Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort
Anthony Webber. Editor-at-Large. iGTN. Four immaculately groomed golf courses. Thirteen hundred deluxe condominiums, villas, townhomes and a hotel. A lively village with restaurants, nightlife, entertainment, and shopping – Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort on Northwest Florida’s Emerald Coast is a 2,400-acre, see-it-to-believe-it vacation destination where golfers can stay, play, eat and shop without leaving the property.
The resort is home to a PGA Champions Tour layout, a private club to which resort guests receive “member for a day” privileges and even a tale of buried treasure.
The Raven is a two-time host of PGA Champions Tour events. Opened in 2000, the Robert Trent Jones II-design bobs and weaves through marshes, wetlands and pine trees, providing a stern, but fair test of golf.
Burnt Pine is the work of Rees Jones. The club is private, but resort guests can play via a limited number of tee times. Golfers receive the complete private club treatment, from the use of Burnt Pine’s locker room to a day of play dining privileges. In addition to 18 phenomenal holes, Burnt Pine is also home to a tale of buried treasure. As legend holds, a Scottish sea captain outmaneuvering a Civil War naval blockade stashed his treasure at the base of a lightning-charred pine tree where the course now sits. A fire later burned hundreds of pines, ensuring the booty was never recovered.
Sandestin’s Baytowne and The Links Course are longtime favorites of locals and resort guests.
Baytowne Golf Club is the ideal arrival day track. The par-71, designed by Tom Jackson, plays to a manageable 6,800 yards from the tips, and its wide fairways wipe away both jetlag and off-season rust.
Jackson’s second contribution, The Links Course, is a tip of the cap to the origins of the ancient game. Thanks to the challenging layout and ubiquitous Bay winds, The Links Course has garnered the reputation as one of the area’s ultimate risk-reward courses.
Post-round, golfers flock to the Village of Baytowne Wharf. Located inside the resort, the Village features casual and fine-dining restaurants and an assortment of bars and nightlife.
Sandestin offers a variety of golf package options. All packages include carts; unlimited use of Sandestin’s practice facility and range balls; and free replay rounds booked at the course the day of play (based on availability).
More information: www.sandestin.com (888) 801-4388
Getting There: Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) offers direct flights from Houston, Baltimore/Washington DC, Atlanta, Orlando, Nashville, and Memphis. Northwest Florida Regional Airport (VPS) offers direct flights from Dallas, Houston, Charlotte, Louisville, and Atlanta.