By Rusty Hampton
Planned community golf at its finest
Located in the heart of one of the largest master-planned communities in the state, Reunion opened in 2005 and has already played host to the Mississippi Amateur championship twice, in 2007 and 2012. Bob Cupp designed this private course in suburban Jackson. The layout is superb but what can really make Reunion a tough test of golf is the large, undulating and lightning-fast greens.
Best Delta Course
Greenwood Country Club (1927) and Clarksdale Country Club (1921) are two of the oldest country clubs in Mississippi and the courses have stood the test of time.
In the new-school category is Tunica National, a Mark McCumber-designed course that opened in 2004 in Robinsonville, near Tunica’s casino row. In 2011, the course hosted a prestigious U.S. Open qualifier event.
Home to Mississippi’s PGA Tour event from its inception in 1968 through 1993, Hattiesburg CC has fallen off the radar for some — but shouldn’t. Some Mississippi golfers say Hattiesburg has the truest greens in Mississippi, and although Hurricane Katrina took out hundreds of pine trees, the course still lives up to its nickname of “Ricochet Country Club,” making it a premier test of golf. Keep it in the fairway and you can score. Hit it sideways and listen for the tell-tale sound that you’ve located yet another of the Piney Woods Region’s namesake trees.
Best State Park Courses
Mississippians and out-of-state visitors have four State Parks courses to choose from, each conveniently located near I-55, ranging from Mallard Pointe in north Mississippi to Quail Hollow in southwest Mississippi, near the Louisiana line.
Mallard Pointe, The Dogwoods and Quail Hollow are 18-hole layouts. LeFleur’s Bluff is a nine-hole course in the heart of Jackson.
Each of the courses offers a mix of challenging layouts, rolling hills, elevation changes and beautiful scenery — at a very affordable price.