Vacation Golfers Paradise All Along Highway 30A on The Emerald Coast World Class Golfing Experience (Par excellence)
With so many options for Golfers, we here at SoWal Connections thought it good to offer up this Ultimate Golfers Guide to The Emerald Coast. Along The Emerald Coast along 30A, Florida is home to a world-class golfing offering, dare we say, “par excellence experience while on vacation.” The Emerald Coast in South Walton County is renowned for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant marine life. However, it’s not just a paradise for beachgoers and sun-seekers; it’s also a haven for golf enthusiasts. With its lush green fairways, challenging courses, and breathtaking coastal views, golfing on the Emerald Coast offers a unique and unforgettable experience. It’s A Golfers Dream Come True on your vacation.
Golfing Along 30A The “Crown Jewel of Florida Golf”
Come Explore The Emerald Coast along Highway 30A, called the “Crown Jewel of Florida Golf.” SoWal Connections will assist you in our Comprehensive Ultimate Guide to your Florida Vacation. Visit our Guide Page for Vacation Homeowners, 30A Rentals, Things to Do, Dining Out, say you want a Beachfront Restaurant, and more after golfing!
These are our Sweet 16 Golfers Paradise Guide choices. We ranked by Highest Golf Course Ratings, Scenic Views, and Difficulty. Each course will have a separate page describing the courses and all the available amenities, tee times, and clubhouse info. Read up and come play them all while on vacation. People come back and back again. Enjoy!
The Club at Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort
(Coming in with four amazing unique on-site golf courses options at The Club a Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort – Raven, Baytowne, The Links, and Burnt Pine, thus scooping four positions in our Sweet 16 Golfers Guide to The Emerald Coast)
#1 The Raven Golf Club
Highest Rating: Rated as the number one course in Northwest Florida by Florida Golf News, the Raven Golf Club, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., presents an intriguing mix of marshes, wetlands, and pine forests. A golfing vacation paradise!
Scenic Views: The hilly layout adds to the visual interest and varied landscape, surrounded by stunning natural Florida scenery along 30A’s Emerald Coast communities, including expansive bay views.
Difficulty: This challenging course has a rating of 74.1 and a slope rating of 131, with a Par 71 demanding precision and strategy from golfers of all skill levels. (Sandestin: Raven Golf Club)
#2 Burnt Pine Golf Club
Highest Rating: Rees Jones designed the award-winning Burnt Pine Golf Club, offering a stimulating and engaging golf experience. The course was named the “Crown Jewel of Florida Golf” by Golf Magazine. Fitting for 30A’s Emerald Coast Beach Vacation, don’t you think?
Scenic Views: Burnt Pine Golf Club extends through picturesque wetlands, lush forests, and immaculate fairways, providing a pristine natural backdrop and an enjoyable round of golf.
Difficulty: With a course rating of 72.6 and a slope rating of 139, coming in at Par 72, players will encounter a variety of challenges that test their skills, from cleverly placed bunkers to lightning-fast greens. (Sandestin: Burnt Pine Golf Club)
#3 Kelly Plantation Golf Club
Highest Rating: Rated as one of the premier golf courses on the Emerald Coast, Kelly Plantation Golf Club boasts a well-maintained and challenging course. Fred Couples and Gene Bates designed the course, focusing on excellent shot-making diversity and incredible playability.
Scenic Views: Nestled among lush vegetation and natural wetlands, this course offers spectacular views of Choctawhatchee Bay, providing an unforgettable golfing experience.
Difficulty: With a course rating of 73.1 and a slope rating of 133, at a Par 72, golfers will find the challenge and intricacy they seek while playing Kelly Plantation. (Destin: Kelly Plantation Golf Club)
#4 Shark’s Tooth Golf Club
Highest Rating: At Shark’s Tooth Golf Club, the panoramic views of the surrounding coastline will leave you in awe, making every hole a picturesque adventure. This exclusive course presents golfers with an idyllic golf experience challenge, thanks to its unique layout and well-manicured greens requiring strategic thinking and precise shots. This is a private member only but open to guests staying at the WaterSound Club.
Scenic Views: Shark’s Tooth Golf Club continues to earn top ratings for its mesmerizing scenic views, as the breathtaking coastline backgrounds highlight the beauty of each hole. A top Vacation Resort, with “have to see it to believe its amenities.”
Difficulty: The clubhouse is conveniently situated in the heart of the course, boasting a course rating of 73.4 and a slope rating of 139 at Par 72, which attests to the skill and expertise needed to conquer this captivating golfing experience. (Lake Powel: Shark’s Tooth Golf Club)
#5 Camp Creek Golf Club
Highest Rating: Camp Creek Golf Club is a top-rated golf course in the region for its exceptional course design, immaculate conditions, and fantastic customer service. The Tom Fazio-designed course is known to offer challenging gameplay for avid golfers. Vacation visitors are welcome to one of the great golf courses in Florida!
Scenic Views: Camp Creek Golf Club’s views are breathtaking, with greens that wind through natural dune formations and native vegetation. Players can enjoy the stunning scenery and will be impressed by the course’s integration with its natural surroundings.
Difficulty: With a course rating of 74.7 and a slope rating of 138, Camp Creek offers a Par 72 challenging layout suitable for skilled golfers. Each hole has multiple tee boxes to cater to varying skill levels. (Panama City Beach: Camp Creek at Watersound Club)
#6 Bay Point Resort Golf Club
Highest Rating: Bay Point Resort Golf Club is a top-quality championship golf destination along The Emerald Coast for its impressive course design, well-maintained conditions, and exceptional customer service. The renowned Jack Nicklaus-designed course is recognized for providing an exciting challenge to avid golfers.
Scenic Views: Bay Point Resort sits alongside the beautiful St. Andrew’s Bay, offering stunning waterside vistas and abundant natural beauty. The course is surrounded by native Florida vegetation and wildlife, creating a serene atmosphere for golf enthusiasts to enjoy the view.
Difficulty: Boasting a course rating of 75.3 and a slope rating of 143, Bay Point Resort Golf Club presents a Par 72 demanding experience ideal for skilled players. Each hole features multiple tee boxes to accommodate golfers with a range of abilities. (Panama City Beach: Bay Point Resort)
#8 Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club
Highest Rating: This prestigious golf club, designed by Robert C. Walker, consistently receives top accolades for its challenging and well-maintained course Regatta Bay Golf Course does it all!
Scenic Views: Embracing the landscape of Florida’s Emerald Coast, the course meanders around protected natural preserves and stunning water features, offering captivating views.
Difficulty: With a course rating of 73.8 and a slope rating of 150, a Par 72 Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club is suitable for golfers who love a good challenge, demanding focus, strategy, and adaptability. (Destin: Regatta Bay Golf & Yacht Club)
#9 The Links Golf Club
Highest Rating: Often referred to as the “hidden gem” of Emerald Coast golf courses, The Links Golf Club at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort was masterfully designed by Tom Jackson and stands out for providing a traditional links-style golf experience.
Scenic Views: The stunning course runs along the shores of Choctawhatchee Bay, offering panoramic views of emerald waters and the immaculate coastline.
Difficulty: The course rating is 70.6, and the slope rating is 125, making this Par 72 course challenging for golfers, testing their ability to handle shifting wind currents and coastal conditions. (Sandestin: The Links Golf Club)
#10 Windswept Dunes Golf Course
Highest Rating: Windswept Dunes Golf Course is a premier golf destination in the region due to its exceptional course design, artful bunkers, flawless conditions, and stellar customer service. Designed by Doug O’Rourke, the course offers an invigorating challenge for dedicated golfers.
Scenic Views: Encompassing over 700 acres, Windswept Dunes showcases panoramic views across sweeping sand dunes, natural wetlands, and native vegetation. The pristine environment provides a tranquil and picturesque setting for golf enthusiasts to enjoy.
Difficulty: With a course rating of 75.1 and a slope rating of 137, Windswept Dunes offers a Par 72 formidable layout tailored to skilled golfers. Each hole has multiple tee boxes to suit golfers of diverse skill levels. (Freeport: Windswept Dunes)
#11 Baytowne Golf Club
Highest Rating: Ranked among the top resort courses by Golf Digest, the Baytowne Golf Club, designed by Tom Jackson, offers a unique layout, a testament to the course’s demand for both power and finesse. Baytowne’s layout is two 9-hole loops around the clubhouse.
Scenic Views: The course presents splendid perspectives of the coastline, with the front nine adorned by thick forests and the back nine meandering through the picturesque bay. The Village of Baytowne Wharf has resort-style views.
Difficulty: With its course rating of 71.3 and slope rating of 129, the Par 71 Baytowne Golf Club provides its players with diverse challenges and opportunities to test their skills by testing championship tee boxes and closer options. (Sandestin: Windswept Dunes)
#12 Emerald Bay Golf Club
Highest Rating: Similar to Camp Creek Golf Club, Emerald Bay Golf Club is highly rated for its superb layout, pristine course conditions, and outstanding customer service. The world-renowned Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed this championship course, which golf enthusiasts love.
Scenic Views: The Emerald Bay Golf Club offers visually stunning and tranquil surroundings alongside the Choctawhatchee Bay. The impressive landscape, picturesque water features, and meticulously maintained greens make playing at this course a feast for the eyes.
Difficulty: Emerald Bay Golf Club boasts a course rating of 73.6 and a slope rating of 135. This challenging Par 72 layout demands precision and strategic thinking from golfers with some of the smallest greens you’ll find. To accommodate players of various abilities, each hole offers multiple tee box options for an engaging and enjoyable game. (Destin: Emerald Bay)
#13 Marcus Pointe (Pensecola)
Highest Rating: Marcus Pointe Golf Club is highly regarded in Pensacola for its outstanding course layout, pristine conditions, and remarkable customer service. The Earl Stone-designed course is recognized for providing an engaging experience for golf enthusiasts.
Scenic Views: Surrounded by magnificent pine trees and picturesque lakes, Marcus Pointe Golf Club offers captivating views that create a serene atmosphere for golfers. Its natural beauty contributes to an unforgettable golfing experience.
Difficulty: With a course rating of 72.6 and a slope rating of 133, Marcus Pointe presents a challenging layout suitable for proficient golfers. Each hole features multiple tee boxes to accommodate players with different skill levels. (Pensacola: Marcus Pointe Amenities)
#14 Lost Key Golf Club (Pensacola Perdido Key)
Highest Rating: Lost Key Golf Club in Pensacola, FL, is an acclaimed golf course renowned for its pristine conditions, captivating scenery, and unmatched service. The Arnold Palmer Signature-designed course provides a stimulating challenge for dedicated golfers.
Scenic Views: Lost Key Golf Club is nestled amid a serene natural landscape, offering stunning views of lush greenery, native wetlands, and vibrant wildlife. The backdrop of the Gulf Coast adds a unique charm, ensuring a memorable golf experience.
Difficulty: Boasting a course rating of 72.5 and a slope rating of 132, Lost Key Golf Club is designed to test the skills of accomplished golfers on this Par 71 with five sets of tees per hole. Each hole features multiple tee boxes, catering to a wide range of abilities and ensuring an enjoyable game for all. (Perdio Key: Lost Key Golf Club)
#15 Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club
Highest Rating: Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club is a premier golf course in the region known for its superb course design, impeccable conditions, and amazing customer service. The course, designed by talented architect Tom Jackson, is renowned for offering engaging play for passionate golfers.
Scenic Views: Nestled between the Gulf of Mexico and Choctawhatchee Bay, Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club boasts stunning coastal views that enhance the golfing experience. Dune-lined fairways and picturesque natural surroundings make for a truly memorable setting.
Difficulty: With a course rating of 73.2 and a slope rating of 134, Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club offers a stimulating layout suitable for skilled golfers. Each hole features multiple tee boxes to ensure players of various skill levels enjoy a personalized experience. (Santa Rosa Golf Beach Club)
#16 The Indian Bayou Golf Club
Highest Rating: The Indian Bayou Golf Club features 18 holes It is one of the most popular golf courses. Indian Bayou Golf Club is a highly praised golf course in the area for its excellent course design, well-maintained conditions, and outstanding customer service. The course, designed by Earl Stone, is celebrated for providing enjoyable play for dedicated golfers.
Scenic Views: Set amidst the lush natural surroundings of oaks, pines, and magnolias, Indian Bayou Golf Club boasts breathtaking scenery that elevates the golfing experience. The gently rolling terrain provides a pleasant and relaxing environment.
Difficulty: With a course rating of 74.3 and a slope rating of 137, Indian Bayou offers a versatile layout suitable for experienced golfers. Each hole incorporates multiple tee boxes to accommodate players with a range of skill levels. (Destin: Indian Bayou)
Top 16 Emerald Coast Golf Courses by Highest Rating Scenic Views & Difficulty Challenges for Outdoor Activity Along Highway 30A.
Camp Creek Golf Club: Rated as one of the best courses on the Emerald Coast, Camp Creek Golf Club offers pristine greens, rolling fairways, and an immaculately maintained course. The 18-hole, par-72 championship course was designed by Tom Fazio, ensuring your golfing experience will be top-notch.
Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club: Known for its exceptional maintenance and conditions, this Gulfside golf course offers 18 holes of visually stunning seaside golf. Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club is famous for its Southern hospitality, making it a top-rated destination for vacationers.
30A Golf Courses with Scenic Views
Shark’s Tooth Golf Club: This Greg Norman-designed course is situated on the shores of Lake Powell, providing serene lake views throughout your round. Play among the towering pines and marshlands of the beautiful Florida Panhandle, offering a one-of-a-kind golfing experience.
Windswept Dunes Golf Course: Located in the heart of the Emerald Coast, this championship course boasts stunning dunes views, long and wide fairways, and carefully preserved natural features.
30A Golf Courses with Difficulty Skill Levels
Bay Point Resort Golf Club – A Nicklaus Course: As a challenging but fair course designed by Jack Nicklaus, the Bay Point Resort Golf Club offers various bay views while providing golfers with an imposing test. The course layout features narrow, tree-lined fairways, tight landing areas and a number of forced carries.
Burnt Pine Golf Club: Designed by Rees Jones, Burnt Pine Golf Club is considered one of the most difficult courses on the Emerald Coast. Golfers encounter a variety of landscapes, including wooded areas, marshes, and coastal dunes, with numerous water features requiring thoughtful strategy.
30A Golf Courses Scenic Views & Difficulty Levels
Regatta Bay Golf and Yacht Club: Nestled along the picturesque Choctawhatchee Bay, Regatta Bay Golf Course offers stunning views and a challenging layout. Robert C. Walker designed the course’s outstanding hole locations and pro-level greens to keep golfers engaged and challenged.
Kelly Plantation Golf Club: Designed by Fred Couples and Gene Bates, this course offers idyllic marshland views while providing golfers with challenging, well-maintained fairways and greens. Kelly Plantation Course layout artfully incorporates the natural beauty of the local surroundings and wildlife.
30A Golf Courses with Highest Rating & Difficulty
Raven Golf Club: Recognized for its excellent greens and course layout, this premier golf course offers a challenge to golfers of all skill levels. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., the layout winds through the native wetlands and pine forests, creating a fantastic golfing experience. The Raven Golf Club.
30A Golf Courses with Scenic Views & Medium Difficulty
Emerald Bay Golf Club: Situated along the beautiful Emerald Coast, this course offers stunning vistas of Choctawhatchee Bay. Designed by Bob Cupp, Emerald Bay Golf Club has wide, rolling fairways and well-manicured greens that offer a fair challenge to golfers.
30A Golf Courses with Easy Difficulty & Scenic Views
Seascape Golf, Beach, and Tennis Resort: Winding through coastal dunes and natural vegetation, this course features beautiful ocean views while presenting golfers with a leisurely, enjoyable experience. Seascape Golf makes for an ideal destination for golfers looking for a more relaxed round with picturesque surroundings.
30A Golf Courses with Good Rating, Medium Difficulty & Scenic Views
Indian Bayou Golf & Country Club: Designed by Earl Stone, the beautiful course at Indian Bayou Golf & Country Club offers picturesque green woodland views and a layout that challenges golfers while remaining playable. The course is well-maintained and popular with both locals and tourists.
The Links Golf Club: Overlooking the bay, this 18-hole course navigates through sand dunes and natural vegetation. Designed by Tom Jackson, The Links course presents a fair challenge with its varied selection of water hazards and well-kept greens.
Shalimar Pointe Golf Club: With spectacular lake and bay views, this course’s medium difficulty level is perfect for a round with friends or family. Designed by William W. Amick, Shalimar Pointe features generous fairways and well-protected greens, making it an enjoyable experience for all skill levels.