Review & Rating of Emerald Bay Golf Club in Destin Florida
Emerald Bay, a prestigious golf course community. located along the shores of the Choctawhatchee Bay is a Bob Cupp designed championship golf course that is fair for all all golfer skill levels. The course is a good mix of wide forgiving fairways to some that are tight and tree lined, some straight ahead holes to a sharp 90 degree dog leg right, some risk reward opportunities as well as some forced carries over wetlands, and some long par fours and short par threes. It's not surprising that Emerald Bay Golf Club won the Readers Choice for Best in Destin in 2016.
Emerald Bay Golf Club underwent a major renovation 2014 by Bob Cupp in conjunction with Southeastern Golf, a world class golf course construction company. The renovation included new and enlarged greens and tee boxes, new bunkers, new cart paths, several new water features and bridges as well as enhanced and new practice facilities. And Emerald Bay Golf Club was voted "Best Golf Course in Destin" in 2016
The first four holes on the front nine of Emerald Bay Golf Club are not real exciting and it's opportunity to warm up and get ready for the next fourteen holes. The back nine is an excellent mix of straight ahead, dog legs, forced carries, and some scenic views of the Bay. Some of the Emerald Bay Golf Club holes that we really liked included:
#5 is the #3 handicap and is a fun 399 yard par 4 with water along most of the left side of the fairway and then cuts across the fairway at 85 yards out – the green has a left side bunker and a steep drop off on the right side leading to the water requiring a precise shot on the approach
#7 is the #1 handicap – a 562 yard par 5 with an excellent risk reward shot to temp you to carry more of the lake off the tee box and a green that's challenging with left and right side bunkers and a ridge down the middle
#14 is a 372 yard par 4 with a carry over a marsh off the tee followed by a sharp dog left around a pond that leads to the left side of the green making for a very tough approach
#18 is a beautiful finishing hole – a 527 yard par 5 with water crossing the fairway at 185 out and leading to the right side of the green with 3 bunkers on the left front and 1 on the right front – water fountain forms a pretty backdrop
When we played Emerald Bay Golf Club the fairways were in very good condition – a few damaged areas but they didn't impact play. All of the fairways are generous and lined by towering pine trees, water, or a scattering of homes set off to the side. The rough was thick and challenging.
The bunkers were small to average and easy to avoid except on the approach. The sand was perfect and the lips were small and in some cases we rolled in and back out.
The Emerald Bay Golf Club greens were also in very good condition, although a few had some damage. All but three are guarded by one to three bunkers. Slope and contour were manageable, they are about average in size, and they ran at a good speed of around nine or so.