Golf The Gulf Coast
Destin & Vicinity
Fort Walton Beach Golf Club
1955 Lewis Turner Boulevard | Fort Walton Beach | 850.833.9664
Across the bridge into Fort Walton Beach, you’ll find two championship golf courses — The Pines Course and The Oaks Course. Available for both members and visitors, these 18-hole courses provide plenty of challenges. The Pines comprises 6,800 yards of play through an upland pine forest, while The Oaks boasts 6,400 yards of oak-lined fairways and water hazards. Dine at Two Trees restaurant while you’re there. Fort Walton Beach Golf Club is community-minded, hosting numerous charity golf tournaments throughout the year as well as a junior golf program with free clinics every summer.
Shalimar Pointe Golf Club
302 Country Club Road | Shalimar | 850.651.1416 | Website
Designed by Finger/Dye, Shalimar Pointe’s 18-hole course is nestled among mature trees, manicured greens and strategically placed bunkers. Situated directly on Choctawhatchee Bay, the views alone make this option of the hidden gems in our area. Situated over 6,765 yards with five sets of tees on each hole, enjoy Par 72 golf for members and non-members alike. Shalimar Pointe Golf Club has extension practice facilities with driving range and putting and chipping greens. Before or after your round, enjoy a meal at The Grill or stock up on apparel and equipment at their pro shop.
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Rocky Bayou Country Club
600 Golf Course Drive | Niceville | 850.678.3270 | Website
Rocky Bayou Country Club boasts about its golf experience for members and guests alike and it’s not hard to see why. Spread over 115 acres of rolling hills and sprawling and stately trees, Rocky Bayou is 18 holes of championship golf with wide fairways and spring-fed lakes. According to their website, there are no crowds and no waiting for tee times — just a great golfing experience. The Crooked Tree Grille will be waiting for you when you’re finished, with burgers, soups and salads.
Indian Bayou Golf & Country Club
1 Country Club Drive East | Destin | 850.837.6191 | Website
In the heart of Destin, Indian Bayou Golf & Country Club offers golfers two nine-hole courses to play for a complete day on the greens: The Seminole Course and the Choctaw Course. With easy tee time booking right on their website, Indian Bayou combines beautiful scenery with challenging play. The Seminole has wide fairways, but water features on all but four holes. The Chochtaw rewards distance and control with only two par threes. Host a special event onsite at their venue or pop into the bar & grill for delicious bites with a view.
Kelly Plantation Golf Club
307 Kelly Plantation Drive | Destin | 850.650.7600 | Website
Ranked among the best golf courses in Destin is the jewel known as Kelly Plantation Golf Club, a perfect marriage of challenging play and great coastal scenery. Kelly Plantation Golf Club is open to the public and a favorite of locals and vacationers alike. Designed by Fred Couples and Gene Bates, the course is home to more than 7,000 yards of greens, fairways, hazards and views of the bay. Looking to book a tee time online? They’ve got that covered, too. Your golf experience here includes GPS-equipped golf carts, practice facilities and their famous chilled apples at the 10th tee box.
Bluewater Bay Golf Course
2000 Bluewater Blvd. | Niceville | 850.897.3241 | Website
Jump on the Mid Bay Bridge and you’re only 15 minutes away from the Bluewater Bay Golf Course, which features 18 holes of championship golf designed by Tom Fazio and Jerry Pate. The course is laid out in thirds: Bay, Lake and Marsh, with tees for every skill level. Play on the shorelines of the bay or hidden among southern woodlands. The golf course’s restaurant, Slick Mick’s, is open daily for lunch and dinner and hosts plenty of pay-per-view events including NFL Sunday Ticket and UFC fight cards.
Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club
465 Regatta Bay Blvd. | Destin | 850.337.8080 | Website
Some people come to Destin for the beaches; others come for top-ranked golf like you’ll find at Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club. Semi-private, but also open to the public, Regatta Bay has recently undergone more than $2 million in course enhancements. They also host Destin’s only Golf Academy with more than 1,200-sq.-ft. of covered practice space. Named one of Golf Digest’s “Top Places to Play in North America,” the 6,894-yard, par-72 course was designed by none other than Robert C. Walker, former lead architect for Arnold Palmer.
Emerald Bay Golf Course
4781 Clubhouse Drive | Destin | 850.837.5197 | Website
The Emerald Bay Golf Course was designed and renovated by well-known course architect Bob Cupp. The course itself winds through the gated community of Emerald Bay and features water elements and stunning views of Choctawhatchee Bay. The course offers a variety of membership options, which also includes access to Seascape Golf Course. The course’s clubhouse includes a full-service pro shop and The Grille with both indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the 18th green.
South Walton & Sandestin® Golf and Beach Resort
Seascape Golf Course
556 Seascape Drive | Miramar Beach | 800-874-9106 | Website
Whether you only have time for nine holes in the afternoon or want the full 18-hole experience, the golf course at Seascape Resort has you covered. Nestled among both fresh water and coastal dune lakes with views of the gulf, this par-70, 6,100-yard course was designed by Joe Lee to challenge players of all skill levels. The beauty of the terrain alone, with 15 water features, rolling hills and tall pines is well worth the experience. Seascape utilizes Ship Sticks as well, a service that will pick up and deliver your golf equipment from home to vacation and back again.
9300 Emerald Coast Parkway West | Miramar Beach | 850.267.8144 | Website
Set against a backdrop that includes Baytowne Marina and the Choctawhatchee Bay, The Links Golf Club features a winding layout that is not for the faint of heart. Designed by architect Tom Jackson, the course features five holes on the bay, offers four sets of tees and plays from 4,897 to 6,710 yards. This is the original course in Sandestin but a perennial favorite for golfers of all skill levels. Book tee times on their website or consider a membership, which gives you reciprocal access to the Raven and Baytowne courses as well.
The Raven Golf Club
1199 Troon Drive | Miramar Beach | 850.267.8155 | Website
The accolades for the par-71, 6,900-yard Raven Golf Club are vast. From “Places to Play” in Golf Digest to No. 14 in Florida among Golf Magazine’s “The Best Courses Near You,” this Robert Trent Jones Jr.-crafted course is a must-play that offers four sets of tees. Set amid marshes and pine trees with undulating greens, the Raven hosted the Boeing Championship, part of the PGA Champions Tour, in 2006 and 2007. Hole No. 18 was rated “toughest hole” on the 2006 PGA Champions Tour. Book tee times and check course availability and pricing right on their website.
Burnt Pine Golf Club
3300 Burnt Pine Lane | Miramar Beach | 850.267.8155 | Website
Running alongside The Raven Golf Club is this 7,000-yard Rees Jones-designed Burnt Pine Golf Club — the only place in the world where a Rees course and a Robert Trent Jones Jr. course meet. Thrice named to Golfweek’s “America’s Best Resort Courses,” Burnt Pine is a mix of rolling fairways, pine forests, strategically-placed bunkers and views of the bay. Golf Magazine once named it the “Crown Jewel of Florida Golf.” Take a hole-by-hole tour of the course on the club’s website, as well as view a variety of membership options.
Baytowne Golf Club
9300 Emerald Coast Parkway West | Miramar Beach | 850.267.8155 | Website
Last but certainly not least among the Sandestin golf courses is the Baytowne Golf Club, the only course on the Emerald Coast that stretches from Choctawhatchee Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. A jewel in designer Tom Jackson’s chest, it has twice been named “Best Places to Play” by Golf Digest. Five sets of tees makes this a great option for beginners to more skilled players, who’ll enjoy magnificent scenery at every hole. Baytowne Golf Club also showcases some of the only elevation changes among golf courses in the area. Stick around the Village of Baytowne Wharf for a beverage or dinner at one of myriad dining options.
Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club
334 Golf Club Drive | Santa Rosa Beach | 850.267.2229 | Website
The only member-owned golf course combined with a private beach club on Scenic Highway 30A, Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club is nestled against the South Walton shoreline, offering 85 acres of fun in the sun to its members, guests and the public. The course itself is a par-72, 18-home championship course that winds through a natural habitat of sand dunes and more to deliver an unforgettable experience. Dubbed the “Purest Golf in the Florida Panhandle” by Golf Magazine, the Santa Rosa Golf Club offers five sets of tees for every skill and handicap. Don’t pass up an opportunity to enjoy the club’s signature, gulf-front restaurant, Vue on 30A.
Camp Creek Golf Course
684 Fazio Drive | WaterSound | 850.231.7600 | Website
Ideally located between Highway 98 and Scenic Highway 30A, Camp Creek Golf Course is one of three in the coastal community of WaterSound. Designed by Tom Fazio, Camp Creek Golf Course features 7,200 yards of undulated fairways, greens and driveable bunkers with views from every tee box. Camp Creek is different from many courses in that there are no visible houses on the course, only a mix of native vegetation, manicured turf and wildlife corridors such as the one seen in front of the No. 2 tees. Since opening in 2001, Camp Creek has hosted several first-round qualifiers for the U.S. Open, and has been consistently lauded at a top course by Golfweek, Golf Digest and even Rolex, which named it to “Top 1,000 Golf Courses in the World.”
Shark’s Tooth Golf Course
2003 Wild Heron Way | Panama City Beach | 850.249.3041 | Website
Shark’s Tooth Golf Course is set amid the oaks and pines of the coastal community known as Wild Heron and occupies a place along the shores of Lake Powell, the largest coastal dune lake in Florida. The course comprises 7,209 yards from the back tees with play among protected wetlands, uplands and wooden footbridges. Not far from Panama City Beach, Shark’s Tooth offers challenging play for all skill levels on well-groomed fairways and greens.
Origins Golf Club
573 Pathways Drive | WaterSound | 850.213.5090 | Website
In the midst of the WaterSound community lies Origins Golf Club, designed and built with a “short course” focus. Origins is open to members of The Clubs By JOE, its guests and the public and was formed the goal of making golf more fun and accessible for everyone from beginners and casual golfers to families. With an 1,800-yard distance, Origins is a favorite of novices, but its regulation-length holes and greens are challenging for more avid players. Designed and founded by PGA champion David Love III, Origins is an appropriate name for a course that draws on the Scottish history of the game when six-, nine- and 12-hole courses were the norm.