Biloxi, Mississippi golf trip: Playing the Shell Landing Golf Club

Shell Landing Golf Club
Shell Landing Golf Club
At Shell Landing Golf Club, a Davis Love III-designed golf course just outside Biloxi, there was no shortage of spectacular views.
By T.J. Auclair, Senior Interactive Producer
PGA.com
Connect with T.J.

Series: Travel Feature

Published: Thursday, September 12, 2013 | 10:16 a.m.

BILOXI, Miss. -- Following a quick lunch at Grand Bear, we took a 40-minute drive over to the town of Gautier, where we had time for nine holes at the Davis Love III-designed Shell Landing Golf Club.

Located just one mile from the Gulf of Mexico, there was plenty of marsh scattered across Shell Landing, which made for breathtaking views. None, however, was better than 193-yard 17th (which was the lone back-nine hole we played -- after completing the front nine, we took the carts to the back nine to check out the rest of the course).

Shell Landing Golf Club

Course: Shell Landing Golf Club
Location: Gautier, Miss.
Yardage: 7,024 from the back tees
How to Play it: Open to the public. Rates range from as little as $33 (for a twilight special) to $75 on weekends during peak season.
Have you played?: Click here to leave a review on PGA.com
T.J.'s Take: Unfortunately, we only had time for the front nine the day I played Shell Landing. Plenty of bang for your buck. Spectacular views of wetlands and you might even see a gator or two -- we did.
Click here to visit the Shell Landing Golf Club website

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PGA.com’s T.J. Auclair took a destination golf trip to the Biloxi area on Mississippi’s beautiful Gulf Coast. Hurricane Katrina devastated the area eight years ago. As Auclair saw firsthand, while there are still eerie reminders of the destruction left by Mother Nature, Biloxi and its surrounding cities and towns have bounced back in a big way. In this five-part travel series, Auclair opens up his personal journal from his 3 ½-day trip that included magnificent hotel accommodations, spectacular food and incredible golf. This is the third installment.

PART I: Biloxi, Mississippi golf trip introduction
PART II: Playing the Shell Landing Golf Club 
PART IV: Playing The Preserve Golf Club
PART V: What it’s like to play Fallen Oak Golf Club with Rocco Mediate

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From the elevated tee box, the entire right side of the hole is water almost as far as the eye can see. The back of the green offers three, deep bunkers, issuing a stern reminder that you don’t want to go long.

On the front nine, my favorite hole also happened to be my worst of the trip. I took a quadruple bogey 9 on the 530-yard par 5. What I loved about this hole was that after a slight dogleg right tee shot, your second shot -- whether laying up or going for the green -- was a dogleg left. And, if you’re going for it in two, you’d better be long as a pond protects the front of the green.

The ninth hole -- a 370-yard par 4 -- was solid too. Don’t hit your drive too far though, or you risk messing with the marsh area that crosses the fairway for the longer hitters. If you hit it just short, though, you’re left with a short approach to an elevated green protected front and back by those perfect, white sand bunkers.

READ: The best Charleston, South Carolina area golf courses

While Shell Landing wasn’t quite as challenging as Grand Bear, it was a lot of fun.

Our long, wonderful day concluded with a phenomenal dinner at a place called Half Shell Oyster House.

I enjoyed a taste of many appetizer samplings, including crab cakes, BBQ shrimp, Royal Reds (Cajun boiled large peel and eat Royal Reds shrimp with hot drawn butter) and -- my favorite -- the Oysters Rockefeller. Yes, all that before a perfectly cooked filet.

READ: PGA.com readers tell us their favorite Gulf Coast golf courses

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.

T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.