Burnt Pine Golf Club At Sandestin Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.3

Golf - Resort Private Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Sandestin, FL

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Burnt Pine Golf Club At Sandestin Review

Review and Rating of Burnt Pine Golf Club at Sandestin

Nestled in the award winning (Golf Digest's "Top 75 Golf Resorts") 2,400 acre Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort is Burnt Pine Golf Club which is deemed the "Crown Jewel of Florida Golf" by Golf Magazine.   Wow, what a fantastic golf course with a front nine that meanders through huge beautiful homes, pine forests, and wetlands of the Emerald Coast and a back nine that offers breathtaking views along the Choctawhatchee Bay and is home to some memorable holes.  Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort is not only home to Burnt Pine which was designed by the famed Rees Jones but also the Robert Trent Jones Jr designed Raven Golf Club.  In fact, it is the only place in the world where Rees Jones and Robert Trent Jones Jr. courses meet.  Read our review of Raven Golf Club to learn more about this course.

No course in Northwest Florida has received more accolades than Burnt Pine Golf Club and it's well deserving of all the awards, some of which include: 

  • recognized as one of the "Top 30 Courses in Florida" by Golf Digest
  • Golfweek's list of America's Best Resort Courses
  • #20 in Golfweek's "America's Best State by State" in Florida
  • listed #1 in Northwest Florida by Florida Golf News

Here is our top 10 reasons why we loved playing and reviewing Burnt Pine Golf Club:

  • Near Perfect Conditions - we haven't found much better conditions then what we enjoyed when we played Burnt Pine offers - from the tee boxes to the cup, everything was in excellent condition with lush and plush fairways (i felt guilty taking a divot), perfectly cut roughs, and excellent greens
  • Challenging Green Complexes - the greens are a tad small, well guarded by bunkers, water, or trees and require a precise approach shot to hit and hold them and stay out of trouble
  • Tight and Contoured Fairways - not only are the fairways lush and plush and perfect, they are contoured and rolling with trees, mounds, and swales and they range from tight to ample with wide roughs that are a little thick 
  • Challenging Bunkers - the 91 bunkers were also in excellent condition and ranged from small pot bunkers to some huge monsters and most are strategically placed with faces that can be challenging
  • Fun Holes - some of the holes that we really enjoyed included: 
  • Beautiful Scenery - the wetlands, views of the bay, huge homes with colorful landscaping, and the contrast between the lush green fairways, rough, greens, and bunkers is stunning - just the cart ride through the homes, on the wooden bridges over the wetlands, and through the trees is worth the price
  • Course Management - Burnt Pine is one of those courses that demands some strategy and club selection skills if you want to score well - you'll need to avoid water on 12 holes, 91 bunkers, and the trees plus manage the dog legs, risk reward opportunities, and forced carries
  • Great Par 3s that are scenic, fun, and challenging
  • Excellent Service & Amenities - from the bag boys to the pro shop to the cart ladies, the service is top notch and the amenities (pro shop, practice facilities, restaurant, and locker rooms) are all first class
  • Demanding Putting Surfaces - spend some time on the putting green before you head out because the greens are loaded with slope, undulation, ridges, and more that demand some careful study if you want to one or two putt

As mentioned earlier, when we played the fairways and rough were in perfect condition.  In fact the entire course is very well maintained and manicured even the pines cones and pine needles under the trees seemed to be perfectly placed.  The fairways range from tight to ample and in some cases you can let it rip or even go for the green and in others you may want to leave the driver in bag.  The roughs are wide but normally cut thick and somewhat demanding to recover from - the good news is that they will typically stop you from getting wet, landing in the sand, or lost in the trees or a backyard. 

The greens are all on the small side and well guarded which requires a precise approach shot.  The fringe is puttable and a bump and run will typically work well.  Once we were on the green, they were running very smooth, at a great speed of around 9, and were true but they required some careful study thanks to subtle breaks, ridges, contour, and slope. 

The bunkers are all strategically placed from your tee shot landing zones to surrounding the greens.  They range from small steep and deep pot bunkers to some long skinny monsters that protect the entire back or front of the green.  The sand was perfect - soft, thick, and fluffy. 

Burnt Pine Golf Club at Sandestin is a private resort course where resort guests and some public play is allowed with certain restrictions.  

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,001 74.7 144
Blue 6,206 70.8 135
White 5,936 69.4 126
Gold 6,474 72.0 138
Red 5,153 71.2 122

Course Information

Course Architect:
Rees Jones
Greens Type:
Champion Bermuda
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Course Map
Beware of water on 12 holes and the 91 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.3 out of 10
Fun to Play:
Front Nine Rating:
Back Nine Rating:

Service is top notch - friendly, courteous, and prompt. The clubhouse is home to a restaurant, locker rooms, and a well stocked pro shop. The practice facilities are good.



Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating

The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this:  links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course.  In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40.  We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.