Golf Series: Rocky Bayou Country Club


By Sandy North

As the old saying goes, “The only constant in life is change.” For over 50 years, Rocky Bayou Country Club (RBCC) has embraced this philosophy as it’s grown into the social and recreational hub for thousands of residents who call Niceville “home.”

Rocky Bayou Golf ClubRBCC is the area’s only member-owned club and features over 100 acres of championship golf unique to Northwest Florida—rolling hills, sprawling oaks, and five spring-fed lakes set it apart from the norm. It’s hosted three U.S. Open Qualifiers (2014, 2017 and 2023) and is consistently voted one of the top courses on the Emerald Coast. You’ll find it hard to beat the combination of great course conditions and surprisingly affordable rates.

Having said that, RBCC is not your grandfather’s country club. It has more members under 40 years old than in any other category of membership. Collared shirts are still required, but this club is certainly not old-fashioned! From the moment your car turns onto the tree-lined drive, there’s no doubt you’re heading somewhere special. RBCC’s atmosphere is relaxed and inviting; and its staff welcomes members, guests, and the public with an equal measure of warmth and attention.

On any given day, you’ll find families at the pool and driving range, golfers enjoying cold beer and music on the deck, and diners coming from near and far to sample the culinary treats of award-winning chef, Food and Beverage Director Dan Pettis. And although RBCC allows limited outside play, membership is still the heart of the club. The linchpin in its long history of success is the focus on exceptional golf, stellar customer service, and an enduring commitment to serving the needs of its members.

Even if you never swing a club, you can still enjoy what Rocky has to offer. The Crooked Tree Grille is open to everyone—members and non-members—seven days a week. It has a full-service bar, daily lunch menu, and dinner specials scheduled nearly every Friday night. The adjacent clubhouse banquet room is available for weddings, anniversaries, business meetings, and civic events; and, if you can imagine it, Chef Dan and staff can make it happen. Of course, it’s hard to beat the million-dollar view of the lakes and rolling hills from the Grille deck. The Crooked Tree is truly the perfect spot to enjoy a casual lunch meeting or appetizers and cocktails with friends.

RBCC regularly hosts tournaments and mixers, has active Men’s and Ladies’ Golf Associations, offers open daily golf gaggles, a seasonal swimming pool from May through October, lake fishing for all members, daily play discounts for active duty and retired military, and a robust junior golf program built on supporting our local school teams. RBCC is proud to be Niceville’s Hometown Course and offers something for nearly everyone!

In late spring, the Club welcomed a new General Manager, Jim Phillips, who brought with him a wealth of knowledge regarding course management and operations. Jim has been tasked with taking Rocky “to the next level” and is without question up for the job: “I came here from Boca West, so I understand what it takes to deliver an excellent round of golf and top-tier customer service. I also spent much of my professional career in a smaller town in Indiana; so, I get the importance of an engaged membership and strong community ties. I plan on drawing from both of these experiences to make Rocky even stronger than it already is.”

As mentioned early on, change is never-ending; and RBCC has seen plenty in five decades from new greens to updated layouts to improved facilities. The one thing that never changes, however, is the Club’s commitment to excellence. Based on its past record, we have no doubt RBCC will be around for many years to come. Book your next round with them—you won’t be disappointed!