A natural beauty, especially in the spring
By Rusty Hampton
In the spring, when the dogwoods and azaleas are at full bloom, there isn’t a more scenic golf experience in Mississippi than the Azaleas Course at Dancing Rabbit Golf Club at Pearl River Resort near Philadelphia.
Cut into the pine trees of the red clay hills of Central Mississippi, Dancing Rabbit offers 36 holes of championship golf, with the Azaleas and Oaks courses.
While designers Tom Fazio and Jerry Pate did a magnificent job of using natural terrain for many of the holes, man-made water falls and rock formations just add to the beauty.
And in the spring, there’s plenty to look at.
“We were very fortunate last year to have color on the course every day in April,” said Mark Powell, Dancing Rabbit’s director of golf. “The comments I hear from guests are about the beautiful flowers, the water features and the magnificent trees that abound on both golf courses.”
One of the most interesting features of Dancing Rabbit is just how diverse the two courses are.
The Azaleas has bent grass greens, Bermuda fairways, many meandering creeks and a more wooded feel — with, of course, plenty of stunning azaleas. The Oaks has Bermuda greens, Zoysia fairways, several water features and a more open feel.
In June, the Azaleas will play host to the Mississippi Amateur for the third time.
Powell said his staff has been preparing since August to have the course “in pristine shape” for the tournament.
Powell said most of Dancing Rabbit’s spring play comes from outside Mississippi. “Locals play a lot in the summer to take advantage of our local specials and we have a good mix of play in the fall and winter,” he said.
Owned and operated by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Dancing Rabbit offers stay-and-play package deals with the nearby Pearl River Resort hotels and casinos, Golden Moon and Silver Star.
Dancing Rabbit Golf Club
Year opened: Azaleas: 1997; Oaks: 1999
Designers: Tom Fazio and Jerry Pate
Dues: No available
Greens fees: $75-$120
Yardage: Azaleas: 7,128 yards; Oaks: 7,076 yards
Par: Both Par 72