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Disney golf allows hackers to swing in pros' footsteps- Orlando Sentinel- 7/24/05


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  • Disney golf allows hackers to swing in pros' footsteps- Orlando Sentinel- 7/24/05

    Full text available here:

    LAKE BUENA VISTA -- Tiger Woods and 143 of the other greatest golfers in the world compete at Disney in the Funai Classic each October, vying for a chunk of a multimillion-dollar purse.

    Most of the rest of the year, though, hackers and par-shooters alike can take their whacks at the same course.

    "We couldn't all go run out and play a Wiffle Ball game at Wrigley Field, but you can do it here," Funai Classic tournament director Kevin Weickel said. "You can go play a golf match out here."

    For the past 35 years, a PGA tournament has called Disney World home, with sponsors ranging from Oldsmobile to Funai, and winners ranging from Jack Nicklaus to Woods.

    They all don't play there every October, but Woods has won there twice, and Payne Stewart set the Magnolia-course record in 1990 with a 61 in what Weickel calls "the days of the wound golf ball and the wooden-headed driver."

    "You can tell a story at every one of the courses." Weickel said. "When you're putting out on No. 18 at Magnolia and you stick your hand in the hole to pull your ball out, that's the same hole where millions of millions of dollars worth of the greatest players in the world have done the same thing.

    "It's not like you can go play a pickup game of 21 at the TD Waterhouse Centre."

    Until the week of this year's Funai Classic on Oct. 17-23, Disney's Palm course is open to the public. Through Sept. 15, guests can play the Palm course for $45 after 10 a.m.

    Disney offers a summer special called the Summer Price Slice that started May 2 and runs through Sept. 15. For a one-time fee of $149 (plus tax) per person, golfers can play as many rounds as they like, with greens and cart fees included, as long as the rounds are played at 1 p.m. or later.

    "It's the best deal in the entire history of Walt Disney World, and a lot of the local folks take advantage of it," Weickel said. "If you love to golf, it's really cool.
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