Our Creation

Like with a good round of golf, it took luck and impeccable timing to create Kiva Dunes, one of the Southeast’s finest golf courses...

It was a pretty afternoon at the University of Alabama golf course in Tuscaloosa when undergraduate Jim “Scrappy” Edgemon was playing behind another golfer. Edgemon was standing on a tee 160-yards away waiting for the golfer to complete some precision putting drills on the par-3 16th hole. The distracted golfer finally waved for him to hit up the green, and he did. “The green-side golfer recalls thinking, “’Man, that looks pretty good.’ It took one hop and started rolling toward the hole, so I pulled the pin and it went in for a one. That was my introduction to Scrappy Edgemon.” That diligent putter was a young Jerry Pate, a fellow University of Alabama student who eventually went on to win the 1974 U.S. Amateur and the 1976 U.S. Open.

Twenty years later, when Edgemon was in need of an architect to design the golf course at Kiva Dunes, he didn’t turn to Fazio, Nicklaus, Dye or any of the other top names eager to be associated with the property. He chose Pate. “Jerry Pate has been a winner at everything he’s ever done,” Edgemon says. “I had seen his work and I knew his passion. I knew, when given the best land, he would do the best job. And he did. Kiva Dunes is recognized all over the world as one of golf’s best and most unique challenges.”

Pate didn’t shy away from the challenge of heading up the design and construction of the course. He knew of the property already, having seen the grounds back in 1985.  “I remember thinking at the time, ‘Golf architects would kill for this piece of property,” Pate says.

Today, the Kiva Dunes Golf Course consistently ranks as one of the top courses in the country and the top course in Alabama. And it’s all thanks to a one-in-a-million shot and a celebratory handshake between two golf-loving undergrads.

Our Awards

Kiva Dunes Golf Course is always at the top of the list when people talk about the best golf in Alabama, and it’s easy to see why. In addition to the many luxuries available at Kiva Dunes Resort, the complex is also home to Alabama’s highest ranked public golf course – a must-play for golfers of all skill levels, and one of the most dynamic golfing destinations on the Gulf Coast!

Golf Pass, 2021

In 2021, Kiva Dunes was rated #48 among the NBC Golfer's Choice and this is what they're saying: "Every aspect of this course is top notch. The staff, the practice area, the course maintenance, the amenities, the ranger keeping pace of play...you name it. Really enjoyed my round. Beautiful course."

Links Magazine, 2021

Published in 2021, Link Magazine wrote an in-depth profile of our course and what a tour through our property. You can also learn more about how our journey began and concludes the review by saying that "Only time will tell, but Kiva Dunes is certainly off to a great start."

Golf Advisor, 2019

In January 2019, Kiva Dunes held its place as the No. 1 Public Golf Course in the State. The distinction from Golf Advisor takes into consideration golfer’s reviews, which is everything from architecture to course layout, and even staff friendliness. One reviewer on Golf Advisor stated, “Kiva is a hidden gem… you could play there every day and it never gets old!”

People's Choice Award for Southern Baldwin County, 2018

In 2018, Voted by the people of Southern Baldwin County, Kiva Dunes was presented the People's Choice Award by Sunny 105.7FM radio station after a a local vote from the community. Showing that even though Kiva Dunes is a tourism based market, we also focus on creating a better community as well.

Golf Digest, 2018

Earlier in 2018, Golf Digest awarded Kiva with the No. 5 spot on the ‘The Best Golf Courses in Alabama’, outranking several Robert Trent Jones Golf Courses and the Old Overton Club. This ranking took into consideration private and public courses from all across the state. With its many national distinctions, it’s no wonder Kiva Dunes always finds itself at the top of the list when people talk about the best golf in Alabama. This nationally-ranked golf course allows many opportunities for incredible, one-of-a-kind shots in an unforgettable setting.

Golf Week Magazine, 2018

In 2018, Kiva Dunes Golf Course was cited as one of the Top 100 Golf Resorts by GolfWeek magazine, and ‘consistently ranks as one of the top courses, and resorts, in the country.’ Without question, the course at Kiva Dunes is a high-caliber, nationally ranked resort perfect for the most professional players, but the casual golfer shouldn’t be deterred by its high status – the course is 100% open to the public! Not only unique in design and playability, the golf course offers a dynamic pricing arrangement for daily green fees.

Award History