By: Tiffany Clemons
When most people think of Florida travel, they think of a cartoon mouse and his theme park. Nevertheless, Florida is so much more than that – especially in the panhandle. Picture sugar-white sands, clear emerald waters, and sunsets that seem to last just a little bit longer than everywhere else. Not to mention, golf… a lot of golf. At Sandestin® Golf and Beach Resort, you get it all: accommodations from the beach to the bay, world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment, and 73 holes of golf. That’s right, 73.
Sandestin® was developed as a resort community in the early 1970s, and in 1973 the first property golf course, The Links, designed by Tom Jackson, was completed. To this day, it is still a crowd favorite because of its panoramic views of Choctawhatchee Bay. Baytowne Golf Course, also designed by Jackson, was completed in the ‘80s, and as the resort continued to grow, so did the courses. The prestigious semi-private Burnt Pine course, designed by Rees Jones was completed in the 1990s, and in 2000, The Raven opened and was later the home of the Boeing Championship, a stop on the PGA Tour and most recently became the home of the Emerald Coast Classic at Sandestin®, an official stop on the Korn Ferry Tour.
The 73rd hole comes into play on the 16th hole of The Raven. That area of the course was originally part of Baytowne, and at the time was a par 4 and without residences. When Robert Trent Jones Jr. was designing The Raven, he felt the existing corridor was too narrow for a par 4 and came up with the idea of creating back-to-back par 3s. The hole you play depends on what day you come – 16A is played on even days and 16B on odd.
Sandestin® spans over 2,400 acres between the bay and the Gulf of Mexico – all interconnected by over 70 distinct neighborhoods and properties, including the new Hotel Effie and luxurious Osprey Pointe, miles of pedestrian, bike, and golf cart paths that weave through groves of live oaks and natural lagoons, and meticulously landscaped fairways. In the middle of it all lies The Village of Baytowne Wharf, the resort epicenter for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Check out the bustling Baytowne Marina while you are there and enjoy the signature grouper sandwich from Marina Bar and Grill.
Golf is always in season at Sandestin® and the best way to experience everything that the resort has to offer is with a curated stay and play package. Whether you are traveling solo, as a couple, with your golf buddies, or your entire family, a reservation specialist can create the perfect trip for you. Plus, when you book your golf and accommodations together, you score more. With up to 30% off your rounds and rental, unlimited use of the practice facilities, exclusive savings and amenities around the resort, complimentary pre-booked replay rounds, and more, all you will need to bring is your swing.