There is no shortage of golf courses in Florida, that’s for sure. When most people think of golfing in Florida, however, thoughts of swinging a club on the beautiful shores of the Gulf Coast come to mind as the southern part of the state is usually the most popular region. I’m here to tell you that there is spectacular golf to be played in the upper regions of the panhandle as well. I’m talking Destin, and in this post I’m going to tell you about some of the best golf courses in Destin Florida.
Situated on Florida’s Emerald Coast (named for the clear, green waters found there), Destin is home to a plethora of soft sandy beaches and a host of fun and exciting things to see and do. It’s the perfect vacation destination for golf and beach lovers alike and is a great place for the entire family.
I know many parts of the country are smack-dab in the middle of winter, but now’s the perfect time to start thinking about and planning your summer getaway. If golf is your thing, I’m sure one of the Destin golf courses I’ll be talking about below will call your name!
Burnt Pine at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
Ranked as one of the top golf courses in Florida, Burnt Pine has got to be the most revered course offered by the Sandestin Resort. Playing here will take a bit of strategic thinking and skill as the course meanders across the Emerald Coast’s lush pine forests and wetlands all the way to the Choctawhatchee Bay.
As such, the front and back nine offer stunning views, while cleverly placed bunkers, rolling greens, and water hazards challenge golfers every step of the way.
The greens are medium in size, but don’t let that fool you into thinking they’re easy. On the contrary, the greens are undulating and fast, with each hole requiring a different strategy to complete it successfully. You definitely won’t get bored golfing the Burnt Pine course.
The Sandestin Resort offers several golf and resort packages to accommodate everyone. Whether you’re staying a day, a weekend, or longer, you’ll find your stay with Sandestin an exciting experience you’ll want to come back to year after year.
As Northwest Florida goes, Sandestin Resort definitely has some of the best golf courses in Destin Florida to explore for your next golf trip.
Emerald Bay Golf Club
Situated between the busy part of Destin and Miramar Beach, you will find tons of natural vegetation. Originally designed by golf course architect Bob Cupp and has gone through another major renovation in the past few years.
With views of the bay, you’ll get a different view than the beautiful beaches of the Destin area
Book your tee times here.
Eglin AFB Golf Course – Eagle
Military or not, the Eglin AFB Golf Course is one of Florida’s must-golf courses. Located just four miles east of the Eglin Air Force Base, this golf complex is situated on 450 acres with 250 acres of greens and fairways spanning two courses (the Eagle and the Falcon). Open year-round, more than 65,000 rounds of golf are played on these courses combined.
Whether you’re golfing the Eagle or the Falcon, you’ll find a wealth of services at your disposal including golf carts, push carts, a pro shop, daily or annual locker rental, club rental for all ages, and a lighted driving range. You’ll also find a nice practice complex complete with lighted putting green and a chipping area with a sand bunker.
The Eglin courses also feature a lightning warning system to keep golfers safe, as well as rain shelters to stay dry. Lessons are also available for golfers of all ages and abilities.
At Eglin, you can make a day of your golf outing. The friendly staff is always available to assist with answers to your questions and help along the way. If you get hungry, there’s a snack bar, a cocktail bar, and even beverage/snack carts on the courses on the weekends.
There is also a dining and lounge area that seats up to 125 guests and overlooks the course for spectacular views. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a bite to eat as you relive the day’s events on the course.
Kelly Plantation Golf Club
If you’re looking for a scenic, yet challenging course, you can’t miss the Kelly Plantation Golf Club. Receiving high marks from Golf Digest and Golf Magazine, this beautiful course is located on what once was a turpentine plantation.
Situated along the shores of the Choctawhatchee Bay, the Kelly Plantation course offers spectacular views of a waterfront landscape with swampy bayous and towering trees.
Golfing the Kelly Plantation course can be tricky as the large greens and wide fairways require a well-thought-out plan and a steady hand. You will also need to be strategic to maneuver the many hazards also situated along the course.
The Kelly course is an avid golfer’s dream course as it is as challenging as it is beautiful. Don’t forget to bring your rangefinder to nail down your distances on each shot.
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If after a great day of golf, you find you’ve worked up quite an appetite, the Kelly Plantation Clubhouse offers a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu as well as a full bar with signature cocktails, domestic, import, and craft beers, and premium wines.
You can enjoy your meal either in the clubhouse or on the covered veranda that overlooks the 9th and 18th greens. It truly is a great place to unwind after a long day of work or play.
Rocky Bayou Country Club
The Rocky Bayou County Club golf course is unique in that it features changes in elevation that other Florida courses can’t match. This makes for a fun and challenging experience that’s never quite the same twice. The course offers picturesque views with rolling hills, stately pines, and sprawling oaks with a few breaks in between.
There are five spring-fed lakes that come into play on six of the 18 challenging holes spread across 115 acres of perfectly manicured greens, and wide fairways. The water features here will present for a little challenge.
If you’re in the mood to practice, you’ll find practice areas for putting, driving, chipping, and bunkers, and regardless of your skill level, each hole has five tee boxes for every level of play. From beginner to senior master, you are ensured an exceptional experience when you golf at the Rocky Bayou Country Club.
Regatta Bay Golf and Yacht Club
Not the longest course in the area, but the Regatta Bay golf course is definitely one of the best. If you enjoy taking risks for big rewards, you’ll love golfing at Regatta Bay. Situated along the Emerald Coast, Regatta Bay has undergone a $2.25 million makeover, with reviewers claiming it a fantastic experience. With its pristinely manicured greens and luscious fairways, there really is no excuse for making poor shots on this course.
If you’re looking to play a top-rated golf course, look no further than Regatta Bay as Golf Digest rates it in the top 200 courses in the country and the top 15 in Florida. Without a doubt, you’ll want to play here again and again.
Shalimar Pointe Golf Club
Get in touch with nature as you play golf at the serene Shalimar Point Golf Club. This course is literally cut right out of the surrounding forest. With well-manicured greens and wide fairways, this course has an almost isolated feel. With a lack of houses and traffic, you’ll enjoy a quiet, peaceful round of golf, and when the day is through, you’ll return to the clubhouse where food, drink, and plenty of good company await. This golf course may be more rustic than most, but the serenity makes for a relaxing experience you won’t soon forget.
The Golf Garden of Destin
Although golf is rarely a family affair, The Golf Garden of Destin strives to make it so. There is something for everyone from beginner to advanced, so this is the perfect place to bring the entire family for a day of fun.
The Golf Garden features a 9-hole executive course that not only challenges advanced players but is also accessible for beginners with some experience. Nine-hole courses like this are great for junior golfers to get a feel for the golf experience.
There is also an 18-hole putting course that enables family members to practice their skills while engaging in some friendly competition.
This is the perfect golf course to introduce a newbie to the sport as the course is very well-maintained and the short course offers just the right amount of play for everyone. The Golf Garden is a welcome break from the stress of a traditional championship course that the entire family can enjoy.
Additional Golf Courses Near Destin FL
There are tons of public golf courses and private country clubs in Destin, Florida that we haven’t talked about in depth. Here are just a few of them to check out!
Traveling to the south east end of Florida? Check out the best public golf courses in West Palm Beach.
Recap Of Top Destin Golf Courses
The sunny skies and warm weather in Florida make for the ideal circumstances for a round of golf just about any time, and there is no shortage of golf courses in the state. The next time you’re thinking of taking a golf vacation, don’t forget to consider one of the awesome courses I’ve mentioned above as your destination. These courses all offer great rounds of golf and many other amenities to boot. Whether you are a novice or a pro, these are the best golf courses in Destin Florida!