|The most exclusive of the four 18-hole tracks at the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort, the Burnt Pine layout is a Rees Jones design that offers stunning views of Choctawhatchee Bay on the back nine.|
Burnt Pine screams Rees Jones and it screams modern golf. While neither of these is my cup of tea, the course is pretty and worth playing. There is water everywhere and forced carries and it makes it a difficult track. It seems at some point, even low cappers would have a blow up hole somewhere, I certainly did. I will say that of the courses in Sandestin, this was probably the best in my opinion. So if you are on a family vacation there, I'd encourage you to play it. Just bring an extra sleeve or two.
Burnt Pine is a challenging golf course. Don’t take my word for it. Just ask the USGA. The 5910 yard tees slope at 137. No doubt the presence of water is one factor. The liquid stuff comes into play on all but 6 holes, including forced carries on three of the four par 3 holes. It also gets a bit monotonous. On the first ten holes, any water is always on the player’s left. Then it’s all on the right on holes 12,13,15,16,17.
The long distances from green to tee creates a separation that makes even the good holes less memorable. And only four tee shots require much strategic thought and only one par 5 (the 2nd) makes the golfer think on the second shot. There are some redeeming features, the most apparent being the interesting green complexes.