Osceola Golf Course in Pensacola Gets Big Makeover

    By Tim McDonald

    Everybody gets excited when a fancy new golf course designed by a big-time, celebrity architect opens, but there are many of us who love it just as much when older courses, particularly municipal tracks, get facelifts. If done right, it's like restoring a classic, 1964 Mustang.

    Municipal courses – "munis," as they are usually called – are those public places where you can see every class of golfer, from the old geezers enjoying retirement to the young bucks just learning the game. They're affordable, community gathering spots with golf at the core.

    The Osceola Municipal Golf Course in Pensacola opened in 1926, from a design by Bill Melhorn, known as "Wild Bill" from his days on the PGA Tour back in the 20s. It's a classic muni at only 6,405 yards from the back tees and relatively easy, as evidenced by its 114 slope rating. It keeps a lot of people entertained, judging by the approximately 55,000 rounds played there annually.

    The old gal got a facelift last year and re-opened in October. The course got new greens and new tee boxes, and they reconfigured some of the holes and added new cart paths. They also added a driving range where you can hit a bucket of balls for $5. They even remodeled the clubhouse and now have a new menu.

    Still cheap, though. The daily rate now is $27 for 18 holes and they also have a "super Tuesday" rate of $22, including cart. It's so short and walkable though, I'd bring or rent a pull cart, which they have available. Nothing better than walking and playing golf in the cool of a Florida winter.

    Call 850-453-7599 for more info.