Shell Landing Golf Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 9.2

Golf - Private Course · · Par 72
Gautier, MS
Online Specials

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Shell Landing Golf Course Review

Review & Rating of Shell Landing Golf Course Gautier, MS

Designed by Davis Love III, Shell Landing Golf Club leverages 120 acres of diverse topology and is currently ranked as one of the top five courses in Mississippi as well as rated 4 stars by Golf Digest.  From our perspective, Shell Landing can by characterized by heavily contoured greens, big sweeping bunkers, natural areas and marshland, superb conditions, tree lined fairways, and several excellent and fun holes.  If you want to score well here you need to pick the right set of tee boxes, play strategically (take some risks or play conservative and lay up), and deploy some precise approach shots to the greens.  Once you're on the green carefully study and manage the speed and breaks to avoid three putts.    

Over the years, Shell Landing Golf Club has won several awards and accolades including: listed as #6 in Golf Digest's list of the Best Golf Courses in Mississippi and added to their list of the Best New Courses in 2002; and Shell Landing was named the #5 Best New Upscale Public Course in America and the only one in the top 5 located in the South.

Some of our favorite Shell Landing Golf Club holes included:

  • #1 a 413 yard par 4  with an easy carry over a natural area, a sharp dog leg left around four bunkers, and a challenging approach to a green with a natural area across the front and a pond on the left side
  • #3 which is a fun 555 yard par 5 with a wide landing zone off the tee box with 2 right side bunkers and a fairway that takes a slight right past  a huge left side bunker and heads to a green with a pond in the front and 4 big backside bunkers
  • #6 is a bear from the tips - a 412 yard par 4 with a long carry over a marsh to a landing zone then  left followed by a shot past 3 fairway bunkers to a back to front sloping green with left and right bunkers
  • #17 and #18 are fantastic finishing holes – a 193 yard par three that’s all carry over a marsh and creek to a green with 3 back bunkers and 18 is a 439 yard par 4 that dog legs right between big left and right side bunkers leading to a raised green with a left side bunker

The fairways at Shell Landing Golf Club range from tight to wide and forgiving if you can avoid the fairway bunkers strategically placed in your landing zone.   Either dense forest, ponds, or marshland border all of the fairways – miss the fairway and the thick playable first cut and you’re lost.  When we played the fairways were in near perfect condition and very scenic with trees, red bark, pine cones and pine needles, and a variety of native fauna lining both sides. It’s peaceful, serene, and beautiful.

The green complexes are challenging with a combination of bunkers, marshland, or ponds guarding them – putting a premium on your approach shots!   They were in perfect condition, ran true and around a speed of 9 or 10. The greens were soft and held the ball well.  The challenge is being able to read and manage the slope, contour, ridges, spines, and slope.

The 65 bunkers were also in perfect condition with soft, fluffy, and thick sand that is a joy to hit out of.  The bunkers range from some small pot sized bunkers to some huge monsters. There are also a couple long waste bunkers you’ll need to avoid.

Bottom line – a great layout, challenging but fair, superb conditions, and a joy to play.

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 7,024 73.8 134
Blue 6,010 69.2 119
White 5,551 66.6 115
Gold 6,531 71.2 129
Red 5,047 69.6 118

Course Information

Course Architect:
Davis Love III
Greens Condition
Greens Difficulty
Fairway Condition
Bunker Condition
Course Map
Beware of water on 8 holes and the 61 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

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

The bar and grill are excellent as are the practice facilities. The staff is friendly 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! 
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.