If you’re dreaming of a break from the humdrum of regular life, look no further than Mississippi, where great golf adventures await.
What most of us want is a golf vacation providing memorable golf on a great course with easy access. Fortunately, the municipal and other public-access courses spread across the United States are a big part of golf’s heritage.
At the end of the 19th century the ideology that golf is a game for all seemed fitting and so, in 1895, the first municipal golf course was opened at Van Cortlandt Park in New York. Then, as the passion for golf increased so too did the number of public and municipal courses (the difference being, municipal: owned and/or managed by the city, town or county; public: owned by individuals, real estate development companies, partnerships or corporations).
Today, according to figures from the World Golf Foundation, 80 percent of all rounds are played on courses that are open to the public. So if your vacation planning is focused within the U.S., there are plenty of great options, in addition to the many resorts with courses to play as part of your package. And if your golf vacation planning is set further afield, please read on.
On home turf, the State of Mississippi, offers a choice of at least 15 courses open to the public. Of these, many consider Grand Bear Golf Club one of the very best. Located just 35 minutes from the Gulf Coast, Grand Bear, appropriately, has a 1999 course by Jack Nicklaus Signature Design, along with superb amenities. The Club is six miles into the De Soto National Forest. No two holes are parallel one another, and there are no roads, residential areas or other distractions.
Also high on the Mississippi’s don’t-miss list of luxury golf experiences is Tom Fazio’s 18-hole par-72 course, Fallen Oak, with a clubhouse designed to complement the unique natural beauty of the surrounding landscape. It is home to the Rapiscan Systems Classic on the PGA TOUR Champions.
This article first appeared in the PGA TOUR December 2019-May 2020 issue, which can be read here.