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Shell Landing


Mississippi Gulf Coast Best in State

Mississippi's Golf Coast has once again lived up to its name.

By Brad King

Mississippi's "Golf Coast" has once again lived up to its name.

High-quality courses and attractions sprinkle the entire Magnolia State. Yet nowhere is there a concentration comparable to that on the Gulf Coast - 62 miles of scenic coastline tucked between New Orleans, Louisiana and Mobile, Alabama.

The area boasts captivating layouts designed by renowned architects including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Davis Love III, Jerry Pate, Tom Fazio, Mark McCumber, Tom Bendelow and John Lafoy, all along a dramatic stretch of pinelands, lakes and marshes.

Little wonder why this little slice of southern coastal heaven has earned the nickname Mississippi's "Golf Coast."

And the experts agree. In Golfweek magazine's 2017 "Best Golf Courses You Can Play in Each State" - a state-by-state list of the best golf courses you can play across the United States as selected by Golfweek's raters - Mississippi's Golf Coast boasted a whopping seven of the state's elite Top 10.

Leading the way as the No. 1 golf course in Mississippi is Fallen Oak in Saucier, Miss., a Tom Fazio-designed gem that pays homage to the Gulf Coast Lowcountry, with pecan and Magnolia groves, and of course a centerpiece of old oak trees.

One spot behind Fallen Oak at No. 2 in Mississippi on the Golfweek ranking is The Preserve in Vancleave, a semi-private layout that features holes winding through tall pines on the front side and a back nine where the routing opens up into a neighboring preserve, with several holes bordering wetlands.

At No. 3 in the state was Grand Bear in Saucier, a Jack Nicklaus signature-designed golf course that features well-manicured greens and secluded fairways that were carved from woodlands surrounding Desoto National Forest, framed by towering pines and natural cypress wetlands.

At No. 6 in the Golfweek Best of State rankings is Windance Country Club in Gulfport, followed by The Bridges Golf Club at Hollywood Casino Bay in St. Louis at No. 7.

Windance CC was designed by Mark McCumber in 1986 and has played host to both the Ben Hogan and Nike tours with past winners including 2003 U.S. Open Champion Jim Furyk, 2006 British Open champion Tom Lehman, and 2005, 2006 Senior Open Champion Alan Doyle.

The Bridges GC at Hollywood Casino is the Magnolia State's lone Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course and is set on the banks of Mississippi's beautiful Bay of St. Louis among 600 acres of moss-draped live oaks, stately pines, magnolias and sweeping vistas of saltwater marsh.

Rounding out the Golfweek Top 10 in Mississippi is Shell Landing Golf Club in Gautier at No. 9 and The Oaks Golf Club in Pass Christian at No. 10.

Shell Landing GC has played host to the Tour and conveniently located no more than 20 minutes from Biloxi Casinos and Hotels such as IP, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock, Beau Rivage, Palace, Harrah's and others.

The Oaks GC winds through Mississippi's native wetlands and timberlands, providing a high-quality golf experience in an atmosphere that enhances the enjoyment of the game. The Oaks has played host to both Nike Tour and professional golf tournaments.

Golfweek's eclectic ranking panel consists of 675 voters from seven countries who rely on 10 criteria to rate a golf course, including overall land plan, variety and memorability of golf holes, conditioning and ecology, and the "Walk in the park test", which rates the sense of the course as worthy of spending four hours on it. The number of courses per state varies based on course supply, population and level of play; and the Golfweek rankings include daily-fee layouts and golf courses accessible via resorts.

Learn more about the numerous outstanding golf offerings along Mississippi's Golf Coast as well as upcoming summer packages at

Revised: 05/09/2017 - Article Viewed 12,030 Times

About: Brad King

Brad King Writer, editor and media relations specialist Brad King is a former Atlanta sports writer and editor of LINKS Magazine - The Best of Golf. After founding Brad King Communications in 2002, Brad penned the golf column for Hilton Head's Island Packet newspaper and his writing continues to be published regularly. Brad has edited and contributed to numerous book projects, He has teamed with the Southern Pines Pilot to produce award-winning coverage of the 2005 U.S. Open, 2007 U.S. Women's Open and the 2014 U.S. Open and Women's U.S. Open.

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