PHILADELPHIA – If you enjoy spring flowers and golfing before the heat and humidity of summer hit, there is no better time than now to visit The Azalea and The Oaks golf courses at the Dancing Rabbit Golf Club, which has been named one of the top 100 public golf courses in the U.S. by Golf Magazine and Golfweek.
The 700 acres are currently at the peak of the spring blooming season. Particularly notable are the 10,000 azaleas bushes that have been planted at The Azalea golf course. The spring flower display just gets better each year for The Azalea, built in 1997, and The Oaks course that opened in 1999.
“We are adding more dogwood trees to accent the beauty of the course,” says Tim Tubby, interim general manager of the Dancing Rabbit Golf Club that offers play at both courses. “The landscape gets more beautiful all the time. Each year we keep adding something new to the beauty of the course, such as the dogwoods added this year.”
Dancing Rabbit is part of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Pearl River Resort, which also includes casinos, hotels, a water park and other attractions. Gaming and golf, it turns out, are a good combination. Tubby says that an estimated 5,000 people per year come to both golf and gamble.
“The casino has a significant impact on the golfing operation,” Tubby said. “And the golf courses have a significant impact on the casino.”
Having two golf courses side by side is also attractive. Players often like variety and will play one course in the morning and another in the afternoon. Or they will do one course one day, and the other the next.
The Dancing Rabbit Golf Club is popular with business groups that bring out customers, vendors and employees to play. There are frequent tournaments, including a number coming up this summer. On April 19 there will be a Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Tournament. The Mississippi Senior Olympics will be held June 7-8. The Mississippi Women`s State Amateur tournament will be June 14-16, and the Cadillac Series of Golf Tournament is scheduled July 6-10. The summer activity rounds out with the U.S. Golf Association Amateur Trials August 2-4.
“These events and others keep us busy,” Tubby said. “Dealing with Mother Nature is probably the hardest part of the job. We have been challenged by dry weather this spring. That kind of puts us behind schedule on the course greening up more.”
Dancing Rabbit has 152 employees to keep the course in good shape and serve customers. There`s a lot to keep up with 14,000 yards of course, two miles of spring fed creeks and many acres of lush bermuda and zoysia fairways and bentgrass greens on the courses designed by Tom Fazio and Jerry Pate. The bentgrass greens are not common this far South.
Several packages are offered combining lodging with golf. For the main season from March through October, unlimited golf, continental breakfast and a stay at one of the clubhouse rooms that includes a whirlpool bath costs $149 weekdays and $209 on weekends. Rates are lower during the off season.
The golf club also has a three-bedroom fairway house available for rental. Corporate and group outings include catering, full-service event coordination, group golf packages, advanced starting times for groups, PGA/USGA Tournament Software equipped for event and corporate outings and specially scheduled golf exhibitions and instruction.
Dancing Rabbit also gets plenty of golfers who come just for the day. Different golfing options are available designed for individuals, small groups, corporations and in conjunction with Pearl River Resort, full-scale conventions. The packages can be customized to include travel, accommodations and dining, or simply a round of golf.
The resort also has a 15-acre driving range with seven targets, putting and chipping greens and practice bunkers.
Contact MBJ contributing writer Becky Gillette at email@example.com.
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