Destination Guide

Destination: Alabama

SEC football is ordinarily the first thing people think of when it comes to Alabama, not beautiful, sugar-white beaches. But a quick look at a map shows there is a little bit of south Alabama that caresses the Gulf of Mexico, not to mention Mobile Bay. The Gulf Shores area of coastal Alabama has attracted some of the world's most sought after golf architects to utilize the sandy terrain and seaside beauty in developing a top Gulf Coast golf destination. Plus, a moderate climate makes it possible to hit the fairways of Gulf Shores' best golf courses year round.

"We have felt like golf in the Gulf Shores area has been a secret, but we feel like we stack up against golf destinations anywhere," said the president of the Gulf Shores Golf Association, Mark Stillings.

Kiva Dunes is clearly the crown jewel, a nationally acclaimed course designed by Jerry Pate. It's among the top-rated golf courses in Alabama, unfolding through sand dunes, lakes and natural wetlands.

Bordered on the north by Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, the course is routed with the near-constant gulf breezes in mind, as few holes have crosswinds. "Routing is so important in any design," Pate told TravelGolf.com. "I tried to make Kiva Dunes a golf course that not only gave you a lot of options, but one that tested all the shots."

Cypress Bend is the newest course at Craft Farms Coastal Resort, designed by Arnold Palmer. Golf Digest previously ranked it the "No. 1 most playable new course in the U.S." Its big brother is Cotton Creek: 6,484 challenging yards of lakes and bunkers.

Cotton Creek is another Arnold Palmer design. It's over-seeded in the winter, ensuring a lush look and feel. It boasts rolling fairways and large, undulating greens, as well as plenty of risk/reward opportunities.

Soldiers Creek is owned and operated by the Woerner family, located at the Woerner Preserve. Designed by Scott Clark, it opened in 2001.

The Woerners are in the sports turf business, so they know their grasses. The course has spacious, rolling fairways and is surrounded by trees and wetlands - including the headwaters of Soldiers Creek - with plenty of wildlife. The greens are TifEagle, a rarity for Alabama courses.

Timbercreek is a 27-hole complex architect Earl Stone carved from a forest of dogwoods, pines and magnolia trees. Measuring just over 7,000 yards, it boasts elevation changes, wetland preserves and a lot of wildlife. It's a solid round of golf for the average duffer. "Players can thank their lucky stars that there is still an architect who doesn't mind you shooting some pars on his course," Jason Scott wrote for TravelGolf.com.

Lost Key Golf Club is yet another Palmer design. It's on the barrier island of Perdido Key, which falls on the Florida-Alabama border. It isn't overly long at 6,810 yards, but it's nevertheless a ball buster: It's slope rating is 144.

Rock Creek sits on some of Baldwin County's highest elevations, overlooking freshwater wetlands and the Rock Creek basin. Tall pines and hardwoods line nearly every fairway of this Earl Stone design.

Stone is a believer that golf courses should be designed for 18-handicappers. Rock Creek goes a little beyond that, with several holes featuring tough water carries.

"Rock Creek ... has a fun, forgiving side to please the bad swing in all of us, yet the teeth to challenge anybody on their best day," Scott wrote in another review.

Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club is 27 holes on Mobile Bay, on a secluded 820 acres sandwiched between the Bon Secour Wildlife Preserve. Designed by Earl Stone, the Lakes, Marsh and Cypress courses meander through live oak, cypress and natural vegetation, with more than 30 lakes. Watch out for the large, white-sand bunkers.

Glen Lakes Golf Club is another 27-hole facility many consider among the better value plays in the area. The "links-style" layout features spacious fairways bordered by mounds and large, undulating greens. Glenlakes is very playable at 6,938 yards with a slope of 126.

Gulf Shores hotels and lodging


Gulf Shores has plenty of accommodation options. Depending on your taste and budget, you have a choice of hotels and motels, inns, resorts, bed and breakfasts, beach houses and even RV and camping facilities.

See also


Special Deals

Gulf Shores Golf Package
Dates: September 16, 2016 - December 31, 2017
Come play the newly renovated Jerry Pate designed course and Alabama's #1 Golf and Beach Resort!
Price range: $320

Courses

Course City Rates from
Course City Rates from
Kiva Dunes Golf Course
Tee Times | Website
Gulf Shores $64
Lake Forest Golf Club
Tee Times | Website
Daphne $14
Gulf Shores Golf Club
Tee Times | Website
Gulf Shores $25
Cypress/Marsh at Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club
Tee Times
Gulf Shores $59
Cotton Creek at The Craft Farms Resort Gulf Shores $29 - $89
Pines/Magnolia at TimberCreek Golf Club
Tee Times
Daphne $22
Marsh/Lakes at Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club
Tee Times
Gulf Shores $59
Dunes at Glenlakes Golf Club
Tee Times
Foley $15
Rock Creek Golf Club
Tee Times
Fairhope $59
Lakes at Glenlakes Golf Club
Tee Times
Foley $15
Magnolia/Dogwood at TimberCreek Golf Club
Tee Times
Daphne $22
Cypress Bend at The Craft Farms Resort Gulf Shores $29 - $89
Lakes/Cypress at Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club
Tee Times
Gulf Shores $59
Azalea City Golf Course
Tee Times
Mobile $15
Dogwood/Pines at TimberCreek Golf Club
Tee Times
Daphne $22
Soldiers Creek Golf Club
Tee Times
Elberta $30
Gulf State Park Golf Course
Tee Times
Gulf Shores $24
Quail Creek Golf Course Fairhope $16 - $24
Foley Golf Course Foley $24
Dogwood Course at Lakewood Golf Club Point Clear $63 - $125
Lakewood Golf Club - Azaleea Course Point Clear $63 - $125
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