WHERE WE PLAY Dancing Rabbit GC
LET’S FACE I T: Dancing Rabbit GC might be in Philadelphia, but it’s in the middle of nowhere. The nearly two-hour
drive northeast from Mississippi’s capital of Jackson to the
ancestral lands of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
in Philadelphia, Miss., seemed eternal to our anxious band
of golfers. Seventeen-Mile Drive it ain’t.
Upon arrival, though, we discovered Dancing Rabbit is
worth any length drive. The 36-hole facility is part of the
Pearl River Resort, whose Silver Star Hotel & Casino,
Golden Moon Hotel & Casino, Bok Homa Casino, Geyser
Falls Water Theme Park and Clearwater Key rise from the
featureless landscape to greet visitors.
Tom Fazio and Jerry Pate sculpted the 7,128-yard, par-72
Azaleas course—reserved exclusively for resort guests—
from the region’s ancient pines and hardwoods. Opened in
July 1997, it conjured up images of Augusta National as
azaleas exploded in full bloom throughout the immaculately
manicured layout, whose numerous awards include a No. 5
spot in Golf Digest’s “Best In State.”
Meanwhile, the 7,076-yard, par-72 Oaks course—also a
highly acclaimed Fazio/Pate effort, opened in 1999—features
many elevation changes and large, undulating greens.
Oaks was routed through the same wooded template as its
adjacent, older sister, but, since 2005, has offered golfers a
different experience. Chalk the impromptu landscaping
renovation up to Hurricane Katrina, which flattened more
than 1,000 trees (incredibly, Azaleas only sustained minor
damage), opening up vistas on many holes. —S.D.
COURTESY OF DANCING RABBIT GC
NOW YOU KNOW
Dancing Rabbit’s southern
has eight second-floor
guest rooms and a
common area, making it
suitable for small groups.
Guests can use private golf
carts to navigate the resort.
Dancing Rabbit GC
1 Choctaw Trail Hwy. 16 West
Philadelphia, MS 39350
Peak green fee: $130
The 18th hole at Dancing
Rabbit GC’s Oaks course.