The Regatta Bay Golf Experience


By Barbara Palmgren

Regatta Bay Golf CourseSome people have a vision of success that turns their dream into a legend for the ages. Did Peter Bos envision that his dream of a community built with one of the finest golf courses in the country would become just that…legendary? His company, Legendary, Inc., began in 1996 when the Coleman L. Kelly Testamentary Trust, entrusted Peter as broker, developer and planner for Regatta Bay. With 800 acres, the homes on the first lots were built in 1996. The Regatta Bay Golf and Yacht Club golf course was developed at the same time and opened in 1998. Now, Regatta Bay attracts visitors from all over the world.

Yes, Peter Bos, to borrow and change a few lines from Tina Turner, Regatta Bay is:

Simply the best.
Better than all the rest.
Better than any course,
Golf at its very best.
I’m stuck on your landmark greens,
Fairways and bunkers, too.
I’ll come here again,
For there’s no better place,
You’re simply the best.

In 2009, Mike Giammaresi, a graduate of the University of North Florida, visited the Destin area with his girlfriend. She was employed in the area and Mike, a member of the college golf team, saw an ad for a job at Regatta Bay. Starting out with golf cart and pro shop experiences, his employment ended when he moved to Germany for three years to support his wife’s merchandising career. In 2013, back in the area, Mike returned to Regatta Bay as head golf professional. Then in 2014, Mike was trusted with running the club.

Mike Giammaresi, at the helm of this excellent course, devotes his time, intelligence and hard work to elevate Regatta Bay to the prestigious position it now holds in the golf world. Both Golf Digest and Golf World rank Regatta Bay as one of the top 200 golf courses in the nation. The club lists 344 members composed of full-time golfers, non-resident golfers and social members. Members and the public enjoy as beautiful an indoor space as the gorgeous golf course surrounding it. The clubhouse welcomes one into an elegant restaurant with a well-stocked bar and an inviting pro shop. There is even a members’ lounge, that special place where golf mistakes can be reviewed.

Regatta Bay Golf Club hosts at least 25 events each year for members and charitable organizations. Tee times can be booked at and vary in price depending on time of day. The Par 72 course has championship black tees as well as several other tee options for average to beginning golfers. The owners and staff want to be sure they implement their mission statement, “To provide an experience that exceeds expectations of visitors and residents in Destin and beyond: constantly enhancing the beauty, planning, quality and up-scale style of the Destin area by developing the Legendary brand as the standard for quality and service.”

Why do golfers play this special course?

It appears to be a must-play for visiting golfers who come to the Emerald Coast. The meticulous layout, crafted by architect Robert C. Walker, blends lush fairways, pristine greens and stunning water features, all set against a backdrop of landscapes unique to the Florida Panhandle. Golfers warm up on a putting green and driving range before stepping up to the first tee box. Regatta Bay’s professional staff load and unload bags and welcome you immediately to the beginning of a unique golf challenge.

I have personally played golf at Regatta Bay and can attest to strategically placed bunkers that lure my golf ball like a magnet. I wish I could say my game involved skill and strategy, but that wouldn’t be true. Regardless of the loss of balls and the two-foot missed putt, I leave the course with a smile and a thank you for that perfect blend of natural beauty, superb design and the welcoming atmosphere that elevates the entire golf experience. Regatta Bay Golf and Yacht Club is the benchmark for others to achieve because it is, “Simply the Best.”

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