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Grand Bear - Hole #17


Getting To Know: Grand Bear

An Insightful Interview With Michael Buckley, Head Golf Professional

By Brian Weis

Whether you have played a course 20+ times a year or looking to play the course for the first time, insights from an insider can help enhance your golf experience. Below is an interview with Michael Buckley who shares some valuable tidbits about the course, memorable holes and must eats and treats at the 19th.

Give Our Readers An Overview of the Golf Course/Property
Towering pines, natural cypress wetlands, secluded fairways and impeccably manicured greens surround Grand Bear. This 18-hole, Jack Nicklaus Signature Course has the feel of Augusta and the excitement of Pinehurst.

A wide array of hole layouts makes Grand Bear challenging, yet enjoyable for all. From the Grizzly Bear tees at 7,204 yards, the challenge is firm but fair; from the Teddy Bear tees at 4,802 yards, the layout is downright cuddly.

The outgoing nine, which skirts the Little Biloxi River has superior golf holes, but the back nine is truly grand. Cypress wetlands rimmed with live oaks, gum trees, and old magnolias give way to the Big Biloxi River, its brilliant white-sand banks girding three of the last four holes.

If Someone Was Looking To Golf In The Area, Why Should They Play Your Course?
Grand Bear is a championship golf course that anyone can play. Whether you are seasoned professional or new to the game, Grand Bear is the place for you. Our welcoming staff and perfectly manicured golf course make Grand Bear the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the great outdoors.

What Tips or Local Knowledge Would You Provide To Help Them Score Better At Your Course?
Just tee it up, let it fly, find it and hit it again. There are no tricks at Grand Bear. What you see is what you get. Just leave your cares and worries behind and become one with nature.

Recent Awards or What You Are Most Proud About The Course?
Grand Bear has received numerous awards and accolades. From "Best in State" to "Top Ten Casino Course". We take the greatest pride in repeat customers. During tough times like these, it makes you feel great to have someone choose to play Grand Bear every year. With so many quality golf options on the coast, the repeat customers give us a great sense of pride.

What Is The Signature, Most Talked About, or Most Photographed Hole?
Jack Nicklaus was asked the same question when we opened. He replied that he had built 18 signature holes. With all of the people coming in and telling us about their favorite holes and all of the different responses, I'll have to agree with Jack. 18 is probably our most photographed hole. Besides the beauty of the hole you see our beautiful clubhouse behind the 18th green.

What Is Your Favorite Hole? Any Tips to Play It?
Number two is my favorite hole. It is a 515 yard par 5. You drive to a wide open fairway. If you hit it far enough, you can go for it in two. This is where the fun begins. If you hit a good shot you have a great chance at birdie and a good chance at eagle. If you miss to the right, you end up in the Little Biloxi River. If you miss to the left, you end up in a wetlands area. It's the classic
"risk-reward" hole.

Must Have Dish or Drink after the round at the 19th Hole?
Whether it's a cup of coffee or an ice cold draft beer, you can't go wrong in our gorgeous 5000 square foot log cabin Clubhouse. The charming and talented staff are sure to make you feel at home. You may never want to leave. I recommend the burger or club sandwich.

Who Holds Course Record and What Was Their Score?
Eric Epperson holds the course record of 63. He shot it in the final round of the 2002 Grand Bear Classic. We have had some close calls, but it has held up over the last decade.

Back Tee Stats
Par: 72
Yardage: 7204
Slope: 143
Rating: 75.5

More Information
Grand Bear
12040 Grand Way Blvd.
Saucier, MS, 39574

Revised: 12/01/2012 - Article Viewed 30,621 Times - View Golf Course Profile

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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