Gulf Shores and Orange Beach may be renowned for having 32 miles of pristine white-sand beaches but I would argue that if you are looking for ultimate relaxation, you should head over to Kiva Dunes Golf Course. Ok, so let’s start by reiterating the fact that I am an avid golfer and whenever we are traveling around the world, I always love to have the opportunity to hit the links and test my skills on the best courses in the area. Even if golf isn’t your favorite pastime, taking some time to experience Kiva Dunes is definitely a worthwhile activity during your visit to the Gulf Coast!
When you think about a Gulf Shores and Orange Beach getaway, adding a round of golf to your itinerary should certainly be something that you consider. You could certainly choose far worse destinations to hit the links and what better place to improve your golfing skills than along the Gulf Coast.
You don’t have to be a scratch golfer to appreciate Kiva Dunes Golf Course and in fact, even Heather can attest that the breathtaking natural landscapes here are worth experiencing on their own.
Having previously visited Gulf Shores and enjoyed the gorgeous Peninsula Golf Course, when we heard rumors that Kiva Dunes was even more spectacular, well we were ready to check it out for ourselves. Let’s take a look at how my experience at Kiva Dunes Golf Course unfolded and perhaps you will be ready to enjoy 18 holes at one of Alabama’s finest courses to your next visit to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach!
Kiva Dunes Golf Course Information
Aspiring golfers heading to Gulf Shores should certainly pack their golf clubs (or use the awesome Ship Sticks service!) and get ready for the round of a lifetime at Kiva Dunes Golf Course! When we read that Kiva Dunes was frequently ranked as one of the best courses in the nation, we knew that there was something pretty special awaiting us.
Kiva Dunes Golf Course consistently ranks as one of the top courses in the country and the top course in Alabama. (Kiva Dunes)
I think a great place to start with Kiva Dunes is to take a quick look back at the history of this golf course. When you hear about how this course came about, you will be raring to head to Gulf Shores and experience it for yourself.
Two University of Alabama golfers were playing in separate groups at their home course in Tuscaloosa. Jim Edgemon was playing behind a young golfer who was working on his putting on the green when he saw him motion to play up to the green.
When Edgemon struck his shot, the young golfer knew that it looked pretty good and he pulled out the pin to see the ball disappear for a hole in one! That youngster, by the way, was a certain Jerry Pate, the future winner of the 1976 US Open!
Twenty years later when Edgemon was getting ready to design Kiva Dunes, he didn’t seek out one of the infamous architects, instead opted for Pate! Together, they created the unique challenge that we see today and I can certainly confirm, they did a pretty amazing job.
Kiva Dunes Golf Course is not only unique in terms of design and character but also with the dynamic pricing scheme used for daily green fees. Determined by the demand of tee times each day, there is real-time constant change so it’s highly recommended that if you are considering playing Kiva Dunes that you continue to check out the website for the latest prices.
The real benefit of adopting this dynamic pricing structure is that it offers more flexibility for golfers who want to choose the right time and day to play the course! The philosophy is pretty simple…
The earlier you book your tee time, the more you will save.
815 Plantation Drive
Gulf Shores, AL 36542
Website: Kiva Dunes
Golf on the Gulf Coast
After arriving at the golf course about 20 minutes before our tee time, we were greeted by a friendly employee who brought us a golf cart as we prepared for our adventure at Kiva Dunes.
With a few minutes before our tee time, we had the opportunity to hit a few balls on the driving range and also sample the immaculate greens that really looked like carpet!
If you don’t know much about golf courses, visit Kiva Dunes Golf Course and you will quickly realize that this is a perfectly manicured course.
I am not going to give you a shot by shot analysis of our performance at Kiva Dunes but rather let you know that there are some incredible golf holes out here. You cannot help but admire the gorgeous surroundings as you make your way around the course.
A distinctive blend of signature par 3’s, challenging par 4’s and rewarding par 5’s make this golf course one that you need to play well in order to have a good score.
The 17th hole is possibly my favorite at Kiva Dunes Golf Course, especially if you play it from the back (gold) tees. At 215 yards, it’s a solid par 3 but what makes this so spectacular is the water that covers the left side.
Sure, you can bail out to the right but if you have a good scorecard you will likely be tempted to hit directly at the green. It’s a definite risk-reward hole and a breathtaking sight from the tee box!
As you walk down the 18th, the impressive sight of the clubhouse is undoubtedly the focal point though it would be remiss of you to ignore the water lining the right side of the fairway all the way to the green!
The 18th green is 13,000 square feet, so you will want to hit your approach shot to the right spot otherwise, you may be faced with a pretty lengthy putt.
Kiva Dunes Vacation Rentals
If you fall in love with Kiva Dunes as much as we did, perhaps you will want to consider staying at one of their on-site properties. Whether you are looking for a romantic couples getaway, a family vacation or perhaps a spot for a guys getaway, Kiva Dunes is the perfect place to stay.
A range of spacious condominiums (Kiva Lodge and Kiva Village) along with a number of gorgeous coastal homes are available for rent, so you can be sure that there will be something to fit your needs.
The beauty of staying at Kiva Dunes is that you can enjoy the gorgeous beaches, the spectacular golf course but also for those of you that want something completely different, you are just minutes from historic Fort Morgan where you can explore a historic battlefield.
Kiva Dunes Golf Course is certainly in the upper echelons of courses that I have played around the world. The layout, condition, and challenge combine to create a perfect golf course experience and everything you could wish for when hitting the links along the Gulf Coast.
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama may not be renowned as a golfing haven in comparison to some other destinations but we would argue that Kiva Dunes Golf Course certainly should put this location on the radar of aspiring golfers around the world. Be sure to pay this spot a visit, you won’t regret it!
Disclaimer – We would like to thank Visit Gulf Shores and Orange Beach for hosting us and in conjunction with Kiva Dunes Golf Course, we received a complimentary round of golf in exchange for consideration of a blog post review. These are solely our personal opinions/experiences and we were not financially compensated for this post.