Thirteen months and two hurricanes later the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Florida stands ready to reclaim its position as one of the nation’s finest golf courses. The Jack Nicklaus Signature design was totally re-grassed with salt-tolerant Platinum Paspalum, after incurring some significant damage from Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Hurricane Irma tested the new grass with high winds and a storm surge in early September, but the course stood up to the weather.
Renowned for its six Atlantic Ocean hugging holes and closing stretch of 15 through 18 nicknamed “The Bear Claw”, the Ocean Course opened in 2000. It was the first oceanfront course built in Florida in over 70 years. I was there when the masterpiece opened and Jack hit the first shot. It was my first time meeting Mr. Nicklaus and witnessing his amazing design work. I called it “The Pebble Beach of the East.”
“Today, the Ocean Course reclaims its position as one of he finest golf courses in the country,” said Salamander Founder & CEO Sheila Johnson, who also serves as an executive committee member of the United States Golf Association. “The location is unique, the views are exquisite and the conditioning now matches the spectacular locale. We want to thank Lubert-Adler, the resort’s owner, for its commitment to the game of golf, and are honored that the Ocean Course rejoins the rotation within our Salamander Golf Collection.”
As one of only a handful of courses in the Southeast to feature the new turf, the Ocean Course’s new surface features thick, short grass blades. Tolerant of all seasons, the grass is able to withstand seasonal temperature changes yet maintain a beautiful verdant green year-round look. The addition of new and bright white Angle G sand to the reconstructed bunkers has also significantly brightened the already visually appealing course. The tee boxes were redone and the green complexes brought back to their original size.
What I experienced this “chamber of commerce” day was even better than what I witnessed seventeen years ago. Along with the damage came a welcome change to the over one mile of dune line vegetation along the oceanfront holes that was considerably reduced in height giving golfers a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean now.
“By replacing the original bermuda grass with the salt-tolerant Platinum Paspalum, we now offer golfers one of the purest surfaces in the game,” said 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.” New forward tees were added giving players a choice of six tee levels(VI-I), which allows the par 72 course to play as short as 4200 yards to a challenging length of 7,201 from the back tees.
Throughout the thirteen month restoration, Hammock Beach Resort’s other championship layout, the highly-rated Tom Watson designed Conservatory Course continued to accommodate member and guest play.
The restoration follows a number of previous enhancements at Hammock Beach Resort, including the recently renovated and refurbished grand lobby. The 15,000 square feet of indoor meeting and event spaces was refurbished. All of this was done to coincide with a re-launch of its boutique hotel experience, The Lodge at Hammock Beach, which has reopened its signature restaurant, The Atlantic Grille, overlooking the Ocean’s 18th hole and the Atlantic Ocean, and will be opening the Lodge rooms later in November.
Nestled about half way between “The World’s Most Famous Beach- Daytona Beach and historic St. Augustine,”The Nation’s Oldest City.” Hammock Beach Resort presents true luxury within a natural hammock offering an upscale escape with more than 300 luxurious and spacious accommodations. There are numerous golf and social membership options available at this coastal oasis, which operates as a resort and private club. With the two highly renowned golf courses, The Resort boasts a 10,000 square foot ocean-inspired spa and fitness center, multiple restaurants and bars, a multi-level pool complex with separate adult and children’s areas, oceanfront meeting space, a marina, tennis center and a mile of unspoiled beach.
For more information call 866-841-0287 or visit HammockBeach.com.