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Getting To Know: Reunion Resort and Club


Getting To Know: Reunion Resort and Club

An Insightful Interview With Jake Etherton, Head Golf Professional

By Brian Weis

Whether you have played a course 20+ times a year or looking to play the course for the first time, insights from an insider can help enhance your golf experience. Below is an interview with Jake Etherton who shares some valuable tidbits about the course, memorable holes and must eats and treats at the 19th.

Give Our Readers An Overview of the Golf Course/Property
Reunion Resort is a beautiful 54-hole private stay and play. It features 3 signature design golf courses, the Palmer, Nicklaus and Watson. Reunion Resort is the only place in the world that offers all 3 names in one great, prime location. Set 15 minutes away from Disney and roughly 30 minutes from Downtown Orlando, Reunion gives you the advantage of being far enough away from the downtown business, but the prime location of being close enough to the parks for the entire family to enjoy there stay, for whatever their needs and desires may be.

If Someone Was Looking To Golf In The Area, Why Should They Play Your Course?
Here at Reunion, we offer a variety of difficulty for the beginner golfers to learn and enjoy the game, while also providing a challenge to even the more skilled golfers. For instance, the Palmer Course is geared more toward resort-friendly aspects, with open fairways, and scenic views, this course provides a relaxing and enjoyable experience for all ages and skill levels. Meanwhile, the Watson Course is our primary tournament course where we host several PGA Section events, collegiate tournaments, and major junior tournaments. One unique feature of the course is that unlike most Florida courses, the Watson has no bodies of water on it whatsoever, but 174 bunkers plus waste areas, making it a very challenging and demanding layout. Finally, the Nicklaus Course is our toughest test out of the 3 courses. It is generally thought of as more of a Florida-Links style course, where its wide open off of the tee, but the true difficulty lies in the approach shots to the green. With deep bunkers protecting the greens, and undulating terrain, this course is sure to challenge every aspect of your game.

What Tips or Local Knowledge Would You Provide To Help Them Score Better At Your Course?
It is very important on all 3 courses here at Reunion to secure a great position off the tee to ensure yourself a straight in second shot. Failure to miss your tee shot could force you to lay up out of the waste bunkers, punch out from under the trees or just be blocked out.

Recent Awards or What You Are Most Proud About The Course?
Palmer Course

Golf Digest
America's Top 40 New Courses - No.21 (2005)

GOLF Magazine
Arnold Palmer's Best Golf Courses - No. 1 (2013) The Best Courses Near You, Florida - No.27 (2010) The Best Courses Near You, Florida - No.24 (2008)

Best Courses You Can Play in Florida - No. 19 (2011) Best Courses You Can Play - No. 14 (2010) Top 100 Resort Courses (2009) Best Tour Courses You Can Play(2008) Best Resort Courses - No.59 (2007) Best State by State - No.10 (2007) America's Best State by State List Public Access Courses - No.12 (2006) Florida's Best Public Access Courses - No.12 (2006)

My Golf Spy
Top 10 Courses to Play in Florida - No. 4 (2016)

Golf Course Guru
Florida's Best Courses - No. 4 (2014)

Watson Course

Golf Digest
America's Best New Resort Courses - No.10 (2005)

GOLF Magazine
The Best Courses Near You, Florida - No.9 (2010) The Best Courses Near You, Florida - No.9 (2008) Top 10 Best New Courses You Can Play (2008)

Best Resort Courses (2017)
Best Courses You Can Play in Florida - No. 19 (2013) Best Courses You Can Play in Florida - No.19 (2011) Best Courses You Can Play - No.14 (2010) Best Resort Courses - No.22 (2010) Best Tour Courses You Can Play - No.22 (2010) Top 100 Resort Courses (2009) Best Residential Golf Courses - No.57 (2008) Best Resort Courses - No.57 (2008) Best Tour Courses You Can Play (2008) Best Residential Golf Courses - No.56 (2007) Best Resort Courses - No.36 (2007) Best State by State - No.6 (2007) America's Best Residential Golf Courses - No.38 (2006) America's Best Resort Courses - No.29 (2006) America's Best Public Access Courses, State by State List - Florida - No.4 (2006) America's Top 40 New Courses - No.12 (2005)

My Golf Spy
Top 10 Courses to Play in Florida - No. 10 (2016)

Links Magazine
Top 10 Orlando Courses You Can Play (2011)

The Orlando Business Journal
Top 25 Toughest Men's Golf Courses - No.21 (2009)
Best Courses of the World - No.83 (2010)

Nicklaus Course

Golf Course Guru
Florida's Best Courses - No. 11 (2014)

Best Courses You Can Play - No.17 (2010) Top 100 Resort Courses (2009)

The Orlando Business Journal
Top 25 Toughest Men's Golf Courses - No.4 (2009) Top 25 Toughest Women's Golf Courses - No.2 (2009)

What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
Hole #7 on the Palmer course. It's a drivable par 4 over the water with the Resort in the background. From the back tees the carry is roughly 220 yards over the water. This is a great scenic and picturesque hole. Score could be low and score could be high.

What Is Your Favorite Hole? Any Tips to Play It?
Hole #14 on the Watson Course. It's a great risk/reward Par 5, dog-leg to the left. You can either take your tee shot the safe route and play down the fairway to the right, or you can go for it and cut the corner off to the left, giving yourself a much better chance to reach the green in two, if successful.

Must Have Dish or Drink after the round at the 19th Hole?
Our Clubhouse features a back verandah that is a great place to enjoy a meal and a post-round beverage of your choice while still having some great views of the practice facilities to reminisce and discuss the round.

Who Holds Course Record and What Was Their Score?
Austin Truslow/Palmer Course 61 Sebastian Szirmark/Watson Course 64 No current course record for Nicklaus

Back Tee Stats
Par: All courses 72
Yardage: Palmer = 6916 Watson = 7154 Nicklaus = 7219
Slope: Palmer = 142 Watson = 141 Nicklaus = 140
Rating: Palmer = 72.8 Watson = 74.9 Nicklaus = 74.8

More Information
Reunion Resort and Club
7593 Gathering Dr Kissimmee, FL, 34747


Revised: 03/05/2018 - Article Viewed 684 Times - View Golf Course Profile

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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