Where to Take a Swing in the PanhandleThe Florida Panhandle offers some of the best places to play golf in all of the southern United States, and perhaps even in the world. While here are many reasons to visit the Florida Panhandle, such as Florida's unfailingly gorgeous weather, getting a chance to swing your clubs at some of top Florida Panhandle golf courses is an opportunity golfers will not want to miss. In addition, you can often find great Florida panhandle vacation rentals right on the courses you wish to play at.
In November 2004, the Panama City golf course known as “Lagoon Legend” closed for a makeover. Lagoon Legend had long been regarded by many as one of the most challenging of the top Florida panhandle golf courses. In September of the following year, it re-opened under its new name, “The Nicklaus Course at Bay Point.” Tees,
1. The Nicklaus Course at Bay Point
greens, and bunkers have been rebuilt, and the fairways have been re-contoured on the 7,100-yard course, which now offers panoramic views of St. Andrew’s Bay. Travel + Leisure Golf magazine called The Nicklaus Course at Bay Point one of the best course redesigns in the entire state of Florida.
The Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Florida is home to the 6,900-yard Raven Golf Club. The Raven plays to a par of 71, and it is an annual stop on the PGA Champions Tour. It takes golfers through a gorgeous course of wetlands and pine trees. Its creator, Robert Trent Jones Jr., calls it “a true modern traditional” course. Jones was not alone in his high praise — the Raven Golf Club was voted “Best New Course in Florida in 2000” by Florida Golf News.
2. The Raven Golf Club
In the summer of 2005, Baytowne’s original architect, Tom Jackson, participated in a dramatic renovation of this top Florida golf course. Baytowne’s reputation was already secure — it had twice been awarded 4 ½ stars by Golf Digest. The Destin course takes golfers from the beach to the bay, and it is forgiving on the forward tees but challenging on the championship ones.
3. Baytowne Golf Club
Panama City’s 6,913-yard Meadows Course was renovated in 2004. It is the kind of top-notch course that visitors return to year after year. It is rendered challenging by its tight fairways and numerous bunkers and lakes. Its handicap ratings range from 73 at the Ladies’ Tees to 73.3 at the Championship tees.
4. Baypoint Resort Meadows Course
5. The Links Course at SandestinIt’s not for nothing that the Florida Golf News named the Links Course one of the Top Five Golf Courses in Northwest Florida. Architect Tom Jackson designed it to offer some of the most breathtaking views on Florida’s Gulf Coast, with five holes that run along the Choctawhatchee Bay. The Gulf Coast winds provide an extra challenge. Those wishing for a more challenging course can find it in Destin, Florida.
6. Windswept DunesRecognized by the USGA as the longest course in Florida, Freeport’s award-winning Windswept Dunes boasts miles of beautiful white sand dunes, some of which rise as high as 20 feet. This 750-acre beauty is one of the top Florida panhandle golf courses that feature rolling fairways, artful bunkering and perfect conditioning.
A well-kept secret, Windswept Dunes is unique in that there are no crowds to spoil the serenity of your golfing.