weekend.
Throwing a bit of a curve ball from our normal tournaments, the Florida Junior will be played on both Crooked Cat and Panther Lake courses at Orange County National (Winter Garden, FL). According to the on-site team, the greens are playing smooth and fast, running 11 on the stimpmeter, and the temperature is around 80 degrees with 10/15 mph winds.
Both courses are set up for the following yardages by division:
Boys 15-19: 6684
Boys 14 & Under: 5858
ABOUT THE COURSES
Described on the OCN website as “everything you could want in a golf course”, Panther Lake is unique because there is no development in or around the course- a.k.a. no homes, a.k.a. good news for anyone worried about duck hooking it into someone’s window. There are a lot of different shots to be played and each hole will play a little different. The greens were replaced in 2011 with Champions Dwarf Grass Bermuda, that produces similar conditions to the bent grass you would see on courses in cooler climates. The shorter tee distances are considered to be a little more friendly than the tips, so possibly an opportunity for Boys 14 & Under or the Girls to capitalize on.
Similar to Panther Lake, Crooked Cat is made up of elevation changes, rolling fairways, and long contoured greens. However, with fewer trees, wider landing areas, and native heather and mounding framing the fairways, Crooked Cat will provide the junior golfers with more of a links style experience. The greens are the same Bermuda as Panther Lake, described to have a true roll and quick pace. Crooked Cat is more exposed than Panther Lake, giving the wind an opportunity to play a factor in ball flight.
Panther Lake #17, Par 3
Boys 15-19: 159 yards
Boys 14 & under: 132 yards
Girls: 125 yards
This par 3 has a tough, two tiered green that will make it hard to get the ball close.The green is also well protected with water in the front and bunkers surrounding the green. This hole will be tough if you miss the green, or if you hit it to the wrong tier.
Crooked Cat #12, Par 4
Boys 15-19: 410 yards
Boys 14 & under: 380 yards
Girls: 365 yards
Nicknamed “The Sweep”, hole 12 will set up for a tough second shot into a big green. There is water on the right that comes into play both off the tee and for the approach shot. On the approach, junior golfers will be forced to carry water while avoiding water by the green on the right side.
Panther Lake #12, Par 4
Boys 15-19: 295 yards
Boys 14 & under: 295 yards
Girls: 285 yards
Playing as a drivable par 4, expect to see at lot of birdies here this weekend- especially from some of our older boys. The tees being up will definitely give players a little more to think about on their tee shot- and could be the difference an aggressive player needs to win. The green is well protected with bunkers but with a well struck drive a player could be putting for eagle.
Crooked Cat #9, Par 4
Boys 15-19: 370 yards
Boys 14 & under: 324 yards
Girls: 315 yards
Called “The Bend” for its severe dog-leg left, this par 4 brings the opportunity to capitalize on a strategic tee shot. If a player can hit the fairway, they will have a short approach shot into the green. With the right shot, a good player can set themselves up to go for the flag, hit it close and have a good chance at birdie.
We are so excited to be at Orange County National this weekend, the two unique and interesting courses will definitely create a test for everyone in the field. If you would like more information on OCN, or either of the courses we are playing this weekend, check out their website by clicking here. On behalf of everyone at IJGT, we are so grateful to be able to play such an awesome venue.
Saturday tee times start at 9:40 AM Eastern Time, and you can follow the leaderboard here, and make sure you are following IJGT on Facebook so you can get notifications when we are doing live pre and post round interviews.
Good luck to everyone in the field and we are looking forward to an exciting weekend!
Questions, comments, concerns? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you missed getting into the field at OCN, we still have a couple spots left at Savannah Harbor (Feb. 25-26) and you can click here to register.
There are still 13 more opportunities to compete this spring, and we have some awesome offers available. Click on your region below to check out deals in your area:
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