First, let me start by saying this review is coming almost two weeks late since the day I played the golf course on August 3rd. Whether I do the review myself or one of our Golf Nola affiliated partners does the review the goal is to make sure the review and video are posted within a few days of being played.
Every year at the end of August my family takes a beach trip to Santa Rosa, I make it a point to play two rounds of golf while I am there. I usually pick one round at one of the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort golf courses and one round at Regatta Bay. Misses Regatta Bay this trip but I was able to play The Raven Golf Club for the first time. I have now officially played all the public golf courses at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. The only course left would be their private course, Burnt Pine. Maybe I'll get lucky and Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort will read this and send me an invite to play Burnt Pine during next year's trip. Lol
The Raven Golf Club shares a clubhouse with Baytowne Golf Club. It is the same drive into the property and despite being warned after last year's review of Baytowne I forgot to use the main gate. I instead followed my GPS through one of the smaller gates and again it was like a circus coming off HWY 98 turning into a round-about and through a gate all within the length of a short par 3. At least this time there were not as many other drivers blocking traffic in and out. Hopefully, I will remember to go to the main gate next year.
Having the same clubhouse also meant they have the same friendly staff. Not the exact same people I have seen before but the same friendly welcome I have come to expect from all the golf courses on the property. Even though they were busy with plenty of golfers on two courses the staff still took the time to welcome me at the bag drop and golf shop, check me in, talk to me and make sure all my needs were met before walking out of the golf shop. The friendliness continued with the starter, all outside staff, and the beverage cart.
The driving range was in decent condition. My only complaint about it is that for a driving range servicing two golf courses there were only enough hitting spots for about 8 golfers. Not really enough space when there are about 20 golfers waiting to tee off on one of the golf courses. I will admit this could have been due to some weather as it had rained a good bit the day before but there seemed to be plenty of space for extra buckets and range stands. The good thing is that every golfer I watched use the range did not waste time up there and I only saw two people wait for another golfer to finish to get a spot to warm up for themselves.
The golf course itself was in very good condition. Even with some rain the day before there were very few wet spots on the golf course. This is most likely due to the design and layout. Each hole played with the natural terrain so the water always ran off to an area that was virtually out of play or toward a water hazard. Each hole also was designed with different skill levels in mind. Some holes require a strategic play off the tee while other holes allow you to blast the driver as far as you can. The only confusing part of the design is the 16th hole. I should say holes actually as there is a 16A and a 16B hole. We thought we took a wrong turn until we realized we had to drive past one par 3, the 16A hole to go play the 16B hole. Both par 3s look beautiful and play different yardages but we just do not understand why. They could possibly get rid of the 16A hole and make a beautiful par-4 hole out of the space both holes sit in then change the par to 71. Maybe one day I'll find out why and it may be a very interesting and worthy reason.
The greens were rolling very well during the round. They were not as fast as the practice green but due to the previous day's weather, they may have purposely not cut them as low. Don't get me wrong they still had some speed to them. Especially if you had a downhill, down grain putt. The ball rolled true for the most part and the undulation made some of the greens a bit tricky to read.
All in all The Raven Golf Club is a fun and challenging golf course that is worth playing if you are in the area. You may even get paired up with some great people like I did and have some real fun. Check out the short video below to see The Raven for yourself.