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Memorable Mississippi golf

Mississippi is a coastal and inland destination with features revolving around extremely fertile soil from the Mississippi River delta. And the big winner between the ground and the moisture is the golf courses. While not everything in the region, these seven golf holes are typical of the breadth and beauty of Mississippi golf. Whether they wander the hills or are based upon the coast, these are courses on which nature places extra foliage and secluded vistas.

Windance Country Club, Number 15

Boasting impeccable greens and overall conditions, this course meanders through the tall pines, where they are constantly in motion from the breeze. On each hole, the golfer must account for breeze direction and strength. Number 15 is a relatively short par 3, with sand guarding two sides of the green and a small lake that swallows anything short of the landing area.

The Cardinal Course at Diamondhead, Number 6.

The Cardinal is part of a 36-hole complex that includes a great learning center with virtually every piece of learning technology. The par 3, 6th looks tame but is anything but. The green is bordered by sand on two sides, a lake on another side. The entry from the cart path drops into the native foliage and adds a demise option for your ball if a bit left and long. After the round, the renovated clubhouse boasts a course-view patio and a more than adequate dining and bar area.

Refuge Golf Course, Number 10

10 is a 405-yard par four with a narrower than normal landing area flanked by foliage with bunkers waiting to swallow your golf ball. Right on the property of the brand new Sheraton Flowood Resort, the original design was re-configured to meander better through the woods and the water features. Over 150 trees were removed to make things less penal. However, as the course winds through the lowlands and trees, things are more playable without detracting from the feel of the topography.

Grand Bear Golf Club, Number 5

As the only Jack Nicklaus signature course in Mississippi with public play, the Grand Bear twists and turns through the 1700-acre forest. No homes, just woods and the natural tilt of the land. Holes are rarely flat and legs in both directions with ups and downs. And like most Nicklaus courses, landing on the green is a real test of skill. The 5th hole is a par 5 that is 603 yards. Unlikely you will get on in two because huge hitters will drift out of the fairway into the sandy native area, making the second shot impossible.

Azalea Course at Dancing Rabbit, Number 4

Ok, you probably will never play Augusta National, yet the Azalea Course is a worthy substitute when in full bloom. Besides the magnificent foliage, the course has many ups and downs that make it more than interesting. Like most holes on the course, the par 3, 4th appears relatively easy. However, account for the elevation drop, a green guarded by sand on one side and the creek and marsh on the other, and it’s a hole that requires a precise shot. From the tips at 7158 yards, the big dog will have to eat twice on this layout.

The Oaks Course at Dancing Rabbit, Number 2

A totally different feel than the Azalea course, the Oaks moves in harmony with the terrain, creeks, and trees. While this course is what you see is what you get, there is still plenty of challenge with the rolling and sloped portions of the course. You need a long and accurate tee shot to avoid the bunkers down the hole, then a long and precise shot to the green. The second hole, a 468-yard par four, will test the metal.

Patrick Farms Golf Club, Number 10

This golf course proves that even a track inside a housing community can have plenty of diversity and challenge. At most, the terrain is gently rolling and greens, while accessible, offer challenging next shots with misses. At 6907 yards from the back, this is not the longest course in Mississippi. The second shot on the 457-yard par 4, 10th hole, is like the rest of the course. It appears straightforward, yet the slightly elevated green and drop-off to the right come into play and the lake on the left.

Neil Wolkodoff

Neil Wolkodoff is a golf and travel writer from Denver, Colorado. He covers golf, dining, activities and accommodations from the luxury and unique perspective. He has even been golfing with goats.

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  1. A 603 yard par 5 hole is ridiculously long. I’ve never come across anything that long before. Though as it looks such a beautiful course I’d like to give it a go.

    1. Alan, that is a long hole from the back. Reachable in three. Maybe a long drive competitor can get it over that nasty little hazard area, but not many. Not mentioned in the article is a fabulous club house, just re-done. And the practice area is one of the best I found there.

  2. One of my golfing rules of thumb is “The better it looks the harder it is to play.” The more leaves on the trees the more they are narrowing fairways.

    1. Yes, trees make it visually appealing but are a hazard. In MS, everything just grows rapidly so all they can do is trim as much as possible. However, I will tell you my experience was even with all the trees, these were very fun courses.

  3. I feel a golf trip coming on, there are some very tempting courses here. It usually does my golf some good when I play some back to back rounds.

    1. Jack, a few of those courses are a little easier and flatter allowing you to each into a trip to MS. The two at Dancing Rabbit should wait until you have a bit of game back!

  4. Getting tired of being a golf widow I thought I’d give golf a go. It turned out that I am better than I thought I was going to be.

    One afternoon a week my partner and me play 18 holes. Mississippi could be a good vacation for us with some rounds of golf too.

    1. Ellen, two of the locations have large casino hotels/resorts. So that is always a diversion when golf gets a little too much. I also found the residents very welcoming of visitors and golfers. It felt like I was playing in my home town!

  5. Haven’t played golf for far too long. I could do with a week taking on some of these awesome courses. They’re all looking very tempting.

    1. Stephen, they are relatively close to each other. Say an hour or two. For lodging, you have two expansive casino hotels and in Jackson a new Sheraton right on one of the courses. Some of the best BBQ is at gas stations where someone hauls in a big, wheeled smoker and cooks on the spot. Very good golf with some other fun experiences!

  6. Good round in beautiful weather this morning. Ready to move on to play some of these courses – in a parallel universe. Unfortunately it is another week at work and not a golfing holiday in Mississippi.

    1. Bob, MS golf is playable most of the year. Summer is likely a bit toasty, but the rest of the time expect good conditions, so worth a trip.

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