Windswept Dunes Golf Club, Freeport, Florida, is set among some of the world's most beautiful beaches. As many times as I'd visited the area, I hadn't heard of it until just a few years ago. The amazing thing is, it's a very long layout, one of the longest in Florida, which makes it a real challenge, especially when the wind is blowing.
Located just a short drive from either Destin and Panama City Beach, Florida, it is well worth a visit. The dune-lined fairways at Windswept Dunes are in concert with and provide an overall feel "world's most beautiful beaches" that surround it; you only have to get one lungful of that good sea air and you'll know you're just about as close to heaven as you can get here on earth.
At 7,752 yards, this golf experience is beyond compare. Intimidating? You bet, but the layout was designed for golfers of all levels of skill. Six sets of tees are provided to even it out and provide "golfers of every level a challenge that is just far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Destin and Panama City Beach to be relaxing, yet close enough to get back to the beaches in just a few minutes."
The fairways are "massive," and provide a stunning contrast of emerald green against the white sandy dunes and native vegetation. The vast undulating greens are challenge enough for even the best golfers- "but the good news is, your greens in regulation percentage is sure to go up here!" As much as I hate to use the term, Windswept is a close to a "dunes" layout as you're likely to find this side of the Atlantic Ocean. There are few water hazards, but watch out for those bunkers; they are everywhere; most of them, however, are easy enough for you to play out of them.
The 8th hole at Windswept Dunes is a long par 5 of some 560 yards from the back tee.
Truly one of Florida's best-kept secrets, the 18-hole Windswept Dunes course plays a whopping 7,752 yards from the tips for a par of 72. The course was designed by Doug O'Rourke. Doug has built over 22 golf projects in the MidWest. Windswept Dunes is his first golf project in the Destin/Panama City Beach area. The course opened for play in 2004.Windswept Dunes Golf Club enters my Top 10 list of courses in Destin and Fort Walton Beach at number 4. The course is rated 4 stars by Golf Digest. I rate it a true five-star experience.
Green Fees: At the time of writing this review, the summer prime time rate was $68, after 12 noon the rate drops to $58, but that seems to change from month-to-month, season-to-season, and so on. As always, rates are subject to change, so please check with the golf club for current rates: 850-835-1847.
I have added Windswept Dunes to my list of Top 10 list of Golf Courses in Destin and Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Contact: Windswept Dunes Golf Course, 11 Clubhouse Dr - Freeport, FL 32439; 850-835-1847.
How to Get There:
The closest regional airport is the Fort Walton Beach Airport. The airport is served by Delta, Continental, US Air, AirTran, American, Northwest, and several others.
Here are quick directions to the golf course from both Destin and Panama City Beach: From Destin: Take hwy 98 east to hwy 331, go north to hwy 20 in Freeport, turn right(east) on hwy 20 for 5.5 miles From Panama City Beach: Take hwy 79 north to hwy 20, turn left(west) on hwy 20 for about 11 miles