Three of our Favorite 30A Area Golf Courses
South Walton and the surrounding area is a budding golf mecca, particularly for those who value a swift pace of play, sprawling natural beauty, and affordability. Many 30A area golf courses are semi-private, meaning membership includes additional perks, but Is Not required to play. While most travelers flock to Rosemary Beach, Seaside, and Grayton Beach primarily to soak up the sun (much to Sheryl Crow’s delight), playing 18 holes of championship golf is always an added bonus.
With nearly two dozen courses in the 30A area, golfers have plenty of great options. Many of them were designed by PGA golf titans including Fred Couples, Tom Fazio, and Davis Love III. Without further ado, here are three of our favorite 30A area golf courses, spanning from Destin over to the east end of South Walton County.
Located on the west end of 30A in Dune Allen Beach, Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club features Gulf of Mexico views, white sand bunkers, mature trees, diverse greenery, and well-manicured fairways. It recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, making it one of the most mature golf courses in the region. Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club is a fun course to play no matter your handicap and the clubhouse is a great place to grab a beer after your round. A multi-million dollar renovation is expected to begin in 2021, so remember to book a tee time at your earliest convenience before it’s temporarily shuttered.
Selecting Kelly Plantation golf course in Destin was an easy decision, as it’s arguably one of the most beautiful designs along the Florida Panhandle. Fred Couples and Gene Bates masterfully designed this 7,000-plus-yard gem, which flawlessly utilizes the bayous, tall trees, and slightly-contoured topography. The greenery is seemingly always vibrant, regardless of the season. The pine tees, fairways, and greens blend seamlessly with the Choctawhatchee Bay, where dolphins often sneak a peek at birdie putts and fabulous approach shots.
Alligators, deer, and seabirds frequent this 7,200-yard Tom Fazio masterpiece, which ranks among the most challenging of the 30A area golf courses, due to the rolling, wind-swept terrain. While Camp Creek Golf Club is currently closed for course renovations, it’s worth including in this article because it is truly a top 3 area course and is perfectly located off of South WaterSound Parkway in heart of 30A East. It’s just minutes from Alys Beach, Rosemary Beach, Seacrest Beach, Inlet Beach, WaterSound and Seagrove Beach. Fazio brilliantly utilized the natural live oaks, fountain grass, and saw palmetto to add visual flair to an already-stellar design. As far as we’re concerned, it’s the most unique 18-hole experience in South Walton.
Honorable Mention 30A Area Golf Courses
Holiday Golf Club:
Holiday Golf Club is located on the west end of Panama City Beach (about a 12 minute drive from Rosemary Beach) and is a great course for golfers of all skill levels. This 18 hole championship course has very generous fairways with water in play on just about every hole. The layout is forgiving on the tee and challenging on the greens making it great for every level of golfer. Holiday Golf Club is known as one of the best conditioned courses in the area with it’s slogan being “Best Greens on the Beach”. Each golf cart at Holiday in PCB is equipped with a GPS and navigation screen that is compatible with Bluetooth making it easy to listen to music. The Holiday Golf Club also offers a practice facility with driving range, chipping & putting area with all new greens. Take a couple minutes to watch this 30A Escapes exclusive video on Holiday Golf Club in Panama City Beach below…
Similar to Camp Creek in terms of natural beauty, Origins golf course appeals to golfers of all handicap levels. It’s located on the north side of Highway 98 in the WaterSound Origins community and is open to the public. You will not see a lot of houses on this course which gives it a more private, secluded feel. Origins is also typically not super busy so it’s the perfect place for golfers that don’t like to be pushed.
Located on the north side of Hwy 98 on the Choctawhatchee Bay in Sandestin, Burnt Pine features a 7,000 yard layout with rolling fairways and strategically placed bunkers. It’s won many awards and has been recognized multiple times as one of the top 30 courses in the state of Florida by Golf Digest. Golf Magazine described Burnt Pine as “The Crown Jewel of Florida Golf” so you know it’s legit.
Centrally located within Sandestin, the Raven Golf Club offers a totally different layout than Burnt Pine. Tight holes are carved throw majestic pine trees and around beautiful marshes. The fairways and greens are perfectly manicured and water is in play most of the time. Club selection is extremely important when you play the Raven Golf Club in Sandestin so make sure to bring a rangefinder.
Do you have a favorite 30A area golf course not mentioned here? If so, please use the comments below to let us know which golf courses you like and why.