Like Panther Lake, Crooked Cat features significant elevation changes, rolling fairways and large, contoured greens. But with fewer trees, wider landing areas, native heather and mounding framing the fairways, Crooked Cat presents golfers more of a links-style look. It may well be the most naturally beautiful Orlando Florida golf course. In the Summer of 2012 Orange County National completed a successful renovation of Crooked Cats greens using the highly regarded Champions Bermuda Ultra Dwarf Turf Grass. Champions Bermuda has received much praise from professional and tour players because of its true roll and quicker pace.
The course’s open feel encourages golfers to grip it and rip it off the tee, and there is certainly more room for error and multiple options for playing a hole both off the tee and into the greens. Crooked Cat is not a connect-the-dots course; feel free to go outside the lines like a kindergartener’s finger painting. But beware: As with links-style courses, there is an element of chance, and a wayward shot can end up in one of many seemingly randomly placed grass bunkers. Gamblers and scramblers will do well. So will shot makers.
Crooked Cat is more exposed and the routing twists and turns, so the wind comes at you from ever-changing directions and is a real factor. Players who appreciate the challenge of working the ball up, down, left, right to counteract or ride the wind will get a chance to showcase their mastery and get the most out of the course.
The back nine of Crooked Cat may be the best nine on the property and is the favorite of many low handicap golfers due to its length and challenge. Even if you don’t have ball shaping down to an art or the deft touch to escape like Houdini from any peril in your way, Crooked Cat is incredibly fun to play. And because of the unique design you’ll never get tired of challenging this course because you will never play any hole the same way twice. No other Orlando Florida golf course offers this much versatility, challenge, and fun.
Crooked Cat also hosted some of the best golfers in the world during a LIV Golf League event in 2023.