Kiva Dunes

Kiva Dunes Resort Reopens-Making the Best even Better

In celebration of its 20-year anniversary, Kiva Dunes Golf & Beach Resort, Alabama’s only beachfront golf resort underwent a $3.5 million enhancement. The project included renovations to the award-winning Jerry Pate designed championship golf course and the addition of a new pool in the Kiva Beach subdivision overlooking the Gulf of Mexico in the town of Gulf Shores.

Kiva Dunes golf course renovations are aimed to improve the playability of the course for the average golfer, while maintaining the challenges and shot-values enjoyed by more experienced golfers. Houston based Heritage Links, which built Chambers Bay, site of the 2015 US Open, oversaw the renovations and enhancement project, which included:

  • Replacing the champion turf grass on the greens with a more temperate and golfer-friendly Tiff-Eagle bermuda turf.
  • Completely rebuilding and reshaping all the white sand bunkers.
  • Stabilizing the walls on many of the greens.
  • Leveling all the tee boxes.
  • Rototilling the Bermuda grass fairways; a process that disposes of the organic layering under the fairway and ensure for perfect lies and approach shots into the new greens.
  • Re-vegetation of native grasses and sandy dunes found throughout the course.
  • Improving the natural transitions between grasses and the indigenous beach landscape.

To ensure the integrity of the new renovations, U.S. Open winner and original course designer Jerry Pate oversaw the entire process. Pate was even spotted driving a bulldozer on the signature 13th green, a par 3. ” Sometimes you just have to do it yourself when you envision in your head how you want the bunkers to roll off the green. This is such a great hole ” Pate said. “Who else would I trust this with?” Jerry and developer Jim Edgemon collaborated on the original layout.

When asked about the renovations, Scott Russell, Director of Marketing for Kiva Dunes stated, “I’ve been watching a one-of-a-kind golf course be transformed into an even more unique and special gulf front experience. Heritage Links’ special touches are the things that make a course a great golf course, and the kind of tract that golfers seek out and include on their bucket list. Together, with Jerry’s vision,

Kiva Dunes has transformed into the type of course that will make your friends jealous if they aren’t with you on the first tee.”

In addition to the course renovation, a 12,000 square foot Pavilion at Kiva Beach is in development. The Pavilion will have a classical caribbean vernacular design and set atop some of the highest dunes on the Gulf Coast, directly on the Golf of Mexico. The centerpeice will be a pool(bringing the total to 4) surrounded by a sun deck and lounging chairs. The Pavilion will include private bath houses, and a fully-staffed bar and grill offering all the food and drink essentials for a day at the beach. The Pavilion at Kiva Beach will be a private facility for members only and a limited number of resort guests.

Located along the Alabama Gulf Coast, Kiva Dunes Golf & Beach Resort is the only beachfront golf resort in the state. The 18-hole, 7092 yard from the back tees, links style golf course serves as the centerpiece for the resort and residential community. Th beautiful layout meanders through the native sand dunes, lakes and natural wildlife preservations. Since its inception, Kiva Dunes has received numerous national awards and accolades including “Best Course in Alabama” in 2013 by Golf Digest and “Top 75 Golf Resorts” by Golf Week. In addition to the award winning golf course, the resort has a full service clubhouse offering fresh Gulf seafood in the Kiva Grill restaurant and specialty cocktails at the Tiki Hut patio. Meeting space is available for small and mid-size groups. For fitness enthusiasts, the resort offers a fitness room equipped with cardio machines and free weights. Other amenities include the swimming pools, a private secluded beach, and hard surface tennis courts. On-site accommodations, vacation and investment homes are available in 2 ,3 and 4-bedroom luxury condominiums and beach homes bordering the golf course or the Gulf of Mexico. The Resort is managed by Honours Golf of Birmingham, Alabama.

For more information visit or call 1-888-TEE-KIVA.

Dave Daubert

Lehigh University graduate, Procter & Gamble retired. Previously a Managing Editor and Feature Writer for a regional golf monthly magazine for 11 years. Married to wife Carol and residing in Solivita, an active adult community in Central Florida

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