Located in Perdido Key, Florida, Lost Key Golf Club is an easy 15-minute drive from the eastern Gulf Shores area of Alabama, and one heck of a test of accurate golf.
An Arnold Palmer signature design that opened to the public in 2006, I had heard prior to our Gulf Shores trip from several golf enthusiast friends that this might be the hardest course in the world, and was expecting to see 10-yard wide fairways and ponds with water moccasins and alligators every twenty yards waiting for someone with an errant tee shot to come along.
I brought an extra dozen balls, and while I did not need quite that many, I will admit that it is a very challenging golf course (which is evident with its 144 slope from 6800 yards!).
The fairways at Lost Key are tight and well protected by water hazards and wooded areas. Beyond the difficulty of the driving target areas, though, the layout is very interesting with a ton of potential. My friend, Mike, who is a 3-handicap, said it was his favorite course layout of our trip, if only the greens would have been in better condition – they were a bit splotchy for our round.
I really enjoyed the par threes at Lost Key, and the course especially has some very strong par four holes. This is far from a cookie-cutter course, with a lot of interesting design elements that make for strategic golf.
In addition to the golf course, Lost Key has a ton of extra amenities, including a beautiful modern clubhouse, marina, pool and fitness center, and on-site condominiums and rentals. The property is very pretty and located just inland from the Gulf Shores coast shared by Florida and Alabama.
Lost Key starts out with a long par four. Like the majority of the course, the landing zone off the tee is narrow and tree-lined. Anything errant is likely lost, but the fairways roll out very well.