The Florida panhandle is the northwestern area of the state bordering Alabama and Georgia to the north and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. This narrow strip sometimes referred to by locals as L.A. (Lower Alabama) is known, as the Emerald Coast for is beautiful white sand beaches and pristine emerald green waters. Culturally and in terms of history and climate the region is more closely tied to the Deep South compared to the Lower Peninsula and more southern regions of the state.
In the Panhandle region of northwest Florida and southern Alabama you will find some the finest golf courses in the country. In a region known mostly for famous “The Robert Trent Jones Trail” there are literally dozens of other wonderful golf facilities sprinkled throughout a number of small cities and towns along the Florida and Alabama state line. While the resort areas of Pensacola Beach, Destin, Navarre, Gulf Shores and Perdido Key offer many of the best-known golf destinations a short ride takes you to many other great golf facilities and some of the best values in golf in the region.
Three courses were played on this trip two in Florida and one in Alabama. I will start with the Moors Golf Club in Pensacola home of the Champions Tour Emerald Coast Classic for the last 11 years.
The Moors is a creation of Architect John La Foy and was built in 1993.
The course is a wonderful blend of Scottish Links with Florida style. The Course was named recently in Golf Digest 50/50 Best in the U.S. (Top 50 Golf Course you can play for under $50.00) This track is par 70 at 6841 yards from the tips and carries a rating of 73 with a slope of130. The Moors offer an undulating links style layout with water coming in to play on six holes with large greens and sugar white sand bunkers. The expansive fairways are inviting but the rough is deep and thick and will cost you on the score. You will enjoy this facility from the clubhouse to the practice range to the great links style lay out. A Phantom course rating of 98 out of 100.
Contact (850) 995-4653
The second Course played was in Pace Florida just 15 minutes north of Pensacola. Stonebrook Golf Club a residential golf course community built in one of northwest Florida’s fastest growing areas. Stonebrook was designed by Course Architect Charles Daniels and built in 1989.
The course pays at a par 72 just under 7000 yards from the tips with a rating of 74 and a slope of 131. Stonebrook is a classic Florida layout winding through well manicured grounds and beautiful homes. The fairways are tight with good roll and well-placed bunkers and fast greens make the course a favorite of a number of local tour players from
Clubhouse facilities as well as practice range and greens are all excellent to hone your game. Stonebrook is a great golf value. A phantom rating of 96 out of 100.
Contact (850) 994-7171
The last course played on the trip was one of the most enjoyable. The Country Club of Brewton located just over the state line in Alabama. Brewton was designed by local golf course architect and PGA player Jerry Pate and built in 1997. Tall pines and rolling landscape give this course a Carolina feel. The layout is wonderful and Tifdwarf greens made putting a treat on this track.
The course pays at 7019 yards par 72 from the tips with a course rating of 73.7 and a slope of 133. This track will give you all the length you are looking for and leave you with plenty of side hill, downhill and uphill lies. Tight fairways and well-guarded greens make this course play a little longer if you’re not in position off the tee. A very good facility with all the amenities. A Phantom rating of 97 out of 100. Contact (215)867-4100
Overall you will find this region a great destination for many different types of golf courses. The southern hospitality runs deep and the prices for golf are a real treat. The best part of it all is you are in the Deep South, a little slower, a little quieter, and a lot easier on the pace of your game. A great golf destination.