Review and Rating of Burnt Pine Golf Club at Sandestin
Nestled in the award winning (Golf Digest's "Top 75 Golf Resorts") 2,400 acre Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort is Burnt Pine Golf Club which is deemed the "Crown Jewel of Florida Golf" by Golf Magazine. Wow, what a fantastic golf course with a front nine that meanders through huge beautiful homes, pine forests, and wetlands of the Emerald Coast and a back nine that offers breathtaking views along the Choctawhatchee Bay and is home to some memorable holes. Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort is not only home to Burnt Pine which was designed by the famed Rees Jones but also the Robert Trent Jones Jr designed Raven Golf Club. In fact, it is the only place in the world where Rees Jones and Robert Trent Jones Jr. courses meet. Read our review of Raven Golf Club to learn more about this course.
No course in Northwest Florida has received more accolades than Burnt Pine Golf Club and it's well deserving of all the awards, some of which include:
- recognized as one of the "Top 30 Courses in Florida" by Golf Digest
- Golfweek's list of America's Best Resort Courses
- #20 in Golfweek's "America's Best State by State" in Florida
- listed #1 in Northwest Florida by Florida Golf News
Here is our top 10 reasons why we loved playing and reviewing Burnt Pine Golf Club:
- Near Perfect Conditions – we haven't found much better conditions then what we enjoyed when we played Burnt Pine offers – from the tee boxes to the cup, everything was in excellent condition with lush and plush fairways (i felt guilty taking a divot), perfectly cut roughs, and excellent greens
- Challenging Green Complexes – the greens are a tad small, well guarded by bunkers, water, or trees and require a precise approach shot to hit and hold them and stay out of trouble
- Tight and Contoured Fairways – not only are the fairways lush and plush and perfect, they are contoured and rolling with trees, mounds, and swales and they range from tight to ample with wide roughs that are a little thick
- Challenging Bunkers – the 91 bunkers were also in excellent condition and ranged from small pot bunkers to some huge monsters and most are strategically placed with faces that can be challenging
- Fun Holes – some of the holes that we really enjoyed included:
- Beautiful Scenery – the wetlands, views of the bay, huge homes with colorful landscaping, and the contrast between the lush green fairways, rough, greens, and bunkers is stunning – just the cart ride through the homes, on the wooden bridges over the wetlands, and through the trees is worth the price
- Course Management – Burnt Pine is one of those courses that demands some strategy and club selection skills if you want to score well – you'll need to avoid water on 12 holes, 91 bunkers, and the trees plus manage the dog legs, risk reward opportunities, and forced carries
- Great Par 3s that are scenic, fun, and challenging
- Excellent Service & Amenities – from the bag boys to the pro shop to the cart ladies, the service is top notch and the amenities (pro shop, practice facilities, restaurant, and locker rooms) are all first class
- Demanding Putting Surfaces – spend some time on the putting green before you head out because the greens are loaded with slope, undulation, ridges, and more that demand some careful study if you want to one or two putt
As mentioned earlier, when we played the fairways and rough were in perfect condition. In fact the entire course is very well maintained and manicured even the pines cones and pine needles under the trees seemed to be perfectly placed. The fairways range from tight to ample and in some cases you can let it rip or even go for the green and in others you may want to leave the driver in bag. The roughs are wide but normally cut thick and somewhat demanding to recover from – the good news is that they will typically stop you from getting wet, landing in the sand, or lost in the trees or a backyard.
The greens are all on the small side and well guarded which requires a precise approach shot. The fringe is puttable and a bump and run will typically work well. Once we were on the green, they were running very smooth, at a great speed of around 9, and were true but they required some careful study thanks to subtle breaks, ridges, contour, and slope.
The bunkers are all strategically placed from your tee shot landing zones to surrounding the greens. They range from small steep and deep pot bunkers to some long skinny monsters that protect the entire back or front of the green. The sand was perfect – soft, thick, and fluffy.
Burnt Pine Golf Club at Sandestin is a private resort course where resort guests and some public play is allowed with certain restrictions.
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Service is top notch - friendly, courteous, and prompt. The clubhouse is home to a restaurant, locker rooms, and a well stocked pro shop. The practice facilities are good.