The Destin and Fort Walton Beach area of Northwest Florida has long been a favorite destination for me. I first visited the area back in 1979, back when the two seaside towns were no more than sleepy little communities on a forgotten, but achingly beautiful shore of the Gulf Coast. Even then, golf was a big attraction, that along with a couple of nice seafood restaurants (both long gone), a half-dozen beach-front oyster bars and one chain hotel. In 1979, Destin and Fort Walton Beach were Florida's best-kept secret. Yes, golf was one of the attractions, but there were very few courses, much less a top 10 - Fort Walton Beach Golf Club comes readily to mind; even then it was open to the public, and was a great round to boot. The photo above is the third hole during the second round of the Boeing Championship at Sandestin at Raven Golf Club in Destin.
Only a privileged few shared the spectacular beaches that, to this day, are ranked among the best in the world; not because they were private beaches, but simply because no knew about them, except for the locals and a few, in-the-know visitors, like me. Now, more than 30 years later, Destin and Fort Walton have become major vacation and golf destinations; they have grown beyond all bounds. Today, more than 1,100 holes of golf set on some of the finest golf courses in Florida, and several dozen hotels, resorts, and time-shares offer a variety of family vacations options unique to this truly major family and Golf destination. Here, then, is my list of Top 10 Golf Courses in Destin and Fort Walton Beach, Florida:
- Kelly Plantation Golf Course, Destin, Florida
- Regatta Bay Golf Course, Destin, Florida
- Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort
- Emerald Bay Golf Club,Destin, Florida
- Shalimar Pointe Golf Club, Fort Walton Beach, Florida
- Fort Walton Beach Golf Club, Emerald Coast, Florida
- Seascape Golf Resort, Destin, Florida
- Windswept Dunes Golf Club, Freeport, Florida
- Raven Golf Club, Sandestin, Florida
- Indian Bayou Golf Club, Destin, Florida
And there are a great many more opportunities for great golf all over the world. Favorite locations include Scotland, Florida, the American Southwest, Bermuda, the Bahamas, all over the Caribbean and Mexico and many more. For up-to-date golf travel news and information, be sure to Subscribe to my weekly Newsletter.