Don't Overlook Buccaneer State Park!
4 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: Buccaneer State Park is at its best on the front 9 and the closing holes, where intermittent trees and a periphery of brush are effectively used to force a variety of lines. There's a nice array of holes here, and the challenge level often sits at a happy medium, at least for a high-level rec/intermediate type player, with birdies often possible but only through effective shot shaping. Throughout the course there are a variety of opportunities to break out all kinds of shots: FH, BH, turnovers, big hyzers, and overhand shots are all prompted at one point or another. Kudos for the effort to force a complete game.
Distances sit mostly in the 250'-300' range, but there are a few spots on the back 9 to pull out a distance driver. The present course layout varies a bit here from what's listed on DGCR, and has a few longer holes that break things up and keep the course from settling into one distance range. While there are no truly long holes, the scope of distances is nevertheless nice, ranging from technical ~175' shots to two or three 350'ish+ shots. The disc I reached for seemed to vary between most holes.
Parking is ample, and there are several quality bathrooms readily accessible. The park is, overall, family friendly, with playgrounds, pavilions, fishing piers, etc.
Cons: It's hard to complain too much about the course design itself; it's really the drab setting that doesn't do it any favors. The area's dotted with trees are relatively flavorless, making the designers fight for every ounce of technicality. As the back 9 opens up, the variety and mild challenge that the course starts off with diminish, deflating things a bit. Holes 10-15 are pretty forgettable. Also, there's a distinct lack of challenge to the approach game: this course is really all about what you do off the tee. The rest sorts itself out pretty readily.
The course seems to have been subject to numerous redesigns, particularly on the backend. The tee signs, such as they are (wooden stakes with only numbers), almost all feature 2-3 distinct hole numbers on them (not pictured), which can confuse. On the back 9, I struggled to find the next hole at a few places, and ultimately missed one or two holes somewhere between 13-15. I could often see the tees and the pins, but figuring out what went with what was a futile proposition, so I mostly just made things up myself. This navigation snafu was far from monumental, but it did slow things down, making for a choppy latter 9 and a good bit of head scratching. I'm not really sure what I missed out on.
Natural tees in a rainy part of the country can occasionally frustrate your footing. Pro tees could really enhance the course, and the requisite space seems to be available.
The rough bordering fairways comes in the disc-eatingly-thick variety, especially on the closing holes. Avoiding it isn't too problematic, but be forewarned.
Other Thoughts: While Buccaneer State Park won't be making my top 10 list, it actually pleasantly surprised me. The front 9 offered a greater challenge and interest than I had anticipated, while still regularly dangling the birdie carrot in front of me. In an area where great courses are lacking, BSP is a more than serviceable stop over between greener pastures. I was happy to have visited, and will surely visit again.
As of April 2014, the pictures and hole lengths on DGCR seem to diverge at times from the course's present layout, at least on the back 9.
Be prepared for wind here. The greater gulf area in general gets gusty, and Buccaneer State Park seems to be a notch or two more intense than anywhere else I've played thus far. What was a relatively calm day at McLeod was breezy here, a 20 minute drive away.
If it isn't clear enough from the ratings and the pictures, Buccaneer State Park is easily the best course you can play if you're passing through southwest Mississippi.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 3 Not
Nice quit fun day... IT'S ON THE GULF|!
Pros: Signage ... Each hole was numbered and there are arrows pointing to holes in long transitions. +.5
Tee Pads and Baskets are legit. I just need to work on my putt :) ... +1
Design - A mix of drives, and approaches to keep it challenging yet fun. +.5
Restroom, Benches, Trash and Water... All good, but not great +.5
Cons: Signage ... no Complete course map or scorecard - .5
Design - No OUT and IN (although there is a restroom by the transfer). Although the land won't allow it, there is not much difficulty. -.5
Some water, more trash cans or or benches -.5
Other Thoughts: There is nothing here to deserve and extra point. This course is worth making a trip for. We didn't need to pay the entrance fee, ALTHOUGH YOU SHOULD NOT COMPLAIN ABOUT PAYING A FEW DOLLARS TO PLAY GOLF!!!!!!
1 of 4 people found this review helpful.
2 Helpful / 3 Not
Starts slow, ends rough
Pros: Nice open course for the most part. Nice looking area. If you have kids half the course keeps your next to the playground so you can still keep an eye on your kids while playing. First half of the course is great for beginners.
Cons: The first half is really short so it'll be a bit boring for intermediate or pro players. Course goes from boring to frustratingly cursing. The holes aren't hard per se but the high winds from the gulf (which is a good throw away) and the very thick bush is punishing for throws that get away from you. Holes 14 through 17 are all along the very thick bush so any errant throws have a very good chance of getting lost (which i found out the hard way).
Other Thoughts: The attached picture for the holes is no longer accurate for the course must have been changed. Lost a Champion Boss on hole 14.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful.
7 Helpful / 1 Not
Just Another Day at the Beach
Pros: This is a very typical course with just enough foliage variation to make things interesting. There are wood signs for tee markers with the hole number painted on top and less than accurate distance measurements. The boxes are natural but in good condition and the baskets are in good condition as well. The difficulty level is just about perfect for the beginning to casual rec. players, and this is a great course to bring new players or families to.
The entire park area was empty when we played, and my guess is course traffic is usually pretty light. There are typical park amenities including raised bathrooms (thank you hurricanes), and a play area for the kids. A water park is currently being installed, another plus for enticing the family to come out, and fortunately with a little redesign - the course itself looks to stay intact. The map will give you a general idea of locations, however I didn't find it extremely helpful. Finally, did I mention you are literally playing a course 100 yards from the Gulf of Mexico - I think that's pretty cool.
BEST HOLE/S: #14
Cons: The water park, although a great park feature has forced some holes to be redone, and makes for some minor out-of-the-way walks, but I do applaud the efforts to retain the integrity of the course. It'll be interesting to see how it plays out in the future. However, the biggest complaint most players will have is the overall lack of wow factor. The course is steady eddie and besides a few holes hugging the thick rough, I didn't have to think too much. I shot one over and was a little upset at the score, so advanced players may probably get bored fairly quick. With distance a non-factor at 4500' your main work just trying to dodge a few trees and hold your lines.
I know this course says pay to play - but we didn't see any where to pay and weren't stopped by the few park trucks that drove by. Could be my ignorance, but my round was free.
WORST HOLE/S: #10; #11
Other Thoughts: I enjoyed this course basically because I wasn't expecting much and just wanted an easy casual round of golf. Tournament ready and championship caliber this place is not, nor does it try to be - so just understand that and enjoy a laid-back round by the beach. It's not a gimmie course be any means, which should keep the majority of players engaged, and if I had time I definitely would have played it again. I would warn you to stay out of the thick rough areas, bring your map, and keep an open mind. I did, and walked away feeling satisfied and happy that I made the trip.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful.
Flushed by Katrina
2 Helpful / 0 Not
Pros: When I first played this course in '03 it had an even mix of open and wooded holes, with lovely dogwoods, mature pines and plenty of shade. Then Hurricane Katrina laid waster in '05. If the trees don't suffer another hurricane in the next decade, it will start to mature back into its former glory. Holes 1-8 are fairly short, and with just enough trees on them to makes things interesting yet beginner-friendly. Holes 9-18 are longer and open: you might pull out a fairway/distance driver a time or two. Makes a good first-timer course. #16 has a slight dip across a storm creek---the only elevation change on the course. You can play #s 1-8 and #18 and keep the kids playground in sight the entire time. Tees dirt, baskets good although some show hurricane damage. All holes have signage now.
Cons: Holes 4, 6-8, and 12-18 have scrappy woods on at least one side that could make for a few minutes of disc-hunting, and with the increasing undergrowth, a chance to lose discs..
Hot, muggy and buggy April-Oct., and with the vegetation in critical condition, you're in the sun a lot.
$3 isn't worth it unless you're in the park for other purposes. During holidays expect some of the holes to be overwhelmed with picnickers.
Katrina really submarined [in every sense of the word] this course, but after 10 years its starting to come around. .
Other Thoughts: Camping on site, surf and pier fishing across the street at the beach. Casino with an excellent buffet 5 miles west. Most of the players are duffers camped here who throw from the sense of novelty/boredom/escape, so you rarely have much competition on the links.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
1 Helpful / 5 Not
Pros: The course is layed out on very flat land. There are few obstacles to overcome.
Cons: Not a very challenging course. The tees are a bit difficult, but not impossible to find.
Other Thoughts: A course map and numbered tees would be awsome.
1 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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