Golf - Resort Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 71
Date Last Played: March 17, 2012
Review of Raven Golf Club at Sandestin
Carved through the marshes, wetlands, and pines and meandering through the 2400 acre Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, which was rated #1 Resort in Florida by Emerald Coast Magazine, Raven Golf Club offers not only scenic beauty but a memorable layout that is both challenging and fun.
Raven is one of four courses on the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort Property and each course has it's own unique characteristics and personality, for example:
Raven Golf Club is a masterfully designed Robert Trent Jones, Jr. course which is a short (4 sets of tee boxes with yardages of 5106 to 6931 yards) par 71 layout but no walk in the park. Every hole offers something that will require some course management or shot making skills if you want your fellow golfers to buy your drinks at the 19th hole. You'll find water on 14 holes, rolling contoured fairways several of which have a severe slope to the lake, challenging putting surfaces, dog legs left and right, strategically placed bunkers, risk reward opportunities, forced carries, and challenging approach shots.
The front is fantastic with some great holes but the back was even better from our perspective. The back seemed more difficult with some demanding holes, a little tighter fairways and smaller greens - giving it more character and very interesting to play. Both nines put a premium on putting if you want to score well - the greens are fast and have lots of slope, undulation, ridges, and very subtle breaks.
Some of what you can expect when you play Raven Golf Club at Sandestin include:
Everything at Raven Golf Club is very well maintained and manicured and the landscaping on the course and around most of the homes is stunning and very colorful. When we played, the Raven Golf Club fairways were in excellent condition as were the wide and playable roughs. The fairways range from wide open let-er-rip to you best think about leaving the big dog in the bag. All the fairways are rolling and contoured and have some combination of strategically placed bunkers, water, swales, mounds, slope to the water, or trees. Some are lined with huge beautiful homes that could come into play if you spray the ball.
Spend some time on the putting green before you head out, the greens are very demanding and they are all shapes and sizes from skinny oblongs to heart shapped. Not only are they well protected with a little bit of everything (water, trees, sand, swales, or mounds) requiring a precise approach shot, they are fast and have plenty of undulation, slope, and contour. The breaks are subtle and you should do a 360 walk-around before you putt. The good news is the speed is great, they run smooth and true, and hold the ball well.
The Raven Golf Club bunkers are devils and range from small steep faced pot bunkers to some long multi-fingered monsters. Robert Trent Jones, Jr. did a great job of putting them right where my ball wanted to go. The good news is they are very well maintained and in perfect condition with soft thick sand.
If you are headed to this area to play golf and enjoy the pure white sand beaches, attractions, good restaurants, and fun nightlife, then you should consider staying at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. They have 30 charming neighborhoods with 1300 condos, villas, and town homes plus a wide variety of hotel options and some excellent stay and play packages. And the Resort has 7 miles of sugar white beaches, pristine bay front, a large marina, children's programs, fitness center and spa, boutique shops, casual and fine dining, and good nightlife. And you can play 4 fantastic courses - just can't get much better than all that!
Rates: $65.00 to $115.00
Service is good, the practice facilities are excellent, and the pro shop is well stocked.
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!
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.