After a posting last week about the 3 professional golf events, we can go watch, I decided it was time for Golf Nola to go visit Grand Bear Golf Club in Saucier Mississippi. Grand Bear will host the Rapiscan Systems Classic, a PGA Tour Champions event, for the first time this year. Tickets went on sale on March 1st and are limited to 500 grounds tickets per day.
Grand Bear is about a 1-hour and 40-min drive from New Orleans. The drive is well worth it. Once you arrive at the road that takes you to Grand Bear you are treated with a 6-mile winding road through the Desoto National Forest. Once you get to the golf course property you are then greeted by a gorgeous clubhouse (pictured above) that is a luxurious log cabin. The clubhouse features a full pro-shop, full bar, and grill with patio seating overlooking the 18th green, and has both men's and women's locker rooms.
The golf course is surrounded by natural forests, creeks, and rivers and you are truly secluded in nature. The area surrounding the property is all protected forest so there will never be homes or anything else built that would ruin your experience. You may even see deer and other wildlife during your visit.
As Grand Bear Golf Club prepares for the Rapiscan Systems Classic the course is in superb condition. It was cart path only, Monday, February 28th, due to some rain the night before but that was only as a precaution as they prepare for the event. The fairways still rolled out and the greens were very fast (as you will see in the video below). The golf course is a great Jack Nicklaus design that can be very challenging but is also fun and fair. There is a great mix of long and short par-4s, strategic par-5s, and all the par-3s play a different length. There are even some great risk-reward holes and some elevation changes that truly make this golf course spectacular.
Grand Bear has been in the top ten golf courses I have ever played since my first time playing it shortly after it premiered on Shell's Wonderful World of Golf in 2000. A match that featured Paul Azinger vs Jesper Parnevik. Even though the staff has changed over the years since then, the friendly southern hospitality has not. They truly make you feel welcome from the moment you arrive.
I do plan on making it back right again soon and I highly recommend this golf course to everyone and anyone that wants a truly wonderful golf experience. Also, they are not asking ridiculous rates like many courses do that host professional tournaments. You can book a tee-time through the Grand Bear website for less than $120 right now. It is worth more so at that rate it is a great deal. Also, stay away from GolfNow for a tee-time. They are asking about $10 more than booking directly with Grand Bear.