Part of the Watersound Club, Camp Creek Golf Course is a stunning destination with an architecturally designed golf course located in Watersound, North West Florida. It is situated approximately 20 miles to the north of Panama City, perfectly positioned near the Gulf of Mexico. With the ocean just minutes away, golfers can expect to enjoy that spectacular smell of the ocean in the air whilst teeing it up. It’s well served by Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) which is only around 25 miles away, as well as Northwest Florida Regional Airport (VPS) and Pensacola International Airport (PNS).
The golf course first opened in 2001, and the already wonderful course was renovated in 2020 to take it to the next level, with new bunker sand being installed along with a painstaking re-grassing taking place. In addition to the renovation of the course itself, the new Watersound Club amenities at Camp Creek are due for completion in 2023, which includes the new Camp Creek Inn.
Camp Creek is fortunate to have the brand new Watersound Golf Performance Center on its doorstep which was opened in 2021.
The 5,000-square-foot golf center is fully equipped with the latest technology to help golfers improve their skills. A Trackman system is available so golfers can break their swing down and have a full analysis completed by one of the professionals on site. Used by tour professionals around the world, this state-of-the-art system tracks every part of your swing plane and ball flight including launch angle, spin rate, carry and club path to name just a few. The Watersound Golf Performance Center is also where you can book on-course or indoor lessons with one of the friendly and talented professionals who work there.
The pro shop itself also has a vast array of choices when it comes to clubs, clothing, and accessories for both gentlemen and ladies. From those looking for a new pair of Footjoy shoes or RLX pants to those wanting to get fitted for a brand new driver or set of irons, there’s something for everyone.
They also have a wide choice of some of the highest specification rental clubs available such as TaylorMade, Titleist, and even PXG.
Practice facilities are excellent at Camp Creek with a full driving range available to use as well as several putting greens to help you warm up before your round.
With a course rating of 76.0 and a slope index of 152, the beautiful golf course is a par 72 measuring around 7,200 yards from the back tees and is made up of 10 par 4s, 4 par 5s, and 3 par 3s.
With a choice of five tees: Olive, Navy, White, Gold, and Burgundy it’s a perfect choice for those new to the sport yet still a challenge for those low single-figure handicappers. There are even a few additional tees for those wanting an “in-between” length such as the Navy/White tees.
Water and sand comprise a big part of this course, with water coming into play on 11 of the holes, with natural wetlands being incorporated into the course design. Although the large water hazards are a stunning feature, ending up in the water can happen easily and wild shots can certainly cost you dearly. The natural sand dunes are strategically worked into the course, and the addition of artificial bunkers means that there is an abundance of sand on this course, with many of these large man-made bunkers being strategically placed around the fairways, combined with smaller traps protecting the greens on approach. Golfers should certainly watch out for the rough and marshes, as it is thick and heavy. Whilst not impossible to play out of, it can certainly be challenging.
Camp Creek Golf Course was built by renowned golf architect Tom Fazio. Inspired by his uncle George Fazio, Tom worked with him before establishing his own practice in 1977. In 1991 Golf Digest named him the top American golf course architect, and having worked on many courses since he is proud to have had fifteen courses in the Golf Digest US Top 100 Course of 2017-2018.
It’s no surprise then that Camp Creek has a magical feel about it, having benefited from the vision and passion of such a renowned course architect.
Hole 1 – 338 Yards Par 4
The opening hole at Camp Creek is a stunning par 4 running at 338 yards from the navy tees.
A slight dogleg right, be sure to keep your tee shot away from the protected right-hand side, or else you’ll be bunker bound.
Further toward the green the bunker sneakily cuts into a large chunk of the fairway so be sure to land your tee shot before this zone where the fairway is much wider.
Although this bunker runs up the majority of the right-hand side of the course, luckily there are no bunkers to the left of the green, so as long as your tee shot is on the fairway you’ve got a good chance of making a par or even birdie.
Hole 2 – 346 Yards Par 4
A tricky par 4 with a large mass of rough to cross before you reach the fairway, the second hole doesn’t have the longest fairway although halfway up the hole it does widen giving you good space for your tee shot to land. However, with two sand traps waiting for you, it’s essential to play slightly left. On approach to the green, be mindful of the front bunker. Similar to the opening hole, it’s not the longest of par 4’s, so you have a good chance at a birdie opportunity with a well-aimed tee shot.
Hole 3 – 527 Yards Par 5
The first par 5 at Camp Creek is a 527-yard beauty with a stunning body of water hugging the left side of the fairway. An accurate tee shot is again a must with bunkers and the water hazard to the left of the fairway. About two-thirds of the way through this hole the fairway almost halves in size with the water hazard cutting in, so be careful with your drive. Strategically, playing short of this narrow section of the fairway followed by a lay-up landing where the fairway opens up again is your best option. For big hitters, you may want to play your driver but with the narrow fairway and three fairway bunkers, it can be a risky play. The good news is if you pull off a great tee shot, there’s an awesome opportunity to go for the green in two. Regardless of the approach you take, be careful of the three bunkers guarding the green.
Hole 4 – 412 Yards Par 5
A similar situation here where the left side of the hole is again flanked by a large water hazard, but playing too far right will leave you in the trees. Luckily, once you pass the first two bunkers the fairway widens significantly, giving you enough space to land your tee shot and plan your approach into the green. There is a bunker short and right of the green but nothing guarding the green so you can confidently be aggressive with your approach shot.
Hole 5 – 181 Yards Par 3
This is the first of the par 3s with a 181-yard tee shot over a large island-sized bunker which starts halfway up the hole right the way up to the green. The final stretch of this hole to the right has no trees, but this is not the case with the left-hand side. The whole of the left-hand side is surrounded by trees, so in addition to the huge bunker, the missing left will land you in trouble.
In the same area to the right where there are no trees, there is a small fairway area to the bottom right corner of the green so if you come up short you won’t have to worry about contending with any thick rough to get your ball up to the putting surface.
Hole 6 – 416 Yards Par 4
Another dogleg right here with a large sand trap hugging the right-hand side of the hole. The fairway does “bottleneck” slightly here, so it would be best to either play short of this zone or even long hitters should be weary of the quick fairway and allow for roll as there is a bunker to the left-hand side. The green has another bunker protecting it to the front right.
Hole 7 – 169 Yard Par 3
For the front tees, this hole’s not much of a problem, but for those playing further back, an ambitious tee shot going straight for the green means taking on the water as well as the perfectly positioned sand trap. Regardless of the pin position, you definitely don’t want to miss your tee shot to the left. The green here is a generous size, so just focus on landing your ball in the middle of the green to give you a good opportunity to make par or even birdie if you’re lucky.
Hole 8 – 539 Yards Par 5
The longest par 5 on the course, this dogleg left presents a very narrow fairway with two bunkers on the right followed by a large sand trap on the left-hand side. A well-aimed tee shot with a target zone short of the left bunker slightly to the right of the fairway will allow you a layup opportunity with plenty of scope, with the fairway opening up much wider towards the latter part of this hole. Be careful not to pull your approach shot as the large bunker and part of the water hazard await you on the left of the green.
Hole 9 – 424 Yards Par 4
The halfway point of this idyllic course is marked by a 424-yard par 4 which is a dogleg left. Like many of the other holes, there is a sand trap to the left of the hole along with a water hazard all the way up the left-hand side. The good news is the fairway is quite wide so there’s not too high a risk of landing in out-of-bounds territory.
Hole 10 – 419 Yards Par 4
As you head into the back 9, teeing from the furthest tee you’re met with a tee shot that requires you to clear a sand area that’s almost half the length of the hole. For the other tees though, this zone doesn’t come into play but nonetheless, there’s still a large bunker off the fairway to the left and trees to the right. At The fairway narrows in the middle again here so it’s best to either play past this bottleneck or before it where the landing zone is wider. With only one bunker on the right of the green, there’s a good chance to score well and get the back 9 off to a flying start.
Hole 11 – 360 Yards Par 4
The tee shot from this hole is such that you have to clear the large body of sand in front of you, even for the forward tees. Once you pass this you still need to watch out for the smaller bunker further up to the right. Your best bet is to play to the left giving you a shot into the green, but beware; a bunker is awkwardly placed and in play at a short distance from the green.
Hole 12 – 502 Yards Par 5
This picturesque hole is a par 5 with several bunkers and water hazards that come into play.
A straight tee shot will give you a large landing area so you can confidently hit your lay-up shot. The second bunker is waiting for mis-hit shots though, so make sure you take enough club to land past it. For your approach shot, there is a large sand trap to the left of the green along with a smaller bunker that borders the bottom right of the green.
Hole 13 – 339 Yards Par 4
Although not an extremely long par 4, it’s comfortable to say this hole has the most individual bunkers on the course. The well-protected green is guarded by an incredible eight bunkers with the area short and left to the green ready for errant tee shots with even more.
You could easily assume that there’s more sand than grass on this hole with a large bunker at the start of the hole to the right. There really isn’t much margin for error here with the amount of bunkers, so accuracy is a must here, and a long iron off the tee may be a good option as a sliced tee shot will result in the ball ending up in the large water hazard.
Hole 14 – 168 Yards Par 3
If you’re going to miss the green, miss it to the left and preferably short, as you’ll still have a chance to get up and down with the patch of fairway situated here. In terms of challenges, this hole has it all. For the more ambitious golfer, you can go straight for the pin whilst taking on the wetlands, water hazard, and front bunker guarding the green.
Hole 15 – 433 Yards Par 4
The 15th hole is a long par 4 which can certainly pose a challenge to even the most seasoned of golfers. First, there are the dunes to contend with, followed by another tight fairway which does not get any wider the further down the hole you progress. A fairway bunker is waiting for pulled shots to the left of the hole. Although there’s no risk of ending up in the water with no hazard here, pulling your tee shot is likely to result in you losing your ball in the trees. The length of this hole combined with the amount of sand in play and the narrow fairway means making a par will feel like a birdie.
Hole 16 – 179 Yards Par 3
The par 3 16th is the last of the par 3s at Camp Creek. It has a large area of rough to hit your ball over, but the generous size fairway is there to help in case you choose the wrong club and come up short. Missing the green to the right, however, means contending with the large bunker.
Hole 17 – 520 Yards Par 5
The penultimate hole is a tricky par 5, leaving little room for error with a super narrow fairway flanked by trees on both sides all the way. Although there are no doglegs and it’s a “straight” play, there’s a bunker waiting for you on the right-hand side about two-thirds of the way up, along with another protecting the green.
Hole 18 – 423 Yards Par 4
In case you were expecting an easy finish, the final hole of this beautiful golf course is a challenging 423 yard par 4. There’s water all the way up the right-hand side which you have to clear on your tee shot if you’re playing from some of the longer tees. The fairway is not very wide here and the ideal landing spot is a section between the water on the right and the fairway bunkers to the left. A well-placed tee shot is rewarded with a direct chance at getting your approach shot close to the flag.
The course at Camp Creek is an absolute gem, with a large portion of water and bunkers making up the course which not only makes for a beautiful landscape but a challenging round of golf. The mix of par 3s, 4s and 5s provides
plenty of variety and some excellent opportunities to be rewarded for adventurous and risky shots. The practice facilities at this club are of the highest standard with a grass driving range, putting greens and of course the indoor teaching suite at the brand-new performance center, where you can have your swing assessed by one of the top coaches. Even if you don’t come fully equipped the pro shop is well-stocked and has a range of clubs for you to hire so there’s nothing to worry about. The 19th Hole Grille at the clubhouse is a great place to enjoy a meal or a few drinks but it doesn’t end there.
The beauty of Camp Creek is that not only does it have this beautiful golf course, the new Camp Creek Lifestyle Village means that there are endless choices when it comes to restaurants and other activities such as the fitness and wellness suites, outdoor pools, and tennis courts. With the course and surrounding parts of the Watersound Club having just been renovated and expanded, you’ll basically be playing a brand-new golf course surrounded by brand-new facilities. Camp Creek Golf Club is a must-visit for the golf lover, and with such an amazing course to play and facilities to enjoy, you will not be disappointed.