The Mississippi Golf Trail Makes Its Debut
The Mississippi Golf Trail is here!
By Brian Weis
The collaboration of six Magnolia State facilities from the Coast to the northern tip of the state was unveiled in late April to give golfers a guide list to play when they travel to the great state of Mississippi. Playing all of the MGT courses will give players a great Mississippi experience from all different regions of the diverse state.
Starting up north is Timber Truss Golf Course, which was known as Plantation Golf Club a couple of years ago. The Olive Branch facility is semi-private and located 14 miles southeast of the Memphis Airport. The course and clubhouse have been improved since the ownership and name change. The logo (and name) comes from the signature bridge behind the 13th green. The course is known for its Finn Cycle, which is a solo rider motorcycle-looking golf cart. The normal golf carts have GPS as well as other technological advances. This course is known for its above-average course conditions and overall great experience. The newly updated clubhouse has a state-of-the-art golf simulator. Timber Truss opened in 1990 and was designed by William Leather.
Bay Pointe Golf and Country Club (Brandon) has been owned and operated by the Belton Family since 1992. Originally opened in 1988, this semi-private facility is known for its above-average yearly conditions, beautiful natural landscape and a special brand of Southern Hospitality. There is a large driving range and indoor teaching facility that makes up the Brent Belton Golf Academy. The academy also has a state-of-the-art simulator. Another part of the charm of Bay Pointe is a unique putting green in the middle of the circular driveway that leads to the clubhouse. The course is a mix of hilly areas with some water features that make you feel like you are in neighboring Louisiana. The facility is located in the northeast area of metro Jackson and only 13 miles from the Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport. Bay Pointe was designed by Marvin Ferguson.
The most western course on the MGT is Natchez Golf Club at Duncan Park in Natchez. The oldest facility on the Mississippi Golf Trail, Natchez Golf Club opened in 1916. The course is public and minutes from the historic downtown area. It features rolling terrain, dogwoods, long-leaf pine trees and towering oaks draped in Spanish Moss. Early in the course's history, Walter Hagen, Sam Snead and Babe Zaharias played this course, which was then named Duncan Park Golf Course. What a thrill to be able to walk in the footsteps of these greats. When initially opened, Seymour Dunn designed the original nine holes. The second nine was designed by Bryan Ault in 1993.
If you go 120 miles to the east, you will find Okatoma Golf Club in Collins. The semi-private facility sits just west I-59 and 30 miles west of Laurel. It is also located 60 miles southeast of Jackson and 30 miles north of Hattiesburg. The course features open fairways, native forests, natural rolling terrain and impressive greens. The facility gets its name from the nearby Okatoma Creek, which was named by the Choctaw Tribe. OGC opened in 1994 and was designed by Rick Fulkerson.
Located 45 miles south is Pine Creek Golf Club in Purvis. Located just east of I-59, this facility is the second oldest among MGT members as it originally opened in 1967. Pine Creek features a great piece of property that flows down to Beaver Lake, which borders the course to the south and the low point of the land where Pine Creek sits. The lake not only collects rainwater, but provides that water for the course. Beaver Lake also provides a beautiful backdrop for the driving range. The course itself is almost never cart-path only and that fact has earned it the reputation as the best-draining course in the state. Pine Creek has wide landing areas and little to no water or sand to protect the challenging greens. The facility is three miles from the interstate off Exit 51. Pine Creek is about 10 miles south of Hattiesburg and only 105 miles from the New Orleans International Airport. Pine Creek was designed by Larry Adams.
The youngest course on the Mississippi Golf Trail is Shell Landing Golf Club, which opened in 2000. Conveniently located just south of Hwy. 90, Shell Landing is in Gautier, which is 14 miles east of Biloxi and 48 miles west of Mobile, Ala. From the west, take Exit 57 off I-10 and from the east, take Exit 61. Shell Landing has gotten numerous national awards since opening and features diverse topography, natural beauty, above-average yearly conditioning and great practice facilities. This championship course is beautiful and tranquil. The five tee boxes are named for various turtle species found in the nearby Gulf of Mexico. Shell Landing was designed by Davis Love III.
The Mississippi Golf Trail will be expanding towards the end of the summer. There are some special prizes for those that are able to play all six between now and July 4. If you intend to play all six of them, email MGT@usa.com to get all the specific instructions before you start playing the courses.
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Revised: 05/06/2021 - Article Viewed 4,442 Times
About: Brian Weis
Brian Weis is the Publisher of GolfTrips.com, a network of golf travel and directory sites including GolfWisconsin.com, GolfMichigan.com, ArizonaGolfer.com, GolfAlabama.com, 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 GolfWisconsin.com. In 2007, the idea for a network of local golf directory sites formed and GolfTrips.com was born. Today, the network consists of a site in all 50 states supported by national sites like GolfTrips.com, GolfGuide.com and GolfPackages.com. 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.
Contact Brian Weis:
GolfTrips.com - Publisher and Golf Traveler