Mississippi is where the game of golf meets Southern charm and where lush fairways lead to unparalleled post-round entertainment, including casino gaming and the South’s only location for legal sports betting.
Visiting golfers have their pick of more than 140 courses – designed by prominent names like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Jerry Pate, Tom Fazio, Davis Love III and Bob Cupp. But for the golfer who likes to experience high-energy competition both on and off the course, some of the state’s top golf destinations are located alongside high-end, high-excitement casino gaming resorts.
Mississippi Gulf Coast
The Mississippi Gulf Coast runs for more than 60 miles alongside white sand beaches and the Gulf of Mexico. With non-stop air service into the Gulfport/Biloxi International Airport, the golf-rich region is easy to access. There are more than 20 golf courses to choose from, in addition to 12 gaming resorts which offer sports book, entertainment and nightlife 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
One coastal course favorite is Fallen Oak, a Tom Fazio design exclusive to the high-end Beau Rivage Resort, an MGM property. The 18-hole, par-72 championship layout offers quite the challenge to the seasoned golfer, making it one of Mississippi’s most sought-after courses. The Beau Rivage–Fallen Oak package offers luxurious accommodations and a luxury course for golfers of the highest standards.
Another renowned coastal course is Biloxi’s Preserve Golf Club. The Preserve boasts 245 acres of playable course surrounded by no less than 1,800 acres of preserved coastal land. Award-winning course designer and U.S. Open champion Jerry Pate designed the semi-private club’s 18 holes, seamlessly integrating the area’s natural landscapes of longleaf pine savannas, cypress swamps, live oak groves and native coastal grass prairies into the course layout. While the course is aligned with the Palace Casino and Resort, it is only considered semi-private, offering tee times for all.
Rounding out the coastal courses is the Jack Nicklaus-designed Grand Bear Golf Course. The signature course for Harrah’s Gulf Coast Casino, Grand Bear is located in Saucier approximately 20 miles north of Gulfport. The challenging yet beautiful course navigates through natural cypress wetlands and towering pines, with packed pine needle rough, championship greens and deep bunkers set over 650 acres of rolling land in the piney woods of the DeSoto National Forest.
Approximately 90 miles northeast of the state capital of Jackson, Dancing Rabbit Golf Club is built on the ancestral lands of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Located in the heart of the pines region, the club features two courses with challenging terrain, the Oaks and the Azaleas. Designed by Fazio and Pate, these 36 holes are serenely nestled among ancient pines and hardwoods and situated adjacent to the Pearl River Casino Resort. Dancing Rabbit is a public course that offers several golf package options designed for individuals or small groups.
The river city of Natchez is home to two courses, the semi-private Beau Pre Country Club and the public Duncan Park. Situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, Beau Pre features a 90-foot clay bluff and rolling terrain while Duncan Park is located closer to the historic downtown area and features a more traditional style course. Golfers can choose to stay at bed and breakfasts in stately antebellum homes or at the Magnolia Bluffs Casino and Hotel on the Mississippi River.
Less than an hour south of Memphis, Tunica serves as the gateway to the Mississippi Delta region. It is home to numerous musical and gaming venues, including Hollywood Casino, Gold Strike and Horseshoe Casino. Among the gaming resorts lies Tunica National, a Mark McCumber design. This public course features rolling terrain, wide fairways, generous greens and preserved natural surroundings indigenous to the region.
As one of the state’s premier golf destinations, Tunica hotels and casinos offer special rates and golf packages for Tunica National year-round.
And while there are no gaming resorts nearby these next two courses, we would be remiss to leave out Mossy Oak, the state’s newest golf club, and Old Waverly, one of the South’s most esteemed courses and host of the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur Tournament.
Old Waverly, designed by Bob Cupp and Jerry Pate, blends Scottish links with Southern landscape. A bucket list course for many, the course is highlighted by the signature 18th hold, a 445-yard par-4 dogleg left with water along the left side. Meanwhile, sister course Mossy Oak is a Gil Hanse design with a minimalist approach that gives way to the natural lay of the land. The course is dotted with mature oak trees along open fairways and slight elevation changes.
Across the street from one another, these courses offer one of the most sought-after golf packages in the Southeast. Each with on-site cottages, golfers can stay and play with access to both clubs.
About Mississippi Development Authority
The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) is the state of Mississippi’s lead economic and community development agency, with approximately 300 employees engaged in providing services to businesses, communities and workers throughout Mississippi. Moreover, the agency provides Mississippi’s corporate citizens with export assistance, manages the state’s energy programs and oversees programs that help its communities become more competitive. The agency also promotes Mississippi as a tourism destination and supports the creative economy and film industry.
“Mississippi Development Authority’s mission is to foster a strong state economy and vibrant communities through innovation, use of talent and resources to improve our citizens’ lives.”