If you're looking to play an open course with a parkland feel that winds around water and trees, Santa Rosa Golf and Beach Club course has it all.
Santa Rosa Golf, a semi-private club, has a par 72 course that offers a challenge for every skill level or handicap.
"We are unique in that we're not built in a development," said Carter Murchison, director of Golf Operations. "You are playing privately. A lot of people like playing here because they are not playing through homes and hotels."
Santa Rosa Golf Club has two very distinct layouts within the course.
The front nine is more of a "links" style course, while the back nine is more of "parkland" type course.
The front nine is very open with holes three through five, winding around a complex of dunes and comes within just a few hundred yards of the Gulf of Mexico, along County Road 30-A.
Holes four and five play north and south. As a matter of fact when teeing off from No. 5, the Gulf of Mexico is your backdrop.
As for the back nine, the golfer will see more trees, ponds and nature — that "parkland feel," Murchison said.
All the water and nature, "gives you that calming effect, that we don't always have playing golf," he jokingly said.
The course boasts some of the only elevation changes in the area and takes the golfer from the Clubhouse to the Gulf and back through the natural areas.
"We have some nice hills and elevation," along the course, Murchison said.
"We've done a lot of work on the course," he said. Murchison said they have cut down about 200 trees and a lot of shrubbery. "We've done a lot of clearing … but we've got a lot of trees."
He said they needed to lose some trees to open up the course to sun and air for the grass.
The course, which has been open since 1969, is designed for walking with little distance between greens and tees, with holes 9 and 18 ending up at the clubhouse.
In addition to 18 holes of golf, Santa Rosa Golf has a practice facility that is open to members as well as the public. Golfers can come and hit balls for $16 an hour.
If you need help with your swing, Murchison has an indoor training and learning facility, The Golf Academy, that opens up to the driving range. Golfers are able to stand inside and hit out to the range while being videoed for teaching purposes.
Santa Rosa Golf is a member-owned club and members are allowed to walk and play. There are numerous options for members to play in men's and ladies groups.
"It's a very casual atmosphere here," Murchison said, noting folks like to sit out on the porch at the clubhouse before and after play.
However, the golf course is open to public play.
During the summer, the majority of those that play are non-members, whereas in the Fall, Winter and Spring it’s about 80 percent membership play.
"Our membership here is a lifestyle, because of the beach and golf," said Sarah Brazwell, membership and marketing director.
The golf club, located at 334 Golf Club Drive, is open Monday through Sunday 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
For more information, call 267-2229.