Review and Rating of Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club Lakes Course
Rated 4 Stars by Golf Digest, Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club is home to 27 holes of excellent golf that sits on over 820 acres of pristine land. Set along Mobile Bay and nestled beside Bon Secour wildlife preserve, the three nines wind through live oaks, some gnarly cypress tress with draping Spanish moss, and other vegetation native to Gulf Shores plus 30 lakes and some of the area’s largest white-sand bunkers and waste areas. Each of the nines was designed by Earl Stone and the Marsh and Lakes opened in 1995 and the Cypress Nine opened in 1999.
Each nine is a little different from the other nines but common to all 27 holes at Peninsula Golf & Racquet Club are excellent conditions, a good value, great GPS, friendly service, a well stocked pro shop, a good restaurant, and three unique layouts that are a blast to play and fair for all skill levels.
Each nine has it's own unique personality and characteristics, for example:
- Lakes Nine is the shortest of the nines and true to its name has water on all nine holes that can come into play plus plenty of dog legs left and right and it requires some precise target shots if you want to turn in a good score
- Cypress is regarded as the easiest nine and it plays along the nature preserve with oak and cypress tree lined fairways and has a true resort course feel to it with more traditional and straightforward holes with ample fairways and flatter more friendly greens – see our review of Peninsula Golf Club's Cypress to learn more
- Marsh Nine is the longest of the nines at 3579 yards and the hardest with lots of forced carries, some huge bunkers, water on eight holes, and marshes that can come into play – we hope to play and review the Marsh Nine later this month
The Lakes is the shortest of the nines at 2466 to 3397 yards but it's no walk in the park and the lakes, bunkers, dog legs, trees, and natural areas will force you to focus on your game. And once you land on the greens, you'll need to apply some of your best putting skills to manage the slope, undulation, tiers, and ridges. Another thing that makes this nine fun is that due to the variety and various yardages you'll get to use a wide selection of clubs and on some holes you may want to leave the big dog in the bag.
Some of our favorite holes on this nine included:
- #2 requires an accurate tee shot to avoid driving into the lake or having your approach shot blocked by a couple big sprawling trees on the left side and then you need to thread the needle down a narrow fairway that is pinched by a lake on each side leading to a green with lots of undulation and three good sized bunkers guarding it
- there are a couple good risk reward opportunities that are fun – #3 a dog leg left that requires you to fly a wetland and #6 where you can try and fly more of the lake on the dog left but beware of the long natural sand waste area waiting for you
- #7 is the signature hole at 530 yards with a view of the Bay, two lakes to avoid, and a tough approach to a green with three bunkers
The fairways are ample but if you miss them you're in a backyard, wet in a lake, or lost in the trees or wetlands. Most of the fairways are flat with minor contour and some mounding that can cause uneven lies. The rough/first cut was very playable and both the rough and fairways were well manicured and in excellent condition.
The greens on the Lakes Nine at Peninsula Golf Club were also in very good condition. They range in shape and size but most seem well above average size. Some are raised, some have mounding or swales, and all have some pretty significant slope and undulation including tiers and ridges. The Lakes' greens were very true, held the ball well, and rolled at a good speed of 10 or so.
The bunkers have soft white fluffy sand and range in size from big to huge. The good news is the bunker lips are short and you may get lucky and roll out plus most of the bunkers guarding the greens are set several yards from the fringe giving you more room if you miss your approach shot. The 4 fairway bunkers seemed easy to avoid but there are several long and narrow natural sand areas with trees, palms, or brush scattered within them.
The slope and rating are based on playing the Lakes and Cypress nines together.
The Lakes is a very fun nine that you will want to play again!
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Service is excellent, the food is great, the pro shop is well stocked, and the practice facilities are good.