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'Best-Of Casino Resort' list honors four Mississippi golf courses

11 January 2008

JACKSON, Mississippi -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) Division of Tourism announced that four acclaimed courses in the state have been voted onto Golfweek' Magazine's just published "25 Best Casino Courses" list.

The four courses – in order of rank with their architects – are: No. 2: Fallen Oak Golf Club (Tom Fazio); No. 7: Grand Bear Golf Club (Jack Nicklaus); No. 12: Dancing Rabbit Golf Club's Azaleas Course (Tom Fazio/Jerry Pate) and No. 16: Dancing Rabbit Golf Club's Oaks Course (Fazio/Pate).

Stated Golfweek about how the 25 Best Casino Courses broke down geographically: "Sunbelt courses dominate the list of 25 casino courses selected by the Golfweek's Best national panel of 450 raters. Arizona and Nevada have the strongest representations, with five courses apiece on the list, but Mississippi, a relative newcomer to the ranks of casino destinations, has four."

Golfweek raters examine overall strength of routing, feature shaping, natural setting, greens, variety and memorability of holes, conditioning and maintenance, landscape management and other criteria.

Fallen Oak is an amenity of the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, while Grand Bear is an amenity of the Grand Casino Biloxi, which is owned and operated by Harrah's. Dancing Rabbit is one of the many amenities at Pearl River Resort, the central Mississippi casino resort which is owned and operated by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.

Located 15 miles north of the Beau Rivage on a 510-acre tract, the magnificent course runs adjacent to the DeSoto National Forest. Fallen Oak is a "sister" course to Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, both MGM Mirage Resorts properties. Shadow Creek was rated No. 1 by Golfweek.

Fallen Oak opened in November 2006 and it measures 7,480 yards from the tips. The course is characterized by lush, rolling landscape covered in oak and pine ridges, magnolias, pecan groves, large lakes, winding streams and wetlands. It features 10 bridges and concealed cart paths to protect the terrain's natural features.

Grand Bear opened in 1999 and is peppered with towering pines, natural cypress wetlands, secluded fairways, deep bunkers and impeccably manicured greens. The course measures 7,204 yards from the "Grizzly Bear" tees and 4,802 from the "Teddy Bear" tees. Many who play Grand Bear say the course feels a little like Augusta with a dash of Pinehurst excitement mixed in.

Dancing Rabbit's Azaleas and Oaks courses roll out over a combined 14,000 breathtaking yards. Secluded among ancient pines and hardwoods, each of these par 72 masterpieces embraces the gently rolling hills and valleys indigenous to the region. Over two miles of spring-fed creeks and streams weave their way through the lush Bermuda and Zoysia fairways and Bentgrass greens, lending both challenge and beauty to the picturesque environment.

"Mississippi is the nation's third largest gaming destination and many of our casino resorts have excellent golf courses," says D. Craig Ray, the MDA's Tourism Division Director. "We invite everyone to visit Mississippi and experience first-hand why we are increasingly being recognized for our golf and gaming."

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