JACKSON, Miss. -- The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) Division of Tourism announces that six Mississippi golf courses earned distinction in Golfweek's new "Top-50 Casino Courses" list.
The courses - along with their affiliated casino resorts - are:
• No. 2: Fallen Oak (Beau Rivage Resort & Casino)
• No. 26: Grand Bear Golf Course (Grand Biloxi Casino Hotel & Spa)
• No. 32: The Preserve Golf Club (Palace Casino Resort)
• No. 34: Dancing Rabbit Golf Club, Azaleas Course (Pearl River Resort)
• No. 38: Dancing Rabbit Golf Club, Oaks Course (Pearl River Resort)
• No. 46: Shell Landing (IP Casino Resort & Spa)
Mississippi is one of two states to have more than five courses on the list and has the second-most overall, behind Arizona (eight) and ahead of Nevada and California. Golfweek annually recognizes the best golfing and gaming destinations across the nation by sending out more than 730 course raters to survey over 3,000 courses. The criterion includes routing, conditioning, variety and memorability of holes.
"Mississippi is a leading golf-and-gaming destination in North America and we continually strive to improve guest satisfaction at our casino resorts and courses," said MDA Director Brent Christensen. "Our courses are in excellent condition, and with optimal, year-round weather and a variety of non-golf activities, we encourage everyone to experience first-hand Mississippi's True South charm."
Fallen Oak is the "sister" course of Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, which is No. 1 on the list. The Tom Fazio design annually hosts the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic, the PGA Champions Tour event - won by Fred Couples last year - that will be played March 18-24, 2013.
Like Fallen Oak, Grand Bear resides in The Coastal Region of the state. The classic Jack Nicklaus creation is set deep inside the DeSoto Forest along the red-clay banks of the Big Biloxi and Little Biloxi Rivers. Dancing Rabbit's Azaleas and Oaks are the combined efforts of Fazio and Jerry Pate and encompass more than 700 acres of gentle rolling hills and valleys in The Pines Region.
The Preserve, another Pate layout, and Shell Landing, a Davis Love III design, are also nearby the Gulf Coast. As its name indicates, The Preserve sits on a large tract of undisturbed terrain while Shell Landing winds through a combination of tall pines, marshes and bayous.
For information on special stay-and-play packages to Mississippi visit www.visitmississippi.org/golf.aspx or call toll-free 1-866-801-8551 to receive a free Golf Travel Guide and suggested itineraries.
About Mississippi Golf:
Attractions contributing to Mississippi's growing popularity as the preferred golf-and-travel destination include:
• More than 170 courses offering a variety of price points and designs from world-class architects such as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Jerry Pate and Tom Fazio
• Year-round golf weather with temperate conditions throughout five distinct regions -- The Hills, The Delta, The Capital/River, The Pines, The Coastal
• Home to two annual PGA TOUR events: The Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic of the Champions Tour, played at Fallen Oak (March 18-24, 2013) and the True South Classic of the PGA TOUR, played at Annandale Golf Club (July 15-21, 2013).
• Third-largest gaming destination in North America, featuring exciting gaming, upscale shopping, live entertainment, luxurious spas and internationally acclaimed golf courses
• Birthplace of blues, rock 'n roll and country music. Mississippi Blues Trail and Country Music Trail markers are placed at key sites around the state to honor musicians and give visitors insight into the state's diverse musical heritage
• World-famous, authentic southern cuisine offering savory barbecue, fresh seafood and French-Cajun delicacies
• A busy calendar of more than 400 unique events scheduled throughout the year
• A host of non-golf activities including boating, fishing, bird-watching, hiking, biking, hunting, camping and more
For more information, visit www.visitmississippi.org or call toll-free 1-866-801-8551.
Gary Trask, 978.228.0314
Dan Shepherd, 703.891.3320