Golf is a popular pastime along the Gulf of Mexico’s shore.
Southern states with Gulf-front footage are filled with fine fairways and golf-related facilities for all skill levels and all seasons. In this region, it’s easy to incorporate the game of golf into the program—or even make it the main event.
Here is a look at some of the top golf options on the Gulf Coast where groups can compete, hone their skills or just have some fun on the green.
Innisbrook, a Salamander Resort, has been a Tampa Bay area golf destination for nearly 50 years.
Innisbrook Golf Resort, Palm Harbor, Florida
Gearing up for its 50th anniversary in 2020, Innisbrook Golf Resort announced it will remodel all 485 guest rooms, scheduled to be complete in Fall 2019.
“Our suites have long been favorites of golfers, families, and conference groups,” said Mike Williams, managing director, Innisbrook Golf Resort. “The transformation of our guest experience will provide fresher, more attractive and consistent accommodations.”
Innisbrook Golf Resort also completed a six-month renovation on its South Course, which included work on the putting surfaces of all 18 greens.
The South Course is one of four championship courses at the resort.
The North Course underwent the same renovation the year before, the Copperhead Golf Course completed a restoration and there are plans to upgrade to the Island Golf Course.
“The renovation of the South Course’s greens has given golfers another firm and consistent surface on which to play,” Williams said.
Additional enhancements to the resort include an expansion of the Osprey Clubhouse, debuting the new Market Salamander Grille & Bar and refurbishing its 65,000 square feet of indoor conference space—there is also 35,000 of outdoor space for events.
Groups can arrange for golf programs, from private corporate golf clinics for four to larger golf outings with 36 people. Options include:
- Ball striking instruction and short game skill improvement.
- Beat the Pro, with a PGA Class A Golf Professional, especially great for entertainment during tournaments.
- Specialty golf institutes, a workshop including sessions dedicated to Short Game Fundamentals or Full Swing Fundamentals.
Topgolf, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
In January 2019, Topgolf debuted its newest location in Baton Rouge.
Topgolf, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Blending sports, entertainment and technology, Topgolf allows those of all skill levels, and even non-golfers, to experience the game.
Participants use microchipped balls that instantly score themselves, showing players the accuracy and distance of their shots on a TV screen in their hitting bay.
The new, three-level, 55,000-square-foot venue features 72 climate-controlled hitting bays, a chef-driven restaurant, bar, big screen TVs, and private event spaces for use in all-seasons.
“The excitement and energy here in Baton Rouge is off the charts and we are thrilled to open our first Louisiana venue,” said Blake Upchurch, Topgolf Baton Rouge director of operations.
Available spaces for private events include a conference room, the Signature Room that can be divided into two spaces, the Lower Level Lounge and the Rooftop Terrace, which features a private bar, stage and fire features.
Topgolf Baton Rouge is also available for a full buyout for up to 1,000 attendees. Planners can host events at the venue and even have golf tournaments and instruction.
The Moody Gardens Golf Course, designed by golf course architects, Jacobsen Hardy Golf Course Design, is just minutes from the Moody Gardens Hotel property.
Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa & Convention Center, Galveston, Texas
The scenic course, which includes upland and lowland areas, the Sydnor Bayou wetlands and more than 500 palm trees, features paspalum turf, specifically engineered for seaside play.
In addition to bringing a group to the course for a tournament, that can include an awards ceremony on-site, the Clubhouse can accommodate private events in the banquet room.
Back at Moody Gardens Hotel, Spa & Convention Center, groups can choose from 103,000 square feet of meeting space for conferences, tradeshows, meetings or special events.
The 242-acre property includes a 418-room hotel and three glass pyramids:
- The Rainforest Pyramid that houses a living rainforest.
- The Aquarium Pyramid, featuring, 1.5 million gallons of aquatic attractions and 10,000 marine animals.
- The Discovery pyramid, with rotating interactive exhibits.
Located just 15 miles outside downtown New Orleans, TPC Louisiana is a championship golf course that is open to the public. The golf course itself is part of the Audubon Golf Trail and stretches over 250 acres of wetlands across along the Mississippi River delta.
TPC Louisiana hosts the PGA TOUR’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans each year as well as many other events, both private and public. The property includes the Clubhouse, TPC Grille Restaurant, a golf shop and venues for private functions.
TPC Louisiana Golf Course
The Pete Dye Room, located in the 24,000-square-foot Clubhouse, is often used for corporate meetings and smaller gatherings. The Clubhouse has two dining rooms with capacity for 150 people in the main room and the 35 guests in the private dining room.
Out on the green, tournaments for groups of 16 attendees or more can include personalized signage and scorecards as well as contest hole management, cart fees and golf bag handling.
Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort continues to grow with construction underway for a new 250-room, full-service hotel located adjacent to the Baytowne Conference Center at the resort.
The Sandestin Hotel is slated for April 2020 and will include a restaurant, lobby bar, spa, rooftop pool and bar as well as over 20,000 square feet of meeting space, all contiguous to the more than 30,000 square feet of existing meeting space at conference center. Earlier in 2018, the resort completed a major renovation of the 15,000-square-foot Linkside Conference Center.
Iconic course designers Robert Trent Jones Jr., Rees Jones and Tom Jackson have all contributed to the courses at Sandestin. The resort boasts four courses: Raven Golf Club, Baytowne Golf Club, The Links Golf Club and the exclusive and private Burnt Pine Club.
There are lessons and clinics available at the on-site Golf Academy, and groups can customize a program with teambuilding options such as a shotgun-style tournament or night golf.
On the Gulf Coast of Alabama, the historic Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa, now part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection Hotels and a Historic Hotels of America member, first opened its doors in 1847. In 2018, the property completed a three-year renovation, upgrading its 405 guest rooms, 37,000 square feet of meeting space, restaurants, pier, pools, spa and two golf courses.
“With our Historic Hotels of America designation, the affiliation with the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail and Autograph Collection signature, the Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa will appeal even more to group and leisure guests,” said Tony Davis, president of the RTJ Resort Collection.
The Lakewood Club at the Grand Hotel, part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, includes two courses for 36 holes of golf, a Clubhouse and “The Experience,” a 15-acre practice facility. Groups can utilize the practice facility for lessons, clinics or specialized instruction.
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