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Lake County Offers Alternative To Orlando Area Courses

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. Just a stone's throw from the Walt Disney World area, Lake County offers an abundance of inexpensive golfing alternatives on wide open uncongested courses.

Tee Times USA, Lake County's exclusive golf reservation agent, can create an ideal golf package to suit the needs of any traveler.

Tee Times' "Stay & Play" package rates vary by season and by golf course. Daily rates start as low as $53. Package rates include accommodations per night, based on double occupancy and include greens fees for one round of golf, carts and taxes (some hotels include breakfast in the package).

"If you compare Lake County's rates to other golf packages offered in Central Florida, the cost is often less than half of what you would pay for a comparable package elsewhere," said Roseanne Stocker of Tee Times USA. "Lake County's golf packages are one of the top values in Florida."
Accommodations range from resorts and historic inns to hotels and motels, and all are located close to the courses. Participating accommodations include Comfort Inn & Suites Mount Dora, Holiday Inn Express Clermont, Howard Johnson Express Inn Clermont, Lakeside Inn Mt. Dora, Mission Inn Golf & Tennis Resort and Swiss Fairways Villas.
The rolling hills, winding streams and sparkling lakes of Lake County offer a landscape upon which magnificent golf courses have been crafted. A number of stunning courses offer some of the best golfing in the South, and challenges are plentiful for the beginner and the experienced golfer alike.

Among the signature golf courses found in Lake County are:

Mission Inn Golf and Tennis Resort
Towering forests and quiet lakes greet golfers at the Mission Inn Golf and Tennis Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills. The resort features 36 holes of championship golf and rare 85-foot tee-to-green elevations. Mission Inn boasts two courses that are rated in the top 20 of Florida's 1,100-plus golf courses. El Campeon, one of the south's oldest golf courses, was built in 1926 by Charles Clark of Troon; and Las Colinas features a signature 12th hole that is a par five with a narrow tree-lined fairway requiring pinpoint accuracy from tee to green.

Black Bear Golf Club
Black Bear Golf Club in Eustis is the place for golfers who "eat, drink and sleep golf." A highly praised P.B. Dye layout, this "do or dye" course features the designer's trademark touches, such as sandy waste bunkers, undulating greens and dramatic fairway elevation changes. The 18-hole course has six sets of tees measuring from 5,000 yards to 7,000 yards.

Deer Island Golf & Lake Club
Visitors may find it difficult to focus on their game at the stunning Deer Island Golfers' Club. Nestled among lakes and nature preserves on a 400-acre island, the 18-hole championship course is situated across Lake Dora from lovely and historic Mount Dora. The course masterfully intertwines a pristine environment with unsurpassed golf. Course architect Joe Lee calls Deer Island "the most unique course I've ever designed."

Other Acclaimed Courses
Other highly acclaimed courses -- private, semi-private and public -- include Clerbrook, Diamond Players Club, Green Valley Country Club, Palisades Country Club, Swiss Fairways Country Club and Kings Ridge Golf Club in Clermont; Grand Island Wedgewood Golf Course in Eustis; Bella Vista Golf & Yacht Club in Howey-in-the-Hills; Country Club of Lady Lake, Hacienda Hills Golf & Country Club, Harbor Hills Country Club, Orange Blossom Hills Golf & Country Club and Tierra Del Sol Golf & Country Club in Lady Lake; Cranes Roost at Plantation, Monarch Golf Club at Royal Highlands, Otter Creek at Plantation and Pennbrooke Fairways in Leesburg; the Country Club of Mount Dora and Mount Dora Golf Club in Mount Dora; Mount Plymouth Golf Club in Mount Plymouth; and Bay Tree Golf Course and Village Green Golf Course in Tavares.
Lake County plays host to numerous golf tournaments, including the NCAA Men's Division II Golf Championship in 2002; the NCAA Women's Division I Golf Championship in 2001; the NCAA Men's Division II Golf South Regional in 2000; the Annual Boys Florida Junior Invitational Golf Championship, one of the oldest continuous tournaments of its kind in the southeast; the Senior Series Golf Tour; and the Bobbie Clampett NCAA Pro-Am Golf Classic.

When visitors finish a round of golf, they can keep playing. Lake County offers travelers fishing, camping, boating, water skiing, hiking, biking, hang gliding, antique shopping, sightseeing, wining and dining - or just plain resting and relaxing.

Lake County is an off-the-beaten-path destination less than one hour from Central Florida's famous attractions…but light-years away. Quaint inns, graceful rolling hills, clean lakes, preservation areas and a family friendly atmosphere attract visitors looking for the Florida of old, preserved today in Lake County.

For a free Lake County vacation guide, visitors can call (800) 430-LAKE or visit the county's homepage at www.lakecountyfl.com, which includes golf information.For reservations, golfers can call toll-free (800) 476-LAKE to request a brochure or for assistance with Lake County golf vacation plans, or they can visit the Tee Times USA web site at www.teetimesusa.com.

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