Destin, Florida is one of the top golf destinations in the United States. With its sunny climate and stunning coastal views, it’s easy to see why so many golfers flock to this paradise. The Destin area offers a variety of courses from championship-level links to challenging executive layouts. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best golf courses in the area that are sure to offer a memorable experience for every level of golfer. Whether you’re looking for an easy-to-play course or one that will test your skills, this list has something for everyone.
Kelly Plantation Golf Club
Kelly Plantation Golf Club is an award-winning golf course in Destin, Florida. It boasts a challenging par-72 7099 yards championship golf course that is semi-private and surrounded by a beautiful waterfront landscape of towering trees and swampy bayous. The course features large, contoured greens, wide manicured fairways, and strategically placed hazards, making it tricky to navigate. Adding to the experience are the abundant magnolias and swampy wetlands, which are home to many rare birds and local wildlife.
The Clubhouse is equipped with a full bar, providing amazing views of the golf course, and offers an experience that is tough to beat in the area. One of the highlights of the golf course is the signature Hole 4, which provides a dazzling view of Choctawhatchee Bay. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or a beginner, Kelly Plantation Golf Club provides a challenging yet fantastic golfing experience that is sure to impress. The course is always in great shape, making it a must-play for golf enthusiasts visiting Destin, Florida.
Location: 307 Kelly Plantation Dr, Destin, FL 32541
Indian Bayou Golf Club
Indian Bayou Golf Club boasts two unique nine-hole courses, with each having a distinct set of characteristics and signature holes. The 18-hole course comprises Seminole and Choctaw courses. Seminole is known for its generous fairways, with water hazards coming into play on four of its nine holes. Meanwhile, The Choctaw course has gained notoriety for its length, with only having two par threes, spanning 7078 yards and having a slope of 132.
The course provides an excellent walking experience and has beautiful, lush, undulating greens, green pine tree-lined fairways, sparkling lakes, and water features. Additionally, it is located near Big Kahuna Water Park and the Urban Air Adventure Park, making it an ideal vacation destination for the whole family to enjoy. Golfers have an opportunity to earn multiple birdie chances, making the course challenging yet relaxing. The fairways are wide and forgiving, covered with an excellent Bermuda grass fairway and green, making it in excellent shape with a fast and true roll. Indian Bayou Golf Club is nestled beneath a hill that is covered in towering pine trees, which creates a very scenic view.
Location: 1 Country Club Dr E, Destin, FL 32541
Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club
Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club is a world-class golf course located right by the beach. With 18 holes offering academy training and Callaway Club rentals, this course is perfect for golfers of all levels. Golf Digest has even recognized this course, naming it one of the “Top 15 Courses in Florida.”
The front nine is forgiving, with wide open green spaces, while the back nine is picturesque, with some holes requiring accurate shooting. The course features lush vegetation, natural hazards, winding streams, and well-designed bunkers. The views of nature along Choctawhatchee Bay are breathtaking, combined with the strong winds, sparkling water, and blue skies, creating a bright and vibrant golf experience. The course measures 6798 yards with a slope of 138, and GPS-enabled golf carts make navigation a breeze. A practice area and on-site golf shop round out the amenities. Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club is conveniently located just east of the mid-bay bridge and Destin Commons and is definitely worth a visit for nice fairways and greens.
Location: 465 Regatta Bay Blvd, Destin, FL 32541
Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club
Located on Highway 98, Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club boasts “The Purest Golf In the Florida Panhandle,” according to Golf Magazine. The course features 18 holes, a 72-par semi-private course covering 6564 yards. The 140 slope, coupled with risk-reward holes and seven different sets of tees, offers an excellent challenge to golfers at all levels. The course has two holes with breathtaking views of the Gulf of Mexico. It is the only golf course in the area that offers the unique experience of playing with the Gulf’s sounds and breezes, with strategically placed bunkers.
Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club is a rare golf course that has natural wildlife habitats and pristine white sand beaches of South Walton. The course features water hazards that come into play frequently, adding a fun and challenging element that avid golfers love. Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club has seven different sets of tees and strategically placed bunkers, making this course accessible to all. The course has a fair challenge and unique character that will give golfers an unforgettable experience. With the course surrounded by beautiful natural scenery, Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club is the perfect destination for anyone looking for a unique and challenging golfing experience.
Location: 334 Golf Club Dr, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Emerald Bay Golf Club
Emerald Bay Golf Club, a semi-private resort, is located off Highway 98 near Choctawhatchee Bay. The 18-hole championship course, designed by Bob Cupp, offers an amazing golfing experience for both rookies and seasoned golfers alike. With 4 sets of tees, the course caters to all golfer’s abilities and offers a 72 par and 7050 yards. Sculpted fairways, tight greens, and plenty of water features make the course challenging, fair, and captivating.
The first nine holes offer breathtaking views of water features, while the back nine border the beautiful bay. A driving range with lots of yardage and flags, and unlimited balls is a great place to warm up for that perfect shot. For a break after a game, a full-service pro shop and a restaurant with a tasty menu and full bar await you. Emerald Bay Golf Club is known for maintaining fairways in excellent condition all year round while providing amazing Gulf views. The course offers 143 slopes and overlooks the shores of Choctawhatchee Bay, making it a go-to destination for golf enthusiasts looking for a challenging yet beautiful course.
Location: 4781 Clubhouse Dr, Destin, FL 32541
Raven Golf Club at Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort
Raven Golf Club at Sandestin Golf And Beach Resort is a must-visit destination for golfers of all skill levels. You will find 18 holes spanning 6931 yards with a 71 par and a slope of 137. The course boasts marshes, native wetlands, and towering pine forests, providing a beautiful and challenging course for players. The fairways and greens have a fair amount of undulation, and you will encounter a number of strategically placed sand traps, making every shot exciting and engaging.
The variety of shot options and visual scenery at Raven Golf Club is impressive, with dramatic changes in color and texture all throughout the landscape. The highlight hole is undoubtedly the par-3 sixth hole, providing a real test for golfers. The Bermuda greens are well-maintained, offering the perfect surface for golfers to demonstrate their skills. The pro shop and staff are friendly and informative, creating a welcoming experience for visitors. In fact, in the mid-2000s, this golf club hosted a PGA Tour Champions event, showcasing its quality and prestige.
Location: 1199 Troon Dr N, Miramar Beach, FL 32550
Seascape Resort Golf Club
Seascape Resort Golf Club is the perfect place for golf enthusiasts. With 18 holes spanning over 6100 yards across softly rolling hills, golfers are sure to have a challenging and enjoyable game. The course offers unique hazards, contoured fairways, and water features at 15 of the holes, promising strategically placed shots across immaculately maintained Bermuda grass.
What makes Seascape Resort Golf Club stand out is the stunning landscape. The course boasts tall pines, blue water features, and tranquil lakes with freshwater and coastal dune lakes providing awe-inspiring views of the Gulf of Mexico from many holes. After a round of golf, players can relax and unwind at the Whale’s Tail Beach Bar & Grill. Not only can they enjoy outdoor dining with a spectacular view of the ocean, but the par-70 course also challenges golfers with a 120-slope rating, satisfying their desire for a demanding game.
Location: 556 Seascape Drive | Miramar Beach, FL 32550
Shalimar Pointe Golf & Country Club
Shalimar Pointe Golf and Country Club is a hidden gem, featuring 18 holes of golf spanning 6765 yards with a slope rating of 129. The course is located on the shores of Choctawhatchee Bay in Shalimar, Florida, boasting mature trees, well-guarded manicured greens, and strategically placed bunkers that take advantage of the natural surroundings. This stunning course also features several unique options and bunkering throughout, making it one of the best-kept golf secrets in Northwest Florida.
The golf course offers golfers of all levels a comprehensive practice facility equipped with a driving range, putting green, and chipping green. After playing or practicing, golfers can relax at the bar and grill while enjoying the stunning views of Choctawhatchee Bay. Although it requires a little more upkeep, Shalimar Pointe Golf and Country Club are worth the effort, offering golfers a professional and enjoyable golf experience like no other.
Location: 302 Country Club Rd, Shalimar, FL 32579
The Golf Garden of Destin
Located at Golf Garden of Destin is a 9-hole public course featuring stunning views and challenges for golfers at any skill level. Boasting 29-par and spanning 1630 yards of Bermuda grass, this course is designed to provide a relaxing and quick game of golf that takes approximately an hour to walk through.
Not only is this course well-groomed with great fairways and greens, but the staff at Golf Garden of Destin is also very accommodating and friendly, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Whether you’re a seasoned golfer or just starting out, this executive course offers an opportunity to perfect your game while experiencing all the stunning benefits this area has to offer.
Location: 220 Scenic Gulf Dr, Miramar Beach, FL 32550
Baytowne Golf Club
Baytowne Golf Club is one of four 18-hole layouts at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort that offers breathtaking views of Florida’s Emerald Coast. With its multiple teeing areas and challenging hazards, it is renowned as the only course on the Emerald Coast that extends from the beach to Choctawhatchee Bay. Designed by the great Tom Jackson, the course has earned 4 ½ stars and is recognized as one of the “Best Places to Play.”
This public course is perfect for beginners just learning the game, as it has a course that plays just 3,000 yards – an ideal length for kids and novices. As it is conveniently located near the Village of Baytowne Wharf, there are also many restaurants and bars in the area, making it a great location for tourists. With its manicured greens, along with even more elevation changes and a slope of 138, Baytowne Golf Club is the perfect course for anyone who wants to challenge their golf abilities.
Location: 9300 Emerald Coast Parkway West, Troon Drive North, Miramar Beach, FL 32550
Burnt Pine Golf Club
Burnt Pine Golf Club, designed by architect Rees Jones, is a 72-par semi-private/resort course situated in the Scared Oaks community near the Horseshoe Bayou. The front nine of the course meanders through the lush pine forests and wetlands of Florida’s Emerald Coast, while the back nine runs parallel to Choctawhatchee Bay. The rolling fairways, coupled with the cleverly placed bunkers, offer a challenging yet enjoyable experience for golfers of all abilities. The course is set amidst picturesque natural settings, and the pristine greens provide a treat for players.
The course presents a legit test of one’s golfing abilities, with lots of hills on the fairways and water hazards alongside most of the holes. The signature hole is particularly noteworthy, as even the “up” tees shoot over a marsh to a bull-warmed green. Golf Magazine named Burnt Pine Golf Club the “Crown Jewel of Florida Golf,” a testament to the high level of quality on offer. Furthermore, the course provides ample amenities, such as a large driving range, allowing players to warm up and perfect their game. Overall, Burnt Pine Golf Club offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and challenging gameplay, making it a must-play for avid golfers.
Location: 3300 Burnt Pine Ln, Miramar Beach, FL 32550
The Link Golf Club at Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa
The Links Golf Club, one of the original two Sandestin Golf Courses, is a popular golf destination. Designed by Tom Jackson, this 72-par and 6,710 yards golf course is short but challenging, making it the ultimate risk-reward golf experience. The layout of the course winds past Choctawhatchee Bay and Baytowne Marina, providing a picturesque view for golfers who love to enjoy the beauty of nature while playing golf.
The course has been home to the 2013 NCAA Division III National Championship, displaying its characteristic Bermuda grass and five holes along the bay, making it unique. The Links offers four different sets of tees and has a slope rating of 135, suitable for golfers of different skills. Players encounter rolling undulations during the gameplay that make it exciting throughout. The Links Golf Club provides an authentic links experience that golf enthusiasts cannot miss out on while visiting Sandestin.
Location: 4000 S Sandestin Blvd, Miramar Beach, FL 32550
Rocky Bayou Golf Club
Rocky Bayou Golf Club is a 115-acre private course in Northwest Florida. The course boasts 18 holes, with sprawling oaks, stately pines, rolling hills, and five spring-fed lakes providing picturesque views throughout the course.
The wide fairways of this 72 par, 6901 yards course are perfectly managed and lead to quick greens, which have lots of movement and nice fringes. The course features some elevation changes, providing a good challenge for golfers of all skill levels. The plush and well-maintained fairways make for an enjoyable experience, and the carts are equipped with tees, scorecards, and pencils, ready to go for your convenience. The clubhouse offers excellent food, and the staff is professional and welcoming. Come experience the beauty and challenges of the Rocky Bayou Golf Club.
Location: 600 Golf Course Dr, Niceville, FL 32578
Golfers of all levels will find something to love when they visit Destin, Florida in 2023. With thirteen remarkable golf courses that each offer a unique experience, you can travel around Destin to challenge yourself on the greens and appreciate the beautiful surroundings and amenities. The best golf courses in Destin are sure to provide enjoyment for all levels of golfers eager for an unforgettable round. So come to Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast and play these memorable, must-see golf courses in 2023 – you won’t be disappointed!