Dancing Rabbit Golf Club - The Azaleas Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.5

Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Philadelphia, MS
Website · Book A Tee Time
· Stay & Play
Date Last Played: October 14, 2018

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Dancing Rabbit Golf Club - The Azaleas Review

Review & Rating of Dancing Rabbits' Azaleas Golf Course 

Dancing Rabbit Golf Club is home to two outstanding award-winning courses designed by Tom Fazio PGA great Jerry Pate.  The courses are carved out of 700 acres of rolling hills and valleys with towering pines, oak forests, and over two miles of spring fed meandering creeks. Both courses have their own unique personality and characteristics and both are works of art featuring Bent grass greens and Bermuda fairways on The Azaleas golf course and Champion Bermuda grass greens & Zoysia fairways on The Oaks course.

The Dancing Rabbit Golf Club courses are built upon the assembly ground and ancestral lands of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and Dancing Rabbit Golf Club is a celebration of their rich culture.  The Azaleas plays through a flood plain while The Oaks was built on rock outcroppings that the native Indians adored.  Both courses take you through an enchanting forest filled with peaks and valleys which radiate elegance and style - it's peaceful, serene, and majestic.  The cart path ride is worth the price of admission. 

Dancing Rabbit was named for its location along the banks of the Big and Little Dancing Rabbit Creeks and in the Choctaw language it was called "the creek where the rabbits dance." 

Both courses are spectacular with near perfect conditions, fun and demanding holes no two of which are the same, and challenging green complexes.  It's not surprising that both courses have won a number of awards and accolades some of which include:

  • 2018 “Best Golf Course” - Voted by Readers of Southern Gaming Magazine
  • Golf Magazine’s “Top 100 Courses You Can Play”- #33
  • “Top Rated Golf Course in the South” by TeeOff.com
  • “Best Golf Course to Play in Mississippi” by CultureTrip.com
  • Golf Digest’s “Top 100 Public Golf Courses in America” - #99
  • “Best Course in State” - Voted by Readers of Mississippi Magazine
  • “Top 100 Best Resort Courses” - Golfweek Magazine
  • “Top Casino Course in America” - Golfweek, Golf Digest, and Southern Gaming.

Here is a link to Texas Outside's review and rating of The Oaks Course at Dancing Rabbit Golf Club.

Here are just a few of the reasons why I love The Azaleas:

  • its very scenic with a variety of towering trees, sweeping fairways, meandering creeks, red pine needles under the trees, white sand bunkers, lots of flora, and rolling hills
  • every hole is different from the previous hole and each one is unique
  • the course is challenging but fair and it will throw a lot at you - elevation changes, raised greens, sloping and contoured fairways with a couple like a roller coaster, dog legs, risk-reward shots,  strategically placed bunkers, tight fairways, some tough approach shots,  forced carries over valleys, streams, and natural areas
  • the putting surfaces are superb
  • it's quiet and serene (no homes, no traffic noise) and majestic
  • the facilities are excellent - the clubhouse resembles an impressive southern mansion
  • there are several different stay and play options

It just doesn't get much better than playing The Azaleas!  It will throw a lot at you but it's fair and there are 5 tee boxes with yardages ranging from 5097 to 7076.  Pick the right one, don't try to be macho, and you'll have a really enjoyable round.

The greens at The Azaleas are Tif Eagle and they were in perfect condition - soft and held the ball well and they were smooth and rolled true at about an 8 or 9.  They were a little slow and not quite as soft as they will become because they were only two years old  when we played.

The fairways and all of the grounds at The Azaleas were immaculately manicured and the Tifway II Bermuda fairways were in fantastic condition - I felt guilty taking a divot.  The Azaleas fairways range from wide and let it rip to tight and twisting with lots of elevation changes, slope, and contour.  Miss the fairway and you're in a dense thick, but playable rough.  Miss the rough and you're lost in the forest.

The bunkers were also in excellent condition.  They range from small to some monsters.  Faces are steep and you won't roll out.  The sand is soft and fluffy and a joy to hit out of.

Dancing Rabbit Golf Club has some great stay and play options with a variety of lodging options.  The clubhouse has eight beautifully appointed king suites with a whirlpool, veranda, common area, and personal executive cart for resort transportation  Stay & Play packages are also available through the Golden Moon Hotel & Casino, Silver Star Hotel and Casino (both a quarter mile from the pro shop) and the Dancing Rabbit Inn adjacent to the pro shop parking lot.

Bottom line - Dancing Rabbit Club Club coupled with Pearl River Resort is perfect for a golf outing -two superb courses, two casinos, a waterpark, good stay and play lodging, and some excellent dining options. Check out our article on Pearl River Resort Stay & Play.

Unfortunately, when we played Dancing Rabbit Golf Club it was drizzling and overcast and as such the pictures don't do the course the justice they deserve.

Read more about the fantastic courses and stay and play options we enjoyed on our Mississippi Golf Vacation.

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Black 7,158 74.4 135
Blue 6,019 68.9 123
White 5,802 68.5 120
Gold 6,537 72.1 130
Red 4,909 68.6 115

Course Information

Course Architect:
Tom Fazio / Jerry Pate
Greens Type:
Tif-Eagle
Greens Condition
10.0
Greens Difficulty
9.0
Fairway Condition
9.5
Bunker Condition
10.0
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Hilly
Course Map
Beware of water on 10 holes and the 39 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
9.5 out of 10
Beauty:
10.0
Difficulty:
8.7
Variety:
10.0
Fun to Play:
10.0
Value:
9.0
Condition:
9.7
Front Nine Rating:
9.7
Back Nine Rating:
9.7
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$60.00 to $100.00

Both courses share a well landscaped and beautiful clubhouse with a well-stocked pro shop and grill serving some good food for breakfast and lunch and the bar is open until 7 PM. The practice facilities and putting greens are excellent. Service is great and exudes Southern Hospitality.

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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. 

 

About Texas Outside

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