Mississippi Golf World Class
by Scott A. Sumner
The opportunity to play some golf in Mississippi seemed very appealing to me. Firstly I had never been to Mississippi although nearby in Alabama and Florida. Secondly Hurricane Katrina had taken its toll on the state and I knew it would be interesting to see. Thirdly I would be able to se the Gulf Coast after earlier this year playing golf on courses on the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Staying at the Beau Rivage, a 1740 room casino costing over $1 billion was an absolute treat. This Las Vegas type property was originally built by legendary gaming icon Steve Wynn and then sold to MGM Mirage. The spectacular property with 87,000 square feet of gaming, 50,000 square feet of meeting space, 1500 seat state of the art theatre,12 restaurants and 4000 employees was originally built at a cost of $800 million. After Katrina when it had 12 feet of water in the gaming area it was completely renovated and expanded to the tune of another $550 million making it a spectacular property. The Beau Rivage does 40% of the gaming business of over $1 billion annually in the Gulfport Biloxi area which gives you an idea of the success of the operation. Incidently the $550 million renovation was completed in 1 year allowing the property to open exactly 1year after the storm. That in itself was an amazing construction accomplishment which allowed 4000 people to get back to work!
A new amenities of the Beau Rivage was their own world class golf course, Fallen Oak which opened November 6th, 2006 to great reviews.Designed by well known golf architect Tom Fazio on 510 acres the 18 hole course is about a 25 minute ride by Limo from the
casino. Fallen Oak was ranked number 2 best new course by Golf Digest in the USA in 2007. That is quite an honour given the number of exceptional new courses coming on stream each year. . Only casino guests can play course which is 7487 yards in length and features pot
type bunkers with grass lips a Fazio predominate look which from the air form an appearance like a oak tree. Built at a cost of $40 to $45 million Fallen Oak includes a beautiful13,000 square feet clubhouse complete with an award winning bar overlooking the 18th hole that has won awards itself.
If you are staying at Beau Rivage a round will cost $200 Sun to Thursday and $ 300 from Friday to Saturday. Your green fee includes everything such as cleaning up your golf shoes and installing new spikes if needed, complimentary snacks, cart and range balls. For a candy lover like myself it is quite a tret to have chocolate bars, chips and gatorade available in the locker room as well as with the cart girl at no cost! Located in the Desoto National Forest, the land was orginally bought by Steve Winn who sold his company to the MGM Mirage company. They developed the course as an amenity of the casino. Fallen Oak gets 8 to 9000 rounds
of play per yer which is amazing for a golf course of this calaber. You will enjoy a special round of golf at Fallen Oak as I did on a cool sunny day where the course was almost my own! The course is very playable and you can see all the shots in front of you. In my last 5 years of golf I have played over 100 course throughout the world. Fallen Oak just may be at the top of my list!