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Monday, June 16, 2014

Golf Course Review - Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club - AL

For anyone that has golfed in the Gulf South region of Gulf Shores, AL knows quality golf has become a staple of the area. Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club, designed by Earl Stone and managed by Honours Golf, keeps to that un-written standard.

When arriving at Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club you almost get the feel of pulling up to an exclusive private club with the somewhat secluded entrance. As you pull to the bag drop and get you first real impression of the club you can sense it is all about the customer service. The outside service personnel is very friendly and helpful. This continues as you check in to the golf shop for your starting time.


With a great practice facility with two practice greens and full driving range, Peninsula also has three nines to play form. The Marsh, Lakes, and Cypress courses. Although we only got to play two of the nine-holes, the Cypress and Marsh, we still got a great feel of the overall property. Each nine has a different feel to it while keeping the same course conditions and depending on what combination of nine's and tee selection you can play from 4,978 yards at the shortest to 7,179 yards at the longest. 

With this being the second course we have reviewed that is managed by Honours Golf, we have learned that they have a standard of excellence when it comes to their properties. This is a real treat when it comes to playing golf along the Golf South. Peninsula Golf and Raquette club was no exception when it came to fast and true greens, manicured fairways, and club amenities. The club has a full service bar and grill, friendly beverage cart service on the course, a fully stocked pro shop, and both men's and women's locker rooms with showers. 


Although we found the cost to be a bit high for a afternoon, weekday, tee time, we still found the value to be worth a trip over to Peninsula if you live in or are visiting the Gulf Shores area. The courses are very friendly for the average golfer while still offering a challenge for the scratch and low handicap golfer. 

The following is our rating system. A 0-10 point system is used with 10 being the highest.
Overall Experience
9
Course Conditions
9
Course Design
8
Value Received
7
Facilities
9
Staff
9

Monday, June 9, 2014

Course Review - Craft Farms, Cypress Bend - AL

This past week, June 4th, we visited Gulf Shores, Alabama to play golf. We know you would normally think of the beautiful white sand beaches when you think of Gulf Shores, however Gulf Shores over the years has established itself as one of the top golfing destinations, not only in the Gulf South, but in the entire United States.

This particular trip we visited a beautiful piece of property, Craft Farms, one of several courses in the area operated by Honours Golf. Craft Farms has 36-holes of world-class championship golf, the Cypress Bend and the Cotton Creek courses. Both courses are designed by Arnold Palmer and are the only courses in the state of Alabama designed by Mr. Palmer.

We made a last minute tee time the morning of our round and had no trouble in doing so. The professional staff was very friendly on the phone and it was no different once we arrived. From the outside services staff at the bag drop, the professional staff in the golf shop as we checked in for our tee time, to the starter and marshal's the Southern hospitality was in abundance. As a matter of fact the staff made our transition, from the car, to the practice facilities, to the chilled apples at the first tee, a very delightful and seamless one.



After visiting the practice facilities we were very excited about the conditions. Even more so after hearing it was not cart path only after the rain the area had the four days prior. The golf course mimicked those of the practice area, with the greens rolling the same as the practice green and the fairways cut as immaculate as the driving range. The green speed was at a good pace. Not to slow but not to fast. With the moister in the ground and the undulation on the greens we can definitely understand why the speeds are kept at what they were that day. Plus it makes it more enjoyable for the average golfer to not three-putt every green.

With little to no roll in the fairways the course played longer, but it is by no means long. At a mere 6,848 yards from the championship (gold) tee's the course can still be managed fairly well. There is a good mix of holes that make shot selection off the tee key to having a good approach into the greens. There can be good scores and good fun to be had here.


The end of our day culminated in the grill/restaurant. We state it this way because there is a full menu like a restaurant, but with the casual atmosphere of a grill. In a separate building from the golf shop, the grill also overlooks the Cotton Creek course. The food is very good and here again we were greeted with southern hospitality.

We could not speak highly enough about Craft Farms and we would recommend any golfer visiting the Gulf Shores area to add this one to their list. We can only say the down side of this visit is that we did not get to play the Cotton Creek course due to aerification that we were unaware of and wanted to do.

The following is our rating for: Overall Experience, Course Conditions, Course Design, Value Received, Facilities, and Staff. A 0-10 point system is used with 10 being the highest and 0 being the lowest.
Overall Experience
9
Course Conditions
9
Course Design
8
Value Received
9
Facilities
9
Staff
9