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HJJ003

Kiva Dunes/Gulf Shores- Labor Day Weekend Trip

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Hey all!
 

My family(extended as well) and I are headed to stay at the Kiva Dunes Resort later this year (Labor Day weekend) and I am doing much of the planning/coordinating. Therefore, I have a few questions for my TST friends that may have stayed at the resort, played the course, or have been to Gulf Shores. I found a few threads that mentioned a few things, but nothing very detailed. So here are some questions: 

1) Has anyone here played the course? What were your impressions? 

2) The course utilizes "Dynamic Pricing" even for resort guests....have you used this before and is it as big of a pain as it sounds? 

3) Has anyone stayed at the resort itself? Any thoughts on resort/accommodations? We are staying in a house one street away from the beach, but can see the gulf from the porch balcony. 

4) We have quite a few kiddos (8 and under) going on the trip with us...so any good family activities in the GS area that you recommend? 

5) FOOOOOODDD....I love food...any restaurants or eateries that are "can't miss"?

Thanks for any feedback in advance! I know I am early, but with a big group we like to plan ahead of time lol. 

Annnndddd I put this in the wrong thread...dang it....mods please assist. 

Edited by HJJ003

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For food, I strongly recommend making the drive up to Foley and visiting Lambert's Cafe (https://throwedrolls.com/). Some of the best food you will ever eat. We went 3 nights in a row last time I visited. The chicken fried steak will make you slap your momma. Make sure you bring cash and they do not accept credit cards. But not many restaurants where you can have rolls thrown at your head from across the restaurant. 

 

I didn't play Kiva Dunes, but did play GlenLakes in Foley (http://www.glenlakesgolf.com/courses/). It was a very fun course. They have 27 holes and the back 9 was links style. Great pace of play since it is away from the beach. This was a couple years ago so hoping the course is still in the shape it was when I played. Golf Advisor's recent reviews all are pretty positive though - https://www.golfadvisor.com/courses/15401-glenlakes-golf-club-lakes-course//. 

 

Have fun!

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Plenty of food opportunities in the area.  Kiva Dunes is a very nice course, not easy.  Good amount of sand and water, and you will likely see an alligator or two or three....

Pricing is not bad and you will find it challenging.  There are a couple of other courses not far away that are nice and are reasonably priced.  Check out The Peninsula Golf and Racket Club.  It is open to the public, or at least it was a few years ago....

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1 hour ago, Osnola said:

Plenty of food opportunities in the area.  Kiva Dunes is a very nice course, not easy.  Good amount of sand and water, and you will likely see an alligator or two or three....

Pricing is not bad and you will find it challenging.  There are a couple of other courses not far away that are nice and are reasonably priced.  Check out The Peninsula Golf and Racket Club.  It is open to the public, or at least it was a few years ago....

Thanks! yeah I have heard that kiva is playable from the tee on most holes but the greens are well protected and fast. Lots of wind too from what I keep hearing. 

Thanks I’ll check out the other course you recommended. 

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On 7/10/2018 at 1:54 PM, gray said:

For food, I strongly recommend making the drive up to Foley and visiting Lambert's Cafe (https://throwedrolls.com/). Some of the best food you will ever eat. We went 3 nights in a row last time I visited. The chicken fried steak will make you slap your momma. Make sure you bring cash and they do not accept credit cards. But not many restaurants where you can have rolls thrown at your head from across the restaurant. 

 

I didn't play Kiva Dunes, but did play GlenLakes in Foley (http://www.glenlakesgolf.com/courses/). It was a very fun course. They have 27 holes and the back 9 was links style. Great pace of play since it is away from the beach. This was a couple years ago so hoping the course is still in the shape it was when I played. Golf Advisor's recent reviews all are pretty positive though - https://www.golfadvisor.com/courses/15401-glenlakes-golf-club-lakes-course//. 

 

Have fun!

Second, third and fourth the Lambert's Cafe recommendation. My family (extended as well) make an annual pilgrimage to Gulf Shores every summer. We begin our trip with a stop at Lambert's for lunch of the Saturday we  pull into town. Not only is it slap ya (need the correct enunciation here) momma good, there will be leftovers for the next day!  We also usually arrange at least one other meal there during the week. 

If you are a cajun boil kind of family, Gulf Shores Seafood has a takeout meal that is really good and saves you the hassle of boiling the crab and shrimp yourself. If you want to get sucked into the "tourist trap" that is Lulu's, Tacky Jacks and The Hangout, the food is good (but so it the long wait time). If you have kids, spend a couple of hours at the Hangout, there is stuff for them. Another fun outing for the little ones would be the Track. It has go karts and small amusement type rides.

As far as golf, I played Kiva Dunes my first time in GS about 6 years ago. The course just didn't do anything for me. For the last 5 years, I have been playing at The Peninsula Golf and Racket Club. This year for the first time they offered "Member for a week" and for I think $170, I was a member for the week. 5 rounds in 6 days. That was great for me. The course is usually in good condition and the people there could not be nicer. 

We love Gulf Shores. There is just enough to do without overwhelming you with feeling like you have to do something all the time. 

PS....if you venture into GS for the day, stop in at the Flipflop Deli Shop. It's a tremendously good deli, meat stacked to the ceiling on the sandwich and is owned and operated by a good old Razorback!!!! Tell him Doug from Dallas sent ya and Whoo Pig Sooie!

Edited by dzclarkcpa

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15 minutes ago, dzclarkcpa said:

Second, third and fourth the Lambert's Cafe recommendation. My family (extended as well) make an annual pilgrimage to Gulf Shores every summer. We begin our trip with a stop at Lambert's for lunch of the Saturday we  pull into town. Not only is it slap ya (need the correct enunciation here) momma good, there will be leftovers for the next day!  We also usually arrange at least one other meal there during the week. 

If you are a cajun boil kind of family, Gulf Shores Seafood has a takeout meal that is really good and saves you the hassle of boiling the crab and shrimp yourself. If you want to get sucked into the "tourist trap" that is Lulu's, Tacky Jacks and The Hangout, the food is good (but so it the long wait time). If you have kids, spend a couple of hours at the Hangout, there is stuff for them. Another fun outing for the little ones would be the Track. It has go karts and small amusement type rides.

As far as golf, I played Kiva Dunes my first time in GS about 6 years ago. The course just didn't do anything for me. For the last 5 years, I have been playing at The Peninsula Golf and Racket Club. This year for the first time they offered "Member for a week" and for I think $170, I was a member for the week. 5 rounds in 6 days. That was great for me. The course is usually in good condition and the people there could not be nicer. 

We love Gulf Shores. There is just enough to do without overwhelming you with feeling like you have to do something all the time. 

PS....if you venture into GS for the day, stop in at the Flipflop Deli Shop. It's a tremendously good deli, meat stacked to the ceiling on the sandwich and is owned and operated by a good old Razorback!!!! Tell him Doug from Dallas sent ya and Whoo Pig Sooie!

Thank you for the detailed response! Yes we are def. going to do Lambert’s. So many recommendations! We do have kids going on the trip so the Hangout and the track sounds like great ideas. Stinks that you didn’t like the course, but different strokes for different folks...maybe we will like it (I hope!). We leave in one month so I will add your food recommendations to our itinerary!

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Everything is packed and we hit the road early in the AM! Weather looks rough, so at this point we are just hoping that we get to play at least one round at Kiva (we were hoping for two rounds). Fingers crossed that weather holds off at least a little!

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Well what looked like horrible chances to play Kiva this morning has turned into pretty high chances! It rained a bit last night, but the 100% chance of thunderstorms all morning has gone away and of it rains at all it will be closer to the end of or round since we tee off at 8. Stoked! The course has looked amazing all week (our rent house is two streets from one of the fairways) so glad it looks like we will get to play after all. Now just wanna score well 😉 pics and such to come later. 

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Well the trip to Kiva has been completed, and it was a good time. Below is a quick review of some of the places we went and of course Kiva Dunes as a golf destination. 

Best Food:

- The best food of the trip was Lulus (sadly we didn't make it to lamberts due to some scheduling conflicts 😔. However, Lulus was great. Everyone enjoyed their food, and the views of Portage Creek (which resembled more of a river too me) were awesome.  The pulled pork sandwich is a must, along with the some fried green tomatoes for an appetizer! They have a cool shop as well, a sandy play area, and a pretty neat little arcade. I would say this is a must spot for families visiting Gulf shores.

Best non-golf activity:

- The beach itself is a pretty obvious answer here, but the winds were so high most days that the sand felt like needles as it blasted your legs and face, but it was a great day at the beach regardless. The undertow was pretty mean though. IBesides the beach, right across from LuLus there was the Track...which was a great recommendation  thanks @dzclarkcpa for that recommendation..big hit with all the kiddos. 

Accomadations

- We stayed at the Kiva Dunes Resort itself, which is probably hectic during the peak season but it was perfect and quiet with plenty of unbusy beach space within walking distance. Below is a link to the resort. We stayed at a house called "Stone Throw". Pretty nice, and it was one street over from the beach. 

www.kivadunes.com

Golf!!

- There is three golf courses right on the peninsula. We were planning to play Kiva and Peninsula, however, due to weather tracking ahead of tropical storm gordon we only got to play Kiva. 

- Kiva was a great course, though it is a lot tougher than it looks. like I said on the other thread due to weather rolling in we played the last 11-12 holes in 30+ mph winds! It was brutal on my score, and made it hard at times to enjoy the experience. However, it was a day of golf on vacation at the 7th ranked court in the state of Alabama so I won't complain....much 😁

- Favorite holes were #2 (challenging but playable par 5), #8 (short elevated par 3 that played WAY into the wind), #15 (downhill, downwind par 5), #16 (scenic and challenging par 4), and of course #18 (fun finishing hole that plays with water down the entire right side but a generous fairway and 14,000 sq foot green! (spolier alert...I didnt hit the green in two...two great shots into the wind but fell a few yards short of that freaking huge green)

Here are some pics: 

40790465_2426989227318742_1269933834137239552_n.thumb.jpg.efe88200d23ebbacfd6612cb2e058d6b.jpg

Massive Green on #18

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The fairways were very wet from rain the night prior. This was the worst plugged ball I have ever seen. My brother in law hit his drive in the middle of the fairway and it took as a little while to find it. 

IMG_0644.thumb.JPG.43a4a94d6e93080743c988b0b883130b.JPG

Beach Club at Kiva. It was pretty cool, just the only crowded place at the resort. 

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Beautiful Par 5 #2. Took a bogey after a Birdie on #1. Water hazards on 17 of the 18 holes here..though some took some really bad shots to get into. 

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I was actually pretty impressed with their practice amenities. 

 

Conclusion: 

Kiva Dunes Resort is a great vacation spot. I think if you have better weather and more time it would be great place to play 3 rounds in 3 days at all the course courses on the peninsula. I would go back for sure. Oh and BTW...playing Kiva has me at 48 different golf courses played. 

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Lulu's is a fun place to hang out with the kiddos for sure. One of the best things I found this year as you could get on the wait to be seated list online which cut my 3 hour wait to 30 minutes!

Glad you had a good time. We love Gulf Shores area...just enough to do without feeling overwhelmed.

 

 

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