A new millennium offering from Davis Love III, the course at Shell Landing Golf Club weaves in and out of sizeable tracts of Biloxi marsh and wetland areas. Unlike many golf facilities in the region which are backed by casinos, Shell Landing operates on its own merits, with wide fairways routed through a forest of trees and some holes playing along salt marshes and scenic inlets.
Notable holes on the outward nine include the 555-yard 3rd (played to a fairway that’s guarded by a couple of bunkers on the right and a long sand hazard down the left) and the 412-yard 6th (regarded as the signature hole), where the tee shot has to carry a marshland area then the approach needs to fly a pond protecting the front of the putting surface.
On the inward half, water runs along the left of the fairway before cutting in front of the green on the 414-yard 14th; there’s three bunkers at the back of the 193-yard 17th to catch over hit tee shots; and the home green on the 439-yard 18th sits behind a big bunker to the front left side, bringing a round here to a stylish end.
Many people may not think of Mississippi as a golf hot spot and frankly it does not have the sheer depth of courses but the ones that are good clearly make a statement that quality golf is available for those who keep their eyes open.
Shell Landing is the handiwork of Davis Love III and his efforts here came before the more visible creation like Diamante Dunes in Cabo.
The course is wonderfully routed and the holes are quite varied and appropriately challenging. Far too many times when you get a layout with little elevation change the net result can be predictable and often times maddeningly redundant. Not so at Shell Landing.
The main deficiency rests with the greens. They are not especially noteworthy in terms of general contours or the way the surrounding areas are crafted off the putting surfaces. If there should ever be a renovation of the course in years to come I'd say updating the green contours would only add to the overall standing of Shell Landing.
M. James Ward
I agree with your overall assessment. I played here too long ago to give a current rating. I played Shell Landing on May 6, 2003 as part of a golf trip with seven others to the area where we played the RTJ courses near Mobile, Alabama and also played a course that I have rated as the third worst course I have ever played To be fair, a substantial hurricane had occurred only a few months before.
I felt Shell Landing to have a good routing and a nice mixture of holes but the greens were both slow and uninteresting. When we played it, they offered a replay rate of 50% off (I think $30 back then) but no one other than me wanted to play it a second time. It actually could be a very good course if they fixed the greens even if it might not climb in the rankings of best in Mississippi given Fallen Oak, Mossy Oak,and Old Waverly. One would hope the current ownership would make the needed adjustments to the greens perhaps two-three holes at a time, but I suspect it will never get enough play/revenue to justify closing holes.