50 Words or Less
The Peninsula Golf Course is a 27 hole championship layout that stands out as one of the most well manicured golf courses on the Alabama gulf coast. Peninsula has a true member for a day atmosphere.
The name Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club may lead you to believe that this is a private club. While it is public, I can attest that the facilities, staff, and course experience make it feel like I was a member for a day. Peninsula is located halfway between Kiva Dunes [review HERE] and downtown Gulf Shores and boasts three separate 9 hole courses – Lakes, Marsh, and Cypress. I got to experience Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club, and it was a treat.
The Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club has what you need to get warmed up before your round. It features multiple practice putting and chipping greens as well as a spacious grass driving range. The driving range is long enough to hit any club in your bag while the practice greens are large enough to simulate a variety of putts or chips.
An underrated part of Peninsula’s practice area is that it is centrally located between the bag drop, pro shop, and the first tee, making it easy to get a few practice swings in before a round.
Customer Service & Amenities
Once we arrived at Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club, the only decision we had to make was which breakfast sandwich to order. Every staff member was extremely welcoming and provided information before being asked. For someone playing this course for the first time, especially in a town I wasn’t familiar with, it was comforting knowing the staff would take care of the details and allow our group to concentrate on just the golf. It has a private club feel, and that certainly begins and ends with the customer service.
This private club atmosphere extends inside the clubhouse to the bar and grill. It has an impressive indoor and outdoor dining facility with several big screen TVs. There are views of the practice area and first tee making it a perfect spot to relive every shot from our round. They even have premade hot food items if you need something at the turn or are in a hurry to start the round.
Beauty & Scenery
Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club is located directly next to the Bon Secour Wildlife Preserve and it was apparent with how much wildlife we saw throughout our round here. We encountered multiple alligators, snakes, and different types of wild birds.
It is easy to see why the wildlife stays here. The streams and ponds that bisect many of the holes create an oasis for these animals as well as a visually stunning backdrop for anyone who gets to play here.
Find two gorgeous Arnold Palmer designs at Craft Farms HERE
Like many coastal golf courses, there is not a lot of elevation changes at the Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club, particularly off the tee. The trouble off the tee is typically water or sandy native areas with a few wooded areas throughout.
The sandy native areas presented a harder shot than on a fairway, but they weren’t severely punishing. Aside from that, most of the landing zones are wide and forgiving. Course designer Earl Stone also utilized mounding along the edges of the fairways to help kick balls back into play which helped our group’s drives on more than one hole.
While many of the tee shots are straightforward, the approach shots are where you have to think a bit more. The green complexes are the defense of this course so approach shots have to be on the correct tier or below the hole. Being below the hole, however, is tricky and may be short, long, or left or right. If you’re above the hole, 3 putts will be the standard. The positive is that there are wide fringes around most greens and no severe drop offs. If you can get the right yardage, you’ll have some looks at birdie even from off the green.
From the fairway, most lies are lush because of how well manicured the grass is here. The ball almost sits up on a small tee which provides lots of forgiveness on approaches and yet another reason to put a premium on finding the fairway. The rough isn’t terribly punishing, but it will reduce the amount of spin. Considering the speed and difficulty of the greens, that makes it hard to stick it close. In many areas, there are run up sections to the green, so landing balls short with some runout is also an alternative way of scoring here.
Greens & Surrounds
The greens at Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club are anything but straightforward. They are probably the most difficult part of the course, for a few reasons. The greens are fast and smooth but have a lot of grain in them. Even though a slope moves one way, if the grain is in the opposite direction, it can be deceiving and make for a long day with the flatstick.
In addition to the speed, the second reason these greens are so tough is because of their severe undulations. Find yourself on the wrong tier or on the wrong side of the hole with quick grainy greens, and your putting stats could get inflated really quickly. Despite these tricky greens, the surrounding fringe and rough are easier to navigate but still require some creativity to end up close to the hole.
Course designer Earl Stone followed the tried and true method of resort courses when designing Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club. The long game isn’t overly punishing while the greens can still pack a punch when it comes to challenging the better golfer. There is enough variety between holes that keeps it interesting, but if the layout isn’t what keeps you wanting to play all 27, then the scenery and conditions will.
#6 – Par 4 – 278 Yards – Marsh
As always, a drivable par four is going be one of my favorite holes. This was not originally designed to be a drivable par four as it used to be a dogleg left. However, the houses that run up the left side of the fairway were getting pelted by players trying to cut the corner and something needed to change. All the tees were moved to the corner of the dogleg, which was a fantastic decision. Now, there is a ton of room to drive it close and even a decent run up area if you have some roll out. An excellent chance at a birdie.
#2 – Par 5 – 486 Yards – Cypress
This par five was one of my favorites as it is a perfect birdie hole. The hole gently bends to the left with a wide creek that runs up the left side of the tee and initial fairway area. Although the prevailing wind can make it play quite long, there is ample room to get a ball onto the green in two shots if you have the distance. Our group had multiple birdie looks and even a long eagle try which made it stand out in my mind as one I would like to play more often.
#7 – Par 4 – 376 Yards – Cypress
The par four seventh hole is a perfect microcosm of Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club. The tee shot is not too demanding but you’ll need to be in the fairway to have a chance at holding the green to get anywhere close to a front pin. I went long and left and three putted, while my partners came up short of the green and still made par. Why did it make my favorite holes? It rewards the shot that was on the correct side of the hole while it makes par almost impossible when you aren’t.
The Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club is 27 holes of well-manicured, fun, scenic golf. While the entire property is beautifully maintained, the greens are some of the best in the area. Combine these green complexes with a forgiving layout and private club atmosphere, and you get the perfect course for any golfer looking to play on the Alabama gulf coast.