Coastal Alabama’s sister towns of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach continue to gain popularity with golfers. The area boasts 171 holes of golf within a 15 mile radius, all of which have re-opened after Hurricane Sally paid a visit last fall. Lodging options include beachfront condos and houses, on-site golf condos, as well as traditional hotels. Coastal Alabama Golf is the booking entity for golf packages to the area.
Located on an extraordinary piece of property directly along the Gulf of Mexico, Kiva Dunes is a masterpiece. Based on its rankings and many accolades, Kiva Dunes is arguably the Gulf Coast’s most spectacular layout. It’s the third best course in Alabama, according to Golf Advisor reviewers and it’s in both GOLF® Magazine’s and Golfweek’s top ten lists, as chosen by their professional raters. This Jerry Pate design boasts large, fast greens, huge bunkers are plentiful and the wind and blustery conditions that prevail along the Gulf of Mexico can make for a tough test. Kiva Dunes underwent a major renovation recently to improve the playability of the course for the average golfer, while retaining the challenges enjoyed by more experienced golfers.
With 36 holes of Arnold Palmer signature golf, Craft Farms certainly shaped the golfing landscape in Gulf Shores. The first Palmer design in the area, Cotton Creek, offers a very unique setting. Featuring gently rolling fairways and large undulating greens, it’s very playable from the forward tees and a true test from the tips. It plays over 7,000 yards from the back. The newer of the two Arnold Palmer designs in Gulf Shores is Cypress Bend at Craft Farms. The layout features sprawling bunkers, top-notch greens and year-round lush, green conditions.
Earl Stone’s unique design at Peninsula is a 27-hole masterpiece. This course offers generous, elevated Bermuda greens with subtle undulations and some of the finest white-sand bunkers and waste areas. The splendid beauty weaves its way through and among stately live oaks, natural cypress vegetation and more than 30 sparkling lakes. It is arguably one of the best-conditioned courses in the Gulf Shores area with pristine and generous landing areas and wonderfully maintained greens.
Also not-to-be-missed is the historic Gulf Shores Golf Club, a local favorite. It’s highly ranked by golfers on GolfAdvisor and arguably the coast’s best value.