Founded in 1969, Santa Rosa is a picture-perfect, member-owned golf and beach club located in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Located moments away from the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico and benefitting from an amazing climate, it’s the ideal destination for those seeking a luxury golf experience.
Being moments away from Highway 98 and Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) which is just under an hour away, transportation links are excellent.
The club is spread across 85 acres and is a stone’s throw away from the glorious South Walton beaches. In addition to the amazing golf course, it has its own beach club and fine dining beachfront restaurant, Vue on 30A.
2021 saw several million-dollar golf course renovations take place along with the creation of a short, 6-hole practice course adjacent to the driving range, offering the perfect opportunity for golfers to sharpen up their short game.
This complete refurbishment has created an even more welcoming and contemporary space for golfers to relax before or after their rounds.
Formerly known as Mulligan’s Grille, the main restaurant is now known as Schoony’s 19th Hole. With its stylish herringbone wood flooring and contemporary bar area, even if you’re not a golfer, it’s a great place to socialize and have a drink or meal. Whether it’s dropping by for Taco Tuesdays at Schoony’s or enjoying a gourmet steak, the restaurant serves delicious main dishes as well as pre or post-round snacks.
As part of the 2021 renovation works, Santa Rosa had a complete overhaul of its practice and training facilities. The PGA Director of Instruction at the club is Carter Murchison, who has over 40 years of experience in the field as well as being a Class A PGA Professional.
The new facilities include a Trackman system, enabling one of the talented professionals to break down your swing and help you enhance your game even further. There’s nothing that Trackman doesn’t track, from your spin rate, carry distances and launch angle just to name a few. The club even offers the state-of-the-art V1 Pressure mat system which measures speed, pressure, and force during your golf swing.
Since 2021, the golf course as well as the club itself has undergone extensive renovation works, with brand new practice facilities, an expansion of the training facilities along with a refreshed clubhouse being part of the works.
The interior of the clubhouse has been completely revamped with brand-new cabinetry, and furniture and has benefited from a complete repaint throughout. In addition to this, there have been excellent improvements to the exterior façade and landscaping around the clubhouse.
The pro shop stocks a large selection of clothing and apparel for both women and men. Whether you’re looking for a new outfit or want to get fitted for a brand-new set of clubs, the pros here will have you covered. For those without their own clubs, a wide choice of rental clubs from TaylorMade to PXG will mean you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect set for your round.
Practice facilities are second to none at Santa Rosa. Not only does it have a high-quality driving range available to use as well as several putting greens to help you warm up before your round, 2021 saw the unveiling of The Loop. The Loop is a 6 hole short course sited on six acres just yards away from the main clubhouse. It’s the perfect opportunity to fine-tune your short game with a challenging layout and even a sand trap thrown in the mix. It’s also perfect for time-poor golfers who want to get a quick practice session beyond the driving range session.
Santa Rosa has a course rating of 72.3 and a slope index of 140, and the gorgeous golf course is an 18-hole par 72 measuring around 6,700 yards from the back tees. It comprises of a well-balanced mix of 10 par 4s, 4 par 5s, and 4 par 3s.
There are a number of tees for golfers to play from; Green being the shortest, followed by Peach, Gray, White, Blue, and finally Teal which is the furthest tee. Regardless of a golfer’s ability, the choice of six different tees means the course offers a great challenge regardless of your ability.
The beautiful white bunkers across the golf course are almost symbolic of the stunning South Walton beaches located just moments away. The course has beautiful lakes scattered throughout, which is a lovely feature. Although the sparkling white bunkers and bodies of water are a beautiful sight, it’s easy to forget that as a golfer you need to be mindful that landing in these hazards and traps during your round can cost you from a scoring perspective. The rough on this course whilst not necessarily that forgiving is still playable, and luckily although there are lots of trees throughout the course, you don’t feel enclosed or trapped by them at all. Doglegs are a popular feature of the course which makes it an exciting challenge – an absolute dream for those golfers obsessed with course management and perfecting their distances.
Santa Rosa Golf Course was originally built by golf architect Roy Albert Anderson. He was known for creating beautiful golf courses around Florida and other parts of the United States such as Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri.
When the course was renovated in 2021, it was carried out by Bill Bergin and his firm Bergin Golf Designs. Having been a touring professional playing around the world, enlisting the expertise of Bergin Golf Designs meant that the best of the best would be at the helm of the course’s renovation.
With a former professional being in charge of the new course, it’s immediately apparent the standards of the club and course are of the highest quality.
The opening hole at this beautiful course is a long par 5, running at 529 yards. With a narrow fairway, a well-directed tee shot is required but you are rewarded with an opportunity to go for the green in two with no water hazards in play. Therefore, it’s worth mentioning that this can be a great chance to get your round off to a flying start with a birdie, or even an eagle. However, it’s essential to be careful with the approach as a few bunkers lie in wait.
Not the shortest of par 3s, the second hole requires a straight tee shot into a green which opens up towards the back. On either side, bunkers hug the green so although it’s a “straightforward” par 3 from a hole layout point of view, even a slight hook or slice will mean you could easily end up in the bunker.
At 436 yards this is a long par 4 with a very narrow fairway. The right-hand side of the hole has lots of trees along with a bunker, which runs up towards the green. The best strategy for this hole is to play slightly to the left giving you a clear shot into the green as there’s no bunker directly short of the green. Again, accuracy here is key as playing too far left off the tee will mean you could end up in the trees bordering the 6th hole.
The 4th is a straight tee to green par 4 with no doglegs or undulations as such. The neck of the fairway begins to narrow about two-thirds of the way down the hole so it’s a good idea to land your tee shot halfway down the fairway at its widest point. Further down the hole, there’s a large fairway bunker to the left of the hole along with two bunkers on either side of the green.
This hole is a slight dogleg left so it’s a good idea to again aim your tee shot at the halfway point of the fairway, allowing you to play an easy layup shot ready for your approach into the green. Confident long hitters can try to hit the green in two but need to watch out for the trees and out of bounds to the right when teeing off.
Another long par 4, the 6th requires a tee shot across the water from the back tees, with a long fairway bunker guarding the right side of the fairway. This is a tricky hole as playing too far right will land you in the bunker, but placing your tee shot to the left risks being stuck in the trees. Even if you manage to keep in the fairway, a group of trees and a large fairway bunker near the green can mean a tricky second shot.
The longest par 4 on the course, this slight dogleg right has a super narrow fairway that opens up slightly as you get nearer to the green. To make things even more challenging the right-hand side of the hole is bordered by trees all the way from tee to green, and there’s a small fairway bunker around the halfway point of the hole. This means you’re left with two choices – either play short of this bunker and be left with a long second shot, or be bold and hit a driver with the aim of clearing the bunker and landing your tee shot in the wider part of the fairway.
A stunning par 3 which is hugged by a large lake, the 8th hole can be unforgiving with a small bunker behind the green waiting for slightly long tee shots. The hazard is in play throughout the hole and borders the left-hand side of the green completely. For the fearless golfer, attacking the pin when positioned on the left can give an excellent birdie opportunity, but be weary; a slight pull will leave you in the drink having to face a penalty shot.
This dogleg left 9th hole has a reasonably sized landing area for your tee shot, but you need to play to the right so you have a clear shot into the green. Be careful though, as too far right means you’ll be in the trees and possibly even end up on the 10th fairway. The left-hand side of this hole is well guarded by trees all the way up to the green, which also has two medium-sized bunkers on either side.
As you head into the back 9, there’s a generous size fairway and just two bunkers that come into play. The fairway bunker to the right is placed quite far to the right, so even a slight slice is unlikely to be punished. There is a sand trap to the left of the green, but with a good size green, it shouldn’t be too difficult to avoid this hazard.
Running at 581 yards, the 11th hole is a beautiful yet challenging hole. With a total of four sand traps and a lake to contend with, those with excellent course management skills will be well rewarded here. Even though it’s the longest hole on the course, a well-placed opening and second shot can give you a great final approach and opportunity at making birdie. With a narrow neck fairway only opening up after a few hundred yards from the back tee, the opening tee shot does need to be long so you can reach the wider part of the fairway. There’s a fairway bunker to the right and further up to the left which you need to be conscious of. The second shot needs to clear the water and although there’s one fairway bunker to the left, there is ample room to land your second before your final approach to the green. The green itself is not huge and is protected by one final bunker, so accuracy is key here.
Another long par 3, the 12th is another hole with a large lake that comes into play, and also has 3 small bunkers strategically placed to the front and left of the green. Simply playing to the right isn’t as straightforward as it seems, as there is another large bunker waiting for heavy fades and sliced tee shots.
A testing hole for even the most experienced of golfers, the 13th is a cleverly designed par 4, with not just one but two water hazards in play. There’s a part of a bigger lake to the right and another one that comes into play on both the 13th and upcoming 14th hole. Luckily the fairway is quite wide, but there is a bunker to the right, just short of the cart path. For your second shot, make sure to take enough club and hit a clean shot as a large bunker awaits just short of the green. Although the green is long, it’s not particularly wide so a wayward second shot to the right will easily find the bunker or out of bounds
With an almost 90-degree dogleg right, this is a tough par 5, with a water hazard to clear off the tee along with trees to the left and two oddly shaped bunkers to the right of the fairway. Distance control is key here, as you want to be long but not too long that you end up in the rough. Playing a little short and left may be a good option here as the main priority is a clear line to the green for your layup shot. Although there are two bunkers near the green, they are quite short of it so it’s a great chance to get your third shot in close to the pin.
Although one of the shorter par 4s, the 15th hole is a dogleg left, and whilst the fairway landing zone is large, leaving your drive short will leave you a long second shot in. However, it’s important again to be careful not to be too long as a large lake awaits you. It’s fine margins here, especially considering the lake comes all the way up to the right-hand side of the green, and there’s a bunker to the left as well.
Whilst the shortest par 3 on the course, it’s by no means the easiest. Having to play over a lake that borders the green means there is little margin for error when it comes to your tee shot. Overshooting the green isn’t too much of a problem as you only have a few trees and the rough to contend with. Landing your tee shot left, right, or short though will mean ending up in sand traps or the water.
The 17th at Santa Rosa is another hole with a tight fairway that opens up as you approach the second half. Golfers should watch out for the left-hand side fairway bunker, which is wide as well as long, and club selection is critical for your second shot into the green with a hazard and two bunkers in play.
At the last hole, you’re met with a long par 4, dogleg right. From the back tees, you need to clear a water hazard and need to be quite long off the tee to land your ball far enough down the fairway to give you a clear line of sight into the green. Flanked by trees on both sides, accuracy is extremely important, and you need to bear in mind that an overly long tee shot will easily find its way into one of the three fairway bunkers. There are some more trees to contend with on your approach into the green and a large bunker just short of it.
Stunning is the only word to describe this golf course, and with its carefully thought-out layout and championship standard course, golfers from anywhere in the world will be able to appreciate just how special this course is. The well-balanced mixture of par 4s, par 3s and par 5s, along with a choice of six tees provides golfers of all abilities with an exciting and challenging round of golf. Having been completely upgraded and overhauled only a year ago, the state-of-the-art training and practice facilities mean golfers will be able to work on every single aspect of their game and have it looked at in detail by one of the friendly professionals on-site.
The painstaking course renovation carried out by renowned golfer turned golf course architect Bill Bergin has meant that the course has been completely transformed and offers an excellent chance to have a golf experience you won’t forget.
The pro shop is well equipped and has been subject to an extensive renovation program as well, along with having a wide choice of clubs to rent if you don’t have your clubs with you. As part of the wider club’s renovation, Schoony’s 19th Hole is the perfect place to unwind after your round, or fuel up before it.
Santa Rosa Golf Club has additional benefits such as a beach club and further dining facilities such as Vue on 30A, as well as access to the stunning beaches on its doorstep. The club offers the perfect opportunity to play an exciting round of golf in idyllic surroundings, with plenty of additional recreational activities on offer. With such high-quality facilities and a breathtaking golf course in a beautiful part of the world, it certainly is a golfer’s dream.