Omni ChampionsGate Orlando offering free slots for Last Chance golf tournament before renovation

If you've never played the International Course at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate in central Florida, you're running out of time. Of if you have played it, and want to play it one last time, at least in its current form, you might want to sign up for a promotion the resort is offering.

That's because starting in June and throughout the summer, the Greg Norman-designed course will undergo a renovation that will include new greens, grasses, bunkers and some tees. The other course at ChampionsGate, the National Course , will remain open and is scheduled for a similar renovation in 2017.

But before then, the resort will be conducting the Omni ChampionsGate Last Swing Fling Invitational on May 31. Better yet, it's free to the first 144 to sign up for the event.

Registration for the Last Swing Fling will begin at 11 a.m. with a 1 p.m. shotgun start. And the winning four-person scramble team (bogey is the maximum score) will win two deluxe queen/queen rooms for two nights with daily golf and breakfast for four.

The event also includes for each player two complimentary drink tickets, an awards reception after golf and barbecue lunch.

To sign up, call (407) 787-4653.

Renovation to be overseen by Norman Design

Opened 16 years ago, the International Course, which has been home to several professional events, will be getting a complete renovation of its greens, which will converted to Champion Bermuda, which is more traffic and weather tolerant than the original Floradwarf greens. The greens will also be restored to their original size.

"We are thrilled to begin this significant rejuvenation project and truly look forward to the results," said Patrick Dill, director of golf for Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate. "We decided to go with the Champions Bermuda because it's a little more cold tolerant. It holds its color better, it rarely goes dormant in our region, and we won't have to overseed. All in all, a dramatic benefit for our courses."

The renovation and restoration of the greenside bunkers will include reshaping and regrassing to their original size and shape.

And all the par-3 tees also will be reshaped and regrassed.

Greg Norman Course Design will oversee the renovation with Sadler Site Works as the contractor.

In addition to the course project, the resort is also debuting new beverage carts that feature hearty, hot specialty breakfast items and Bloody Marys and "Hole-in-One" signature cocktails on tap. Departing from the traditional pack of peanuts and beer, golfers keep appetites satisfied with breakfast concoctions including sausage-and-egg glazed-donut sandwiches and flaky, house-made hot pockets. Savory lunch items include steak fajitas with Pico de Gallo, guacamole and fire roasted onions and bratwurst sliders served on a decadent pretzel-bun with stone-ground mustard aioli.

The resort is also home for the world headquarters of the Leadbetter Golf Academy. The 7,363-yard Australian links-style International course is home to sprawling greens and wind-swept dunes turned up by the sound of bagpipers on the 10th hole. The 7,128-yard National, is a traditional American-style layout cut from 200 acres of rolling wetlands and features complex bunkers and plenty of risk-reward holes.

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.
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Omni ChampionsGate Orlando offering free slots for Last Chance golf tournament before renovation
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