Bay Point Resort – Meadows Golf Course Review
This past fall I made my first visit to Panama City for a family member’s wedding. I had only heard about the town in the context of wild spring break stories and I really knew nothing about it. I knew it was in Florida and I knew it was on the Gulf of Mexico so I figured the golf would be plentiful and the views would be stunning. I was not disappointed.
As often occurs on wedding days in the U.S., all the golfers in attendance headed for the links the morning and the others…well, they were probably stuck cleaning up from the night before. Another reason to play golf! The course that was chosen in advance was the Meadows Course at the Bay Point Resort. The Resort actually features two courses, the Meadows and Nicklaus. When I first heard we were playing the Meadows, I was a little disappointed. I figured the Nicklaus would be the more challenging of the two and likely in better condition. I wasn’t too disappointed, though, I was just happy to be playing golf with family with whom I rarely get to tee it up.
So how was the course? Was the golf good enough to overwhelm my hangover from the night before? Read on to find out.
Practice Facilities – B+
Our day at Bay Point started on the well-stocked practice facility. Everything was in nice shape, complete with target greens and yardages provided. Everything about the warm-up area was quite nice and the only thing that was missing was a pitching green, but that’s just a minor issue for most.
Course Conditions – A-
Much like the practice facilities, the overall conditions at Bay Point were quite good. The greens rolled consistently well and the fairways were manicured nicely. Particularly challenging, although it was well-maintained, was the bermuda rough. I’m not sure if those from the south get used to it, or if they spend their golfing careers cursing the stuff, but for those of us from up north, bermuda rough is a challenge. It doesn’t feel that thick, but it just has a way of grabbing one’s clubhead. Thankfully I was hitting it fairly well that day and I didn’t need to play from it very often.
Layout – A-
As I mentioned earlier, I was slightly disappointed to be playing Meadows and not Nicklaus when I heard the plans initially. What I failed to take into account, however, was that Jack’s courses are often simply brutal. While quite challenging and attractive to the eye, they can make for a long day on the links. Old Corkscrew, another Florida Nicklaus course which I reviewed in the past, fits this description.
I’m happy to report that Meadows was the precise opposite of this. I would describe it as an old-school Florida, country club layout. Most of the holes were just narrow enough to make it interesting and were well-bunkered. It was not the kind of course that beats one up all morning, it just had enough strategically-placed trees, bunkers, and water to make it interesting. I wouldn’t call it easy, just a fun round of golf.
Value – B+
We played the course in the middle of October, definitely out of season in the Florida Panhandle, yet the weather could not have been more perfect. It was a beautiful 75 degrees and hardly a cloud in the sky. For this, I paid about $50, not a bad deal for Florida golf on a weekend. I can’t speak to the availability of other “deals” as we were pretty locked into our tee time, but the rack rate was pretty good for what we received.
19th Hole and Clubhouse – B
I’ll admit I didn’t spend much time in the clubhouse but what I saw was simple, yet nice enough. There was a small locker room and well-stocked pro shop. The employees were all extremely friendly and helpful. While it’s nothing terribly fancy, it has everything one needs for before and after a round of golf.
Overall – B+
As should be clear by now, I was quite impressed by everything at Bay Point Meadows. While nothing was extremely fancy or over the top difficult on the golf course, it was everything you want in a leisurely round of golf. I’ll play it if I’m ever back in the area and that should be high praise enough.
- Nice practice area to warm up before the round
- Beautiful, uncrowded course conditions
- Not the course for you if you’re looking for a 7200 yard, 150 slope beast.
- Some might think the course misses a distinct signature hole.
If you liked the photography in this post, click here to go to my website to view the full resolution images. All photos may be purchased as prints but feel free to use them as your desktop wallpaper free of charge.
And don’t forget to tell your golfing friends about Digital Fairways!