Shark’s Tooth Golf Club is a golfer’s paradise designed by two-time Major champion and legend Greg Norman. Situated approximately 20 miles north of Panama City, it’s a stunning golfing destination and part of the Watersound Club, known for its stunning location, luxury golf courses, and recreational facilities. It’s well connected and easily accessible by road (highway 98 is moments away) as well as by air. Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP) is only 25 miles away, and it’s also well served by Northwest Florida Regional Airport (VPS) and Pensacola International Airport (PNS).
The course opened in 2002 and is one of only 40 courses in the world that has been recognized as an Audubon International Silver Signature Sanctuary member.
This coveted membership is only given to golf clubs that achieve high environmental accomplishments and present themselves as golf courses with a dedication to sustainability.
Shark’s Tooth Golf Club is lucky to have a beautiful clubhouse and stunning patio area which overlooks the 18th green. The member’s lounge offers the perfect escape for golfers to unwind after their round, and an array of dining options are available in the club’s dining room or the grill room with its traditional stone fireplace providing the perfect atmosphere.
The extensive pro shop is well-equipped with a wide range of clothing, clubs, and accessories for every golfer. The pro shop also has a great choice of clubs to rent for both men and women, so even if you’re without your prized golf clubs you can rest assured you’ll have the best gear to play your best and shoot a low score.
The practice facilities are also excellent at Shark’s Tooth, with a full driving range and putting greens to help you tune up before or after your round. As part of the Watersound Club, golfers can also visit the newly built Watersound Golf Performance Center, which opened in 2021. This new 5,000-square-foot center is fully fitted with cutting-edge game improvement facilities and teaching systems such as Trackman. With a number of friendly and helpful staff on hand to help you can have every aspect of your swing analyzed from swing speed to angle of attack, in order to help take your game to the next level. At the center, you’ll also find its dedicated pro shop, The Outfitters where you can browse their range of apparel or book a lesson with one of the experienced professionals.
Shark’s Tooth has a course rating of 74.9 and a slope index of 136, and this beautiful golf course is an 18-hole par 72 measuring around 7,204 yards from the longest tees. It provides a great mix and variety of holes consisting of ten par 4s, four par 3s and four par 5s. Whilst all the par 3s are quite lengthy, the abundance of par 5s gives golfers of all abilities an extra chance at picking up some birdies along the way.
The ability to play from five different tees starting with the shortest being Black, followed by Blue, White, Gold, and the longest, Burgundy means that golfers with different abilities can have the best possible golfing experience.
The course provides a varied landscape with five fairways bordering Lake Powell, two of which actually play to the lake itself providing a beautiful backdrop. Along with the stunning water throughout the course, Shark’s Tooth has an abundance of bunkers, the combination of which make the course look picture-perfect especially as the sun glistens off the lake. The beautiful oak trees throughout the course line several fairways, and there are several areas of marshland, with each hole providing a different feel. For those who enjoy shaping shots and the challenge of playing their shots over trees, this is the perfect course.
Greg Norman along with talented members of his team at Greg Norman Golf Course Design is the brains behind this award-winning course. With a touring professional at the helm who has now become a successful course architect as well, every detail and aspect has been thought of from the correct balance of hazards to the length of each hole.
The opening hole of this beautiful golf course is a 412-yard par 4. The well-manicured fairway is wide enough for those without perfect precision off the tee, yet long hitters need to be watchful of catching the large fairway bunker to the left-hand side. On approach players just need to be careful of the two greenside bunkers.
The first par 3 of the course, the second is a tricky 187-yard hole with a long and narrow-shaped green. There is little margin for error here as the dense rough runs close towards the green with very little fairway to play with if you end up short. To make things more challenging, there are two greenside bunkers to the left and one to the right so precision is needed here, especially with it being a par 3.
Hole number 3 is the first par 5, and a lengthy one at that. Coming in at around 555 yards, only the longest of hitters will be able to think about going for the green in two. The tee shot on this hole requires you to carry a sizeable portion of the large lake to the right-hand side, and accuracy is key as overcompensating and playing left can mean ending up in the big fairway bunker to the left-hand side. Passing the halfway point of the hole is the cart path followed by four well-placed fairway bunkers and two greenside bunkers. For the approach, a good strategy would be to play short of the bunkers enabling a full wedge into the green, or alternatively for the short game experts, playing to the left of the bunkers where the fairway is open leaves you with a short pitch to try and get the ball close to the pin.
This par 4 is a relatively long one at 422 yards and has a large bunker that hugs the left of the fairway, and another smaller (yet still sizeable) sand trap positioned diagonally opposite. Being a dogleg left the ideal tee shot would be a soft draw to position yourself for your approach into the green. With only one small greenside bunker to the left, it’s a great chance to land your ball on the dancefloor and have a chance at birdie.
A challenging and lengthy par 3, the fifth hole comes in at around 231 yards and the mix of a huge fairway bunker and three greenside bunkers, as well as water and marshland, means that there is very little room for error. It’s almost an all-or-nothing hole.
The picturesque sixth hole is an exciting 526-yard par 5 with a split fairway layout.
The narrow fairway requires an accurate tee shot with a large fairway bunker ready to capture any pulled drives. For their next shot, ambitious golfers can go for the green in two but need to watch out for the water hazard and marshland that comes into play. Those wanting to play it safe can lay up on the second part of the fairway, leaving them with a wedge into the green, however, several sand traps await to the right of the green, and you definitely don’t want to be long as this will mean your approach shot ending up in the lake.
Hole seven is a long, 484-yard par 4 that is a slight dogleg right. Although there are no water hazards on this hole, there is a fairway bunker two-thirds of the way up on the right-hand side. The fairway becomes very narrow at this point so be mindful of this along with the trees to the left. Whilst there is a much larger landing zone further back which is a safer play, with the hole running at 484 yards you don’t want to leave yourself too short with a long approach shot in.
The eighth is one of the shorter par 4s, yet still has its challenges. Whilst the green is in plain sight from the tee, don’t be fooled as this is a hole that’s filled with sand traps throughout, with a total of 6 fairway bunkers and 3 greenside bunkers that come into play.
The biggest cluster of bunkers is to the right of the fairway around the halfway point. A good strategy would be to play to the middle and left-hand side of the fairway to avoid these, however, be mindful that the left of the hole is densely lined with trees. The green is well guarded as the bunkers are placed to the front of, and to both the left and right-hand side of the green.
The ninth hole at Shark’s Tooth is a challenging par 4 running at around 426 yards. Being a long par 4, a lengthy tee shot is highly beneficial, allowing you to attack the green with a mid to short iron. Whilst there is no water hazard on this hole, it plays a slight dogleg left with two large fairway bunkers so be careful. The greenside bunker to the left is waiting for slightly pulled approach shots.
As you head into the back nine, you are met with a par 4 with a generously wide fairway, but be mindful, the four fairway bunkers to the right-hand side can tempt golfers to play a big shot into the middle to middle-left, but a slight pull could mean being stuck in the trees which line the entire left-hand side of the hole. A large bunker protects the green to the front right, along with another cleverly placed at the back left of the green.
The fact that this is the shortest of the par 3s yet still over 200 yards is a testament to the fact this course keeps you on your toes. An island-sized, kidney shaped bunker engulfs a big part of this hole, and there are then a further four green side bunkers, three of which, if you are lucky to escape from, are nestled within thick rough leaving you with a tricky up and down.
The opening tee shot could easily be mistaken for a tropical jungle with dense foliage and lush greenery surrounding you. Whilst this hole doesn’t have any doglegs or water hazards, the abundance of trees on both sides of the fairway certainly come into play, so a well-placed drive is needed here. The green is a good size providing ample space to land your second shot, but beware of the large greenside bunker at the front – you definitely don’t want to come up a club short here.
The scenic 13th is hugged by a large body of water from tee to green down the right-hand side. With a narrow fairway, the water is definitely in play all the way through awaiting an errant tee shot and presenting a daunting chance of ending up in the drink for those attacking the green with a long iron. A large cluster of trees on the right eats into the fairway as you approach the halfway point of this hole, so you have to play short enough to be able to get enough launch over the trees on your second shot. There is a fairway bunker placed at the tightest part of the fairway, but those confident enough can try and thread the needle leaving you with a clear line of sight to the green for the approach. For the risk-averse, playing to the left and short of this first bunker means you can play your second without having to go over the cluster of trees on the right, but be mindful this strategy comes with the possibility of leaving too much distance for your next few shots.
Another test of accuracy, the par 3 14th has bunkers galore starting with a crater-sized fairway trap around two-thirds of the way up the hole. There is a patch of the fairway after this so any straight shots which may be a club short will be safe allowing you to get up and down without too much worry. However, for those attacking the pin the bunkers on either side of the green leave little room for error, especially considering the green whilst a good size is not the widest here.
The 15th hole is a picturesque par 4, and with the beautiful Lake Powell serving as the perfect backdrop it’s certainly a lovely sight to bear on your approach shot into the green.
There is some marshland and thick rough which is a must clear off the tee, and especially from the back tees represents the first challenge of this hole. Having cleared this though, there is a reasonably sized fairway to land your tee shot so both natural drawers and faders of the ball have some room to play with here. As you near the green however there are two large fairway bunkers on either side, leading up to the green. There is a patch of fairway just short of the green but it’s tight, and the green itself isn’t the largest. Another factor to take into consideration is the fact that the lake borders the back of the green so any long approach shots could end up in the water.
This hole is another slight dogleg left, perfectly geared towards a draw off the tee allowing for a mid-iron into the green. Watch out for the two front greenside bunkers as well as a small one positioned further back and to the right-hand side.
The longest hole on the course, the 17th is a 575-yard par 5, with a tight fairway all the way from tee to green. There is a small fairway bunker to the right-hand side which is completely dwarfed by the bunker which is positioned diagonally opposite. This larger bunker eats into a big chunk of the fairway ready to punish any pulled shots. With there being three further bunkers beyond this point it’s crucial to land your layup shot just ahead of this first large bunker but short of the other three which are strategically placed waiting for any pulled or sliced shots. Going for the green in two is again only an option for those who can comfortably drive the ball over 300 yards so a layup setting up a smooth wedge into the green is your best bet, and still allows a great chance at making birdie.
The final hole of Greg Norman’s masterpiece is a 460-yard par 4. Whilst it may appear a straight play, it’s a long hole with a narrow fairway which is well protected by fairway bunkers on either side. With two greenside bunkers to the front right and left of the green and not the biggest of greens to work with, you’ll have your work cut out right until the final putt.
On teeing it up at the first hole, it’s quickly apparent why Shark’s Tooth has received awards from Golf Digest, GOLF Magazine and Golfweek. In fact, Golf Digest ranked it among the top 10 courses in the state in 2003 and between 2007-2009, and inside the top 5 best courses in 2005. More recently, it made it into Golf Digest’s Best Courses in Florida for 2021-2022.
Having not just a PGA professional, but a two-time Major championship winner design the course sets it apart from other golf courses in the area, and the mix of tees along with an interesting and challenging array of par 3s, 4s, and four par 5s makes for a round of golf that keeps you on your toes.
The beautiful clubhouse along with the member’s lounge is the ideal place for golfers to socialize and reminisce after a great round of golf. The outdoor terrace overlooking the 18th green is a great feature of the clubhouse, and with the various dining choices available, golfers will be spoilt for choice.
The pro shop will have golfers’ needs covered from all angles, be it the latest moisture-wicking apparel or high-quality golf clubs to rent. Practice facilities are of the highest quality at Shark’s Tooth, and as part of the exclusive Watersound Club, golfers have access to the Watersound Golf Performance Center with its state-of-the-art, 5000-square-foot facility. Quite simply, there’s nothing that Greg Norman and the team at Shark’s Tooth have not thought of, and the combination of a challenging course along with a luxurious setting and facilities will be bound to draw golfers back time and time again.