Destination Guide

Destination: FL's Emerald Coast

Florida's Gulf Coast might be overlooked by vacationers preferring Disney theme parks and Palm Beach resorts. But West Florida isn't just for Spring-Breaking college kids. Getaways like Destin showcase some of the state's best golf on beaches just as beautiful as the ones on the other side of the state. Already an established golf destination, courses continue to pop up along Florida's Emerald Coast. Truckloads of money have been dumped into newer courses in hopes of catching the attention of golfers who think all Florida courses are flat tracts filled with water and condos.

Along the Florida Panhandle, you may think you're playing part of Mississippi or Alabama's golf trails. Courses like the Fred Couples/Gene Bates-designed SouthWood Golf Course take advantage of the rolling hills and open pasture lands near Tallahassee.

SouthWood is the keystone to Tallahassee's emergence as a Florida golf destination. Opened in 2002, SouthWood is the first course in the region to fully capitalize on the area's topography. Remarkably tall Oak trees give the course its idyllic feel. Each of SouthWood's holes has a different air. Couples and Bates stuck to the lay of the land and plenty of golfers in Florida have noticed. Even Florida State's golf team has decided to use SouthWood as its home course.

Courses like SouthWood brightly contrast what Florida golf is known for. Places like Destin, Panama City and Pensacola feature shimmering beach resort courses that abound with water and white sand bunkers. These are the courses that Florida made its name with and there are still plenty like them along the Emerald Coast. In Destin, the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort takes up 2,400 acres between the Gulf and the Choctawhatchee Bay. Featuring four 18-hole championship courses, Sandestin rivals any resort in the South. Its two marquee courses, Burnt Pine and The Raven, were respectively designed by brothers Rees and Robert Trent Jones, Jr.

Burnt Pine, opened in 1994, is a little more open and islocated on a more scenic piece of property. It also exhibits the contouring and mounding that Rees Jones is known for. The Raven, a 2000 creation, has a few more tricky shots and plenty of large format, MacKenzie-style bunkering.

See also


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Courses

Course City Rates from
Course City Rates from
Seascape Golf Beach and Tennis
Tee Times | Website
Miramar Beach $30
Links at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
Tee Times | Website
Miramar Beach $31
Nature Walk Golf Club
Tee Times | Website
Lynn Haven $14
Bluewater Bay Resort - Marsh Course
Tee Times | Website
Niceville $14
Choctaw/Creek at Indian Bayou Golf & Country Club
Tee Times | Website
Destin $35
Bluewater Bay Resort - Lake Course
Tee Times | Website
Niceville $14
Seminole/Choctaw at Indian Bayou Golf & Country Club
Tee Times | Website
Destin $35
Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club
Tee Times | Website
Santa Rosa Beach $40
Raven at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
Tee Times | Website
Miramar Beach $48
Baytowne at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
Tee Times | Website
Miramar Beach $36
Bluewater Bay Resort - Bay Course
Tee Times | Website
Niceville $14
Cypress Lakes Golf Club
Tee Times | Website
Cantonment $13
Blackstone Golf Course
Tee Times
Mossy Head $20.99
Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club
Tee Times
Destin $59
Regulation at Holiday Golf Club
Tee Times
Panama City Beach $25
Hombre Golf Club - The Bad Course Panama City Beach $54 - $69
Hombre Golf Club - The Ugly Course Panama City Beach $54 - $69
Emerald Bay Golf Club
Tee Times
Destin $37
Club at Hidden Creek, The
Tee Times
Navarre $22.5
Shalimar Pointe Golf & Country Club
Tee Times
Shalimar $18
Tiger Point Golf Club
Tee Times
Gulf Breeze $14
Hombre Golf Club - The Good Course Panama City Beach $54 - $69
DeFuniak Springs Country Club Defuniak Springs $20 - $33
Meadows at Bay Point Resort
Tee Times
Panama City $30
Nicklaus Course at Bay Point Resort
Tee Times
Panama City $21
Marcus Pointe Golf Club
Tee Times
Pensacola $25
Scenic Hills Country Club Pensacola $20 - $65
Kelly Plantation
Tee Times
Destin $69
Sunny Hills Golf Club Sunny Hills $28.50 - $39.50
Panama Country Club Lynn Haven $47
Burnt Pine at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort Miramar Beach $99 - $149
Perdido Bay Golf Club Pensacola $29 - $69
Camp Creek Golf Club Panama City Beach $150
Windswept Dunes Golf Course Freeport $52 - $62
Lost Key Golf Club Pensacola $39 - $99
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