The Guru loves oceanside courses, yet, oddly enough, there aren’t that many in my home state of Florida. You’ve got lots of layouts near the ocean, but really only a precious few directly on the ocean.
That’s why I’m so excited about the re-opening on October 12, 2017 of the Ocean Course, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design, at Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, about 28 miles south of St. Augustine.
If the date sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because it marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Matthew, which wreaked havoc on the Ocean Course. High winds and storm surge from hurricane made the course almost unrecognizable.
Now, following an extensive 12-month restoration project, the Ocean Course is returning better than ever.
Staying true to Nicklaus’ design, the Ocean Course restoration and enhancement encompasses the re-grassing of all fairways, greens and rough with the salt-tolerant Platinum Paspalum, and the reconstruction of each tee box, bunker and green.
“By replacing Bermuda grass with salt-tolerant Platinum Paspalum, we will now offer golfers one of the purest surfaces in the game,” says Brad Hauer, director of golf at Hammock Beach Resort. “And, in addition to improved playing conditions for golfers of all levels, the views of the Atlantic Ocean are simply incredible.”
The Ocean Course’s dune line, which is more than a mile long, continues to be carefully restored to state conservation specifications. Newer and stronger dunes are forming, which offer greater environmental protection while also offering golfers some of the most stunning ocean panoramas on the East Coast.
Renowned for its six Atlantic Ocean-hugging holes and finishing stretch dubbed “The Bear Claw”, the Ocean Course is challenging, fun and oh so photogenic. Originally opened in 2000, the Ocean Course has multiple tee settings and plays as short as 4,100 yards and as long as 7,201 yards from the back tees.
While you’re at Hammock Beach Resort, definitely play the resort’s other highly-rated layout, the Conservatory Course, an exceptional Tom Watson design.
Once the Ocean Course re-opens, the resort will be able to double its efforts to introduce young players to the sport through its Family Fairways Program. Designed to bring families together through golf, the daily program provides special rates for adults and juniors along with complimentary club rentals for children from 3:00 p.m. until close.
Guests are invited to be among the first to play the Ocean Course during the Grand Reopening Weekend, starting on October 12. It will feature several events, dining and entertainment. Golfers can also register to win a weekend at the resort by visiting the Ocean Course’s countdown page.
Starting this fall, Hammock Beach Resort is offering golfers a JUST GOLF PACKAGE with rates starting at $179 per person, per day. The package includes one round on the Ocean Course, one round on the Conservatory Course and $20 daily breakfast credit. Pricing is based on midweek, two-night stay with four people sharing a deluxe three-bedroom villa. Rates, which are subject to availability, do not include taxes and service fees.
HammockBeach Resort has everything the Guru likes in a golf resort with challenging and drop dead gorgeous golf, luxurious, spacious accommodations, superb amenities like multiple restaurants and bars, a spa and fitness center and a terrific golf director who knows what golfers like.