A Great Golf Hole: The 6th at Shell Landing

The Sixth At Shell Landing Golf Club, Gautier, Miss.

Featured in the USGA's Golf Journal Nov/Dec 2002

Course stats: 6,978-4,989 yards. Par 36-36-72

Designer notes: The seventh project completed by the design firm of Davis Love III, this was the first course it constructed outside of Georgia or South Carolina.

The canvas: The daily-fee course, which opened in November 2000, is located less than a mile from the Gulf of Mexico, amidst plentiful wetlands. Yet designers filled only three-quarters of an acre of wetlands in building the course. A variety of wildlife inhabit the grounds - including gopher tortoises, a threatened species indigenous to the southeastern U.S., that enjoy their own fenced-off 16-acre area.

By George! A relic across the marsh from the sixth green is a stark reminder of what can happen when Mother Nature unfurls her bitter fury: It's a wooden shrimp boat, a casualty of Hurricane Georges, which ripped through the area in 1998. While it doesn't come into play, the boat serves as a landmark along Shell Landing's No. 1 handicap hole, which has caused a shipwreck or two of its own.

Hello: Danger looms at the start as players must carry as much as 210 yards of wetlands to a fairway protected by two bunkers right and one left. An estuary, home to spawning shrimp, runs along the entire left side. A driver leaves golfers with a short- to mid-iron into the green.

Good-bye: Hitting the fairway is only half the battle. A 12,000-square-foot green sounds generous, but the only bailout area is right. The left and back are protected by marsh and a bunker guards the front-right. Adding to the challenge is the prevailing wind, which comes off the nearby Gulf and into the player's face.

  • 421 yards (black)
  • 311 yards (blue)
  • 497 yards (white)
  • 297 yards (silver)
  • 247 yards (gold)