You’ll find Camp Creek Golf Club close to the aquamarine waters of the Gulf of Mexico, 20 miles to the north of Panama City. Some commentators regard the Tom Fazio-designed course to be one of his most aesthetically pleasing and thought provoking designs.
Camp Creek Golf Club opened its five tees for play in 2001 and has already received more accolades than an Oscar winner. Originally opened as a private members club, Camp Creek can now be played by resort guests of the WaterColor and WaterSound Beach Resorts and is regularly considered one of the best Floridian courses “you can play”.
Tom Fazio has designed more than 200 courses in the Americas and has been credited with more courses in the USA Top 100 than any other living architect. His creation at Camp Creek maintains and at times exceeds his incredibly high standards. Fazio’s philosophy states “golf courses should reflect the natural beauty of the setting” and he has used the Camp Creek wetland setting to meld the course sympathetically with the environment. In fact, Camp Creek has been designated a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. This distinction requires courses to adhere to tough environmental preservation standards and Camp Creek’s focus on the provision of a wildlife sanctuary has been justly rewarded.
Wetlands, sand dunes, woodland and rolling terrain are the ingredients of Camp Creek’s topography. Measuring 7,151 yards from the tips, but with five available tees, Camp Creek is a very playable course for all levels of golfer. Generous fairways are offset by tough approach shots to large, well-protected greens therefore placing a premium on accuracy. The two most challenging holes appear at the end of the outward and inward nines. The 9th and 18th are both dramatic lakeside par fours and both holes can play havoc with your scorecard.
Camp Creek Golf Club is a Fazio design that opened in 2001. The most striking element of the course are the generous landing areas. The environment is man made, as I was told that over 1 million cubic feet of dirt was utilized in its creation as well as 250 oak trees. The first hole is welcoming, however there is a larger waste bunker pretty much from tee to green. The short par 4 2nd is an excellent oppty to go red. Favor the left side of the fairway for the best approach. Now the course gets tough. The par 5 3rd is not exceptionally long and one should favor the left side. Easier said than done as a water hazard runs pretty much tee to green. The right has a plethora of bunkers and undulating lies. The long par 4 4th is a killer. Once again, water all the way down the left side. The 7th is a classic par 3 that is well protected by water. If the pin is left, don’t be a hero, go for the middle of the green. The breezes off the ocean can be tricky. The par 5 8th has some lovely views, especially from the tee box. Once again, left is dead, due to the water hazard. The 9th is a long par 4 dogleg left. Guess what is left? More water. As a committed hooker, I feel like I am being persecuted.
The par 5 12th also has water just about the entire length on the left side. There are other challenges including a bunker in the second landing area and a waste bunker right of the green. I would suggest taking an extra club to this elevated green. The 13th is a fun hole, especially as there is no water left, it is right!! Pay no attention to those 14 bunkers. As a short par four dogleg right, hit the fairway and go birdie seeking. Many consider the 14th the signature hole, I consider it eye candy for golfers. To me 7, 14 and 16 are essentially the same hole, a par 3 protected by a water hazard. Why have 3 on the same course? Similarly, the 18th is the opposite hand of the 9th. A long par 4 with water right instead of left. The 9th is the number one handicap and the 18th is the number 2.
As with many Fazio designs the devil is in the greens. Be prepared to 2nd and triple guess yourself. My advice is follow the low point, but remember this is an artificial design as they moved tons of dirt to create the course. Overall, it is nice but i consider it a mass produced cookie cutter design. To move that much dirt, why are so many holes the same? Save your $$$