The Shell Landing Golf Club is a Davis Love III Signature golf course located on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. The course is a scenic showcase of the diverse topography and nature of the area, wrapping around and playing through wetlands, bayous, marshes, rolling hills, and pine savannah. There's even a Gopher Turtle wildlife refuge before Hole No. 6, and birds are said to be heard everywhere on the course.
The 18-hole, par-72 championship course plays to 7,024 yards from the longest tees, with a USGA rating of 73.2 and a slope rating of 128. Those are somewhat modest numbers for a course of this caliber, and it's been said that Love designed the course as much for the average golfer as the fellow "big boys'' from the PGA Tour.
The course, which opened for play in 2000, has especially wide fairways that appeal to the recreational golfer. The fairways are tree-lined and water comes into play on eight of the 18 holes, but from the forward tees the angle of approach to the fairways is less severe.
The greens are also especially large, averaging a massive 12,000 square feet. They play fast, however, and tend to be undulating with lots of curves and swerves, making putting one of the biggest challenges Love designed into this course. There are also 72 sand bunkers on the course, many of them with truly unique shapes, to guard the greens and thwart approach shots.
There are some noteworthy and challenging holes, and No. 6 has been described as more of "an adventure, rather than a golf hole.'' This par-4 is the toughest on the course, even though it plays to only 305 yards from the "Hawksbill'' (White) tees.
The challenge comes from club selection and accuracy to the two "island'' landing areas, which are surrounded by marshland and water. The primary fairway landing area is wide, but there are some wicked bunkers to contend with. The challenge from the fairway is another carry over wetlands and hitting a green guarded by more marshland on three sides.
Hole No. 16 is a difficult, s-shaped par-5 that plays to 559 yards from the tips, and features an undulating fairway. There's also a bunker just below the green that's so large in requires six rakes positioned around its edges.
Hole No. 17 is the signature hole for the course, a par-3 that can be a bit daunting. The hole plays downhill from elevated tees, and only to 161 yards from the Whites. However, golfers are faced with a sea of marshland, brown grasses and a stream, calling for a forced carry to a large, undulating green guarded by three bunkers at the back.
Since opening in 2000, Shell Landing has received much acclaim. Golf Digest named it one of America's Best New Courses in 2002, and the following year ranked it #5 among the country's Best New Upscale Public Courses. IP Casino Resort & Spa gave the course a "10'' and put it on its Platinum List.
Shell Landing also features a 25-acre practice facility, along with a clubhouse and deck, locker rooms and pro shop. The clubhouse also features a full-service restaurant and bar.