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Golfweek's Best Courses You Can Play 2020: Mississippi

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About the only thing more common than moss dripping from the trees on Mississippi’s golf courses is their strength on various Golfweek’s Best rankings lists. That kind of sure bet is especially valid when it comes to casino courses, as seven of the top 10 public-access courses in the state are also on Golfweek’s Best Top 50 Casino list for 2020.

Golfweek ranks courses by compiling the average ratings – on a points basis of 1 to 10 – of its more than 750 raters to create several industry-leading lists of courses. That includes the popular Best Courses You Can Play list for courses that allow non-member tee times. These generally are defined as courses accessible to resort guests or regular daily-fee players.

Fallen Oak by architect Tom Fazio in Saucier is No. 1 in the Magnolia State on the 2020 Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play list, and it is No. 2 on Golfweek’s Best Casino list for all the United States. Fallen Oak is also No. 68 on Golfweek’s Best Modern Courses in the U.S. built in or after 1960.

Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Mississippi, before the 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur there (Copyright USGA/Russell Kirk)

The Nos. 2 and 3 courses on the Mississippi public-access list are not casino courses but are part of one West Point resort: Mossy Oak by Gil Hanse and Old Waverly by Bob Cupp and Jerry Pate. Both courses also appear on Golfweek’s Best Modern Courses list, with Mossy Oak at No. 110 and Old Waverly at No. 187.

From there, almost all the rest of Mississippi’s Best Courses You Can Play are operated in conjunction with casinos.

The Preserve in Vancleave is No. 4 in the state for public-access, followed by No. 5 Dancing Rabbit’s Oaks course, No. 7 Shell Landing, No. 8 Dancing Rabbit’s Azaleas course, No. 9 The Bridges at Hollywood Casino and No. 10 Windance. Each of those is in the top 50 on the Casino list.

The Preserve in Mississippi (Courtesy of the Preserve)

The only other top-10 public-access course in the state is No. 6 Grand Bear in Saucier, which is not affiliated with a casino.

Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play in Mississippi

1. Fallen Oak

Saucier (No. 68 m)

2. Mossy Oak

West Point (No. 110 m)

3. Old Waverly

West Point (No. 187 m)

4. The Preserve

Vancleave (m)

5. Dancing Rabbit (Oaks)

Philadelphia (m)

6. Grand Bear

Saucier (m)

7. Shell Landing

Gautier (m)

8. Dancing Rabbit (Azaleas)

Philadelphia (m)

9. The Bridges at Hollywood Casino

Bay St. Louis (m)

10. Windance

Gulfport (m)

Golfweek’s Best Private Courses 2020 in Mississippi

1. Annandale

Madison (m)

2. CC of Jackson

Jackson (m)

3. Reunion

Madison (m)

4. *Laurel CC

Laurel (c)

5. Hattiesburg CC

Hattiesburg (c)

(m): modern; (c): classic

Golfweek’s Best 2020: Top 50 Casino Courses

The rankings below reflect where these courses fall among the top 50 Casino Courses in the United States.

2. Fallen Oak, 7.24

Saucier, Miss.; Tom Fazio; 2006

10. The Preserve, 6.41

Vancleave, Miss.; Jerry Pate; 2005

32. Dancing Rabbit (Oaks), 5.75

Philadelphia, Miss.; Tom Fazio, Jerry Pate; 1999

37. Dancing Rabbit (Azaleas), 5.71

Philadelphia, Miss.; Tom Fazio, Jerry Pate; 1997

42. Shell Landing, 5.52

Gautier, Miss.; Davis Love III; 2002

T-50. Windance, 5.11

Gulfport, Miss.; Mark McCumber; 1986

T-50.* The Bridges GC at Hollywood Casino, 5.11

Bay St. Louis, Miss.; Arnold Palmer, Ed Seay; 2006

*New to or rejoins the list

Golfweek’s Best 2020

How we rate them

The members of our course-ratings panel continually evaluate courses and rate them based on our 10 criteria. They also file a single, overall rating on each course. Those overall ratings on each course are averaged together to produce a final rating for each course. Then each course is ranked against other courses in its state, or nationally, to produce the final rankings.

original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2020/12/15/golfweek-best-courses-you-can-play-2020-mississippi/

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