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Golf in Mississippi - Insiders Golf Travel Tips to the Magnolia State

An Insightful Interview With Emil Ellis, Mississippi Golf Association

By Brian Weis

Looking to golf in Mississippi? Emil Ellis from the Mississippi Golf Association shares commonly asked questions from local and traveling golfers. Below is an exclusive Q&A interview.

Give our readers an overview of the golf course landscape in your state.
In Mississippi, we have about 130 golf courses. You can usually find at least one or two golf courses in just about every city in the state. Most courses around the state are public or semi-private for non-members to be able to play. There are some private golf courses around the Jackson, MS area, down near the coast, in North Mississippi, or along the West side of the state.

Any new/recent course openings or major renovations?
Mossy Oak Golf Course is one of the newest golf courses to have opened in the state in the last 10 years. The Refuge Golf Course is going through a major renovation currently that should allow for players to play a quick 9 holes or even 6 holes if they run out of time. Look for The Refuge to open in the Spring of 2019

Best time of year to play golf in your state?

Where is the State Open and State AM held/played this year?
The State Amateur will be played at Hattiesburg Country Club in the Hattiesburg, MS in 2019.

What course or courses have held the most State Opens and Amateurs?
For the last 16 years, The State Amateur has been held at the Country Club of Jackson.

Do you have any annual or upcoming professional golf tournaments in the state?
The Sanderson Farms Championship is an annual stop on the PGA Tour in Jackson, MIssissippi and is now in its sixth year as a part of the FedExCup.
Country Club of Jackson
September 16-22, 2019

In terms of golf, what are you most known for in your state?
The Mississippi Gulf Coast features golf courses from world class architects like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Davis Love III, Mark McCumber, Jerry Pate, and Tom Fazio. In addition, there are 12 casinos for non stop entertainment.

What are the top 2-3 most visited state tourism attractions by traveling golfers?
The beaches on the gulf coast, the Mississippi River, and the Mississippi State Fair.

Name the most famous golfers from your state.
Mike Taylor: His friends call him "Ten-time," referring to his record of winning 10 Mississippi State Am championships, including four in a row from 1972-75.

Ken Lindsay: Like his good friend Carpenter, Lindsay became an internationally renowned rules expert who rose to become President of PGA of America, serving from 1994-96 when he was Director of Golf at Colonial Country Club in Jackson.

James Ray Carpenter: Amazingly, the late Carpenter did not take up golf until he was 33 years old in 1959, but then rose through the ranks to become President of the PGA of America in 1987 and 1988 and chairman of the 1985 Ryder Cup.

Cissye Gallagher: The former Cissye Meeks, daughter of former Mississippi amateur champion Ed Meeks, she practically grew up at Greenwood Country Club where she won boys tournaments at Pillow Academy before playing at LSU and briefly on the LPGA Tour. Married to former PGA pro and Ryder Cup hero Jim Gallagher, Jr, Cissye Gallagher has won a record 12 State Amateur championships over a span of 29 years.

Robbie Webb: He was legendary in Mississippi golf circles, first as a bull-strong, long-hitting player and then as a club professional and teacher of some of Mississippi golf's most outstanding junior golfers. His influence was such he often was referred to as "the godfather of Mississippi golf." The son of a golf pro at Mississippi's first golf course (Great Southern in Gulfport, established in 1908), Webb won the state's junior championship at age 14 and later played college golf at Southern Miss. He won the State Open in 1968, but he is most remembered as a champion of junior golf. Twenty-six of the junior golfers he taught went on to earn college scholarships.

Jim Gallagher Jr.: Gallagher won five events on the PGA Tour. His first win came in 1990 at the Greater Milwaukee Open. In 1993, he won twice: the Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic and The Tour Championship. He repeated his two-win performance in 1995 by winning the KMart Greater Greensboro Open and the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Gallagher's best finishes in a major championship were a 3rd-place finish at the 1991 PGA Championship, and a T-2 at the same tournament the following year. He was a member of the victorious 1993 Ryder Cup team and the 1994 Presidents Cup team.

Lou Hart: A nine-time state amateur champion,

Spec Wilson: Mississippi Open Champion ('41, '53, '56) and Mississippi Amateur Champion ('51, '52, '54, '59)

What are the top golf destinations in the state?
Old Waverly Golf Club, Country Club of Jackson, Reunion Golf & Country Club, Annandale Golf Club, Hattiesburg Country Club, Canebrake Country Club, Mossy Oak Golf Club, The Preserve Golf Club

What are the top golf courses sought after by traveling golfers?
Old Waverly Golf Club, Mossy Oak Golf Club, Shell Landing Golf Club

More Information:
Mississippi Golf Association

Revised: 01/31/2019 - Article Viewed 1,742 Times

About: Brian Weis

Brian Weis Brian Weis is the Publisher of, a network of golf travel and directory sites including,,,, etc. Professionally, Brian is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA), International Network of Golf (ING), Golf Travel Writers of America (GTWA), International Golf Travel Writers Association (IGTWA) and The Society of Hickory Golfers (SoHG). In 2016, Brian won The Shaheen Cup, an award given to a golf travel writer by his peers.

All of his life, Brian has been around the game of golf. As a youngster, Brian competed at all levels in junior and high school golf. Brian had a zero chance for a college golf scholarship, so he worked on the grounds crew at West Bend Country Club to pay for his University of Wisconsin education. In his adult years, his passion for the game collided with his entrepreneurial spirit and in 2004 launched In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like, and It is an understatement to say, Brian is passionate about promoting golf and golf travel on a local, regional, national and international level.

On the golf course, Brian is known as a fierce weekend warrior that fluctuates between a 5-9 handicap. With a soft fade, known as "The Weis Slice", and booming 300+ drives, he can blast it out of bounds with the best of them.

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