Golf News for Monday, March 1, 2010 | Business

IP Casino, Resort & Spa in Biloxi, Mississippi joins with Shell Landing Golf Club

JACKSON, Miss. -- The Mississippi Development Authority announces another golf and casino resort tandem has joined the state's acclaimed inventory in this popular tourism category.

The IP Casino, Resort & Spa in Biloxi and Shell Landing Golf Club have forged a partnership which will promote each brand, offer stay-and-play packages, foster e-mail promotions to each data base, golf-and-gaming tournaments, and raise funds for local charities.

The strategic pairing further cements Mississippi's reputation as the best golf-and-gaming destination in North America. No other destination has the acclaimed inventory (quantity and quality), variety of course and casino styles, price points and locations as does the Magnolia State, where the world-famous Southern hospitality makes every visit seem special.

Designed by PGA TOUR star Davis Love III, Shell Landing is a par-72, 7,024-yard course located a mile from the Mississippi sound. Rolling hills, pine trees surrounded by blue stem grasses, coastal marshlands and pine savannahs define the inspired routing. The "IP" is an AAA Four-Diamond hotel sought after by discerning casino aficionados as well as groups and conventions, which value the high-quality services offered.

Casino resorts with top-shelf golf courses are found throughout the state. Tunica in northern Mississippi near Memphis boasts an array of casinos and compelling golf options, as does the Gulf Coast. Central Mississippi's Pearl River Resort and Dancing Rabbit Golf Club is home to multiple casinos and courses designed by Tom Fazio and Jerry Pate.

Shell Landing Golf Club can be reached at 228-497-5683. Guests may call IP Casino Resort & Spa for additional information (228-436-3000) or visit these Web sites www.ipbiloxi.com and www.shelllanding.com.

Resorts, courses garner national acclaim from GOLF Magazine
Two Mississippi resorts with golf amenities were voted among the "best" in North America by GOLF Magazine readers for their superlative courses, lodging and other amenities.

Harrah's Grand Biloxi Casino, Hotel & Spa and Beau Rivage Resort & Casino were singled out for distinction in GOLF's "Premier Resorts 2010". GOLF Magazine's reader awards were conducted via an online survey. Six thousand discerning golf aficionados voted for the best North American courses and resorts in these categories: golf, food & drink, lodging and service. The results appear in the March 2010 issue, on newsstands now, online at www.Golf.com.

Grand Bear is a Jack Nicklaus design adjacent to DeSoto National Forest. A value-priced amenity of Harrah's Grand Biloxi Casino, golfers enjoy the secluded brilliance of its setting and design, which carve through pines and abuts the Little Biloxi River in places (800-WIN-2-WIN, www.grandcasinobiloxi.com).

Tom Fazio hit the jackpot with his Fallen Oak design, a Beau Rivage amenity, which will host a Champions Tour event in April (see the next item below for details). Opened in 2006, Fallen Oak is a muscular, pure golf experience with expansive fairways, cavernous bunkers and large, bedeviling greens (228-386-7444, www.beaurivage.com).

Champions Tour Event Preps for Debut; Volunteer Opportunities Available
The inaugural Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic (MGRC) is scheduled to debut April 28 - May 2 at Tom Fazio-designed Fallen Oak, an amenity of Biloxi's Beau Rivage Resort & Casino.

The MGRC is one of 26 official events on the Champions Tour for 2010, and favorites Hal Sutton, Loren Roberts, Bernhard Langer, Tom Kite, Hale Irwin, Jay Haas, Fuzzy Zoeller and Fred Funk are expected to compete for the $1.6 million purse and a $240,000 winner's share.

Beau Rivage and Fallen Oak are located near several award-winning golf courses and casino resorts on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The area and this tournament is a perfect place to combine watching world-famous golfers on a spectacular course - rated the 19th best in America by Golf Digest magazine (out of more than 13,500) - with a little gaming and personal golf in one convenient, affordable trip.

If you want even more involved, Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic volunteers are sought to work on committees, including marshals, admissions, Golf Channel liaison, leader boards, Pro-Am registration and transportation.

All volunteers are required to purchase the volunteer package for $55 (a $400 value) consisting of a tournament golf shirt and a ball cap or visor. In addition, each volunteer will be provided with a credential valid for admission each day of the tournament, plus five additional general admission tickets. This will allow volunteers to stay and watch golf when not working. Each volunteer will also receive a voucher for complimentary round of golf at Grand Bear - a Jack Nicklaus design also rated among the nation's best - parking pass and complimentary food and beverage while volunteering. Additionally, volunteers will be invited to a special Thursday night volunteer appreciation party at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and receive a coupon for a buffet dinner at the Beau Rivage next door. The volunteer commitment will be approximately 15 hours, or three shifts, during the course of the tournament.

Interested volunteers should visit www.mississippigulfresortclassic.com to apply, a full description of committee responsibilities is provided there.

For more information, contact Julie Finn, volunteer director, at (228) 896-6365.

About Mississippi
In addition to great courses and fine casino resorts, Mississippi is home to the Blues Trail, five distinct regions ranging from the Delta to the Gulf Coast, world-famous chefs and their gastronomic delights, and its unparalleled southern hospitality.

For more information about Mississippi call toll-free 866-801-8551, or go to www.visitmississippi.org and receive a free Golf Travel Guide, suggested play-and-stay itineraries and other attractions.

It offers temperate year-round golf weather, the mighty Mississippi River, family-themed attractions including parks, lakes, beaches, and birding trails, as well as history and architecture, including stunning Antebellum Era mansions turned award-winning B&B venues