Course Review: Falcon’s Fire Golf Club, Florida – February 2, 2022

I had the opportunity to play Falcon’s Fire Golf Club in Orlando. This was an interesting course to review because two things about my golfing experience dramatically changed since my initial visit to Falcon’s Fire 20 years ago – the course conditions and my golf game.

Falcon’s Fire PHOTO: Course Reviewer

According to their website, “Falcon’s Fire Golf Club is recognized both regionally and nationally as one of the finest public Golf Courses in Orlando. This Rees Jones designed championship Golf Course and the spacious Clubhouse offer Guests a spectacular venue for any occasion. From an immaculate Golf Course featuring the highest level of service and amenities.”

My summary opinion is that Falcon’s Fire is “OK” and seemingly living off its reputation.

Cool statue PHOTO: Course Reviewer

The course uses dynamic pricing to change greens fees amounts based upon booking lead time, weather and general demand.  There are two basic prices – one for out of state visitors and one for Florida residents.  I booked our tee time a week in advance and only paid $77 each. Upon the day of play, these fees were up to $117. I agree with the dynamic pricing concept and the favoring of Floridians over visitors.

When you arrive at the course, the clubhouse and statues are very pleasingly appearing.  The Pro Shop folks could not have been nicer. Much to my dismay, range balls are not included with your greens fees and are fed by a ball machine. I believe a course that prides itself on being one of the best public courses in Orlando should provide quality complementary range balls.  Moreover, I found the condition of the range balls off-putting.  Maybe 2/3 of them were worth hitting. The range itself is short but nice.  

When we went to the first tee, we were paired with a gentleman that teaches at the University of Texas.  He was a pleasure to play with – a great iron player but not so reliable off the tee. During our round he pulled a couple of tee shots into adjacent Seralago Boulevard. I was very surprised that both tee shots missed vehicles in heavy Route 417 traffic  – lightening had stuck twice.

Falcon’s Fire 5th hole, route 417 on the left. PHOTO Course Reviewer

I was thinking of personal redemption while I was on the first tee. One thing I can say about Falcon’s Fire is that I played it once two decades ago and I still remembered many shots. The first hole is fairly straightway. I clearly remember hitting a 6 iron into the first hole. From the same teeing area, I boomed a huge drive – for me – and had pitching wedge in. Nevertheless, same result: a par.

The course itself is well laid out and certainly has the Rees Jones flair – think a southern version of Pinehills in Plymouth, MA.

The biggest disappointment in the round were the greens. It seems that green chemical coloring was overused 5-7 times and affected the ball roll on these greens. Towards the second nine, we all agreed to move the ball away from such chemicals and deemed it Ground Under Repair.

I vividly remember falling apart in my only other round at Falcon’s fire and not being able to find my site lines on the last 4-5 finishing holes and shot a 102. This time, I had a shot at a makable chip-in birdie on 18 to break 80 and it went too far. I missed the 12 foot come backer for an 81 – which I was satisfied with.

All in all, a good experience but the terrible condition of the range balls and the goop on the greens keeps me from agreeing with their self assessment as being one of the finest public courses in Orlando.

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