Hammock Beach Resort - The Ocean Course
|White (W)||72||5811 yards||75.4||141|
|Red (W)||72||5115 yards||71.5||131|
|Black M: 77.0/147||380||540||414||192||434||526||458||185||468||3597||522||384||225||433||551||450||399||174||466||3604||7201|
|Gold M: 74.8/142||346||508||386||158||404||496||431||164||452||3345||493||343||213||404||532||432||359||159||443||3378||6723|
|Blue M: 73.2/135||333||481||360||146||380||485||399||154||437||3175||482||330||191||388||495||405||352||138||415||3196||6371|
|White M: 70.1/130 W: 75.4/141||284||459||326||112||342||436||353||144||402||2858||473||312||152||360||487||339||293||128||409||2953||5811|
|Red W: 71.5/131||274||392||270||94||283||380||340||118||365||2516||412||260||132||298||430||309||282||106||370||2599||5115|
Redone and Better Than Ever
In 2016, Hurricane Matthew reigned terror up and down the East Coast, from Florida north to the Carolinas. Although the storm never made landfall in Florida, it did leave its calling card along the coast.
During storms like this, nothing is spared. The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach in Palm Coast, FL was one of Matthew’s casualties. The storm surge breached the barrier between the beach and the golf course, pouring thousands of gallons of salt water into the course’s irrigation system and ultimately rendering the course a total loss. Management was faced with a major decision: do they patch up the course and get it playable ASAP or close the course for a significant period of time and do some major renovations.
After considerable deliberations, a major renovation was planned, and, on October 6th, 2016, the course was closed, with a scheduled reopening set for October 2017, one year after Hurricane Matthew paid a visit. Salamander Hotels and Resorts, the owner of Hammock Beach Resort, contacted Nicklaus Design, the course’s original architect, and plans were set in motion. The renovation was to include re-grassing all fairways, greens and rough with salt water-tolerant Platinum Paspalum grass, reconstructing each tee box, bunker and green complex. Essentially, rebuilding the entire golf course. The renovation and Platinum Paspalum was put to the test several weeks ago when Hurricane Irma paid the area a visit. Remarkably, the course came through with flying colors.
On November 2nd, 2017 The Ocean Course was opened up to local and national media, government officials, as well as a number of members. You can still see some remnants of Matthew’s wrath on the property. The scrub brush that separated the beach and golf course was hit hard, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. According to Director of Golf Brad Hauer, about 10,000 golf balls were blown into the fairway by Matthew’s hurricane force winds, showing that the course is played by all caliber of golfers.
With a lot of the coast scrub brush gone, the course has been opened up and the ocean views are better than ever. Sure, the winds blow a little stronger and are more noticeable, but I think it’s a fair trade off. The Ocean Course is still the same beautiful and challenging course it was before Matthew. Other visual enhancements to the course include bright white Angle-G sand in all the bunkers. This new sand adds even more brilliance.
Water comes into play on at least twelve of the holes; more if you spray it. Several holes require forced caries, but nothing that can’t be handled if you’re playing from the right set of tees. The green complexes are marvelous and, since being redone with Platinum Paspalum grass, the greens are some of the best in the state, if not the country. There is quite a bit undulation in them, but not as radical as what I have seen on other Jack Nicklaus designs. To me, this is one of Nicklaus’ more player-friendly golf courses.
Most Memorable Hole: Number 6, 485 yards (White Tees). This dogleg left features two lakes down the left side separated by a waste bunker. Off the tee, hit the fairway or pay the price – in the way of a cluster of pot bunkers on the right side of the fairway. Unless you’re a long hitter, you’ll want to layup short of the water rather than go for the island green in two. The green has two tiers with the front sitting well below the back. Although this is a short par 5, par is a good score here.
Favorite Par 3: Number 8 or Number 17. Take your pick. These two holes are pretty similar. Number 8 plays 154 yards and Number 17 plays 138 yards; both play toward the Atlantic Ocean, so club selection is crucial. The waste bunker between the tee and green should not come into play; if it does, check with the PGA professionals in the pro shop for a lesson! Number eight’s green is elevated and guarded by three deep bunkers on the right and a nasty little pot bunker on the left. The wind typically blows in from the left, so consider an extra club and aim for the left side of the green. A ridge bisects the green and holding it off the tee can be a challenge. Pars are well earned here.
Number 17 plays 138 yards from the White Tees, back into the teeth of the winds blowing off the Atlantic Ocean. Your tee shot plays over water and a large waste bunker between the water and green. The putting surface is elevated and flanked by bunkers on either side. Ranked the easiest hole on the course, 17 offers a great chance for birdie.
Favorite Par 4: Number 9, 437 yards (White Tees). Even from up here, this is a long hole. Head to the back tees and the hole stretches to 468 yards, a whopping par 4! The hole parallels the Atlantic Coast line and usually plays into the wind. Avoid the fairway bunkers on either side off the tee and your half way there – as long as you hit it about 250 off the tee. Your approach shot will typically be a long iron, hybrid or fairway wood into a long and narrow elevated green that features two distinct tiers. Deep bunkers and grass hollows await any errant approach shots, making a difficult par that much tougher.
Favorite Par 5: Number 10, Par 5, 482 yards (White Tees). A favorite of mine because of the risk/reward, although the reward far outweighs the risk. The green is definitely reachable in two with a good drive down the left side; just avoid the fairway bunker. The two-tiered green is elevated and may require an extra club; it’s also well-guarded with four bunkers. Number 10 offers a great chance to get you back nine off on the right foot.
Last Word: As Sheila Johnson, Salamander’s Founder and CEO, so eloquently put it at the reopening ceremonies “Today, the Ocean Course reclaims its position as one of the finest golf courses in the country.” And rightfully so; it’s everything I remember and then some. The new Platinum Paspalum grass is a golfer’s delight from the tee box through the green. The course is always impeccably manicured, and the staff is passionate about what they do.
Before your round, be sure to visit the full length driving range where you can hit every club in the bag. Not a bad idea, since you’ll most likely use every one of them at some point during your round. There’s also a large practice green where you can get a feel for what awaits you on the new putting surfaces.
Tee times on the Ocean Course are not available on any of the online discount tee sheets. Basically, there are only ways you can play here: as the guest of a member or as part of one of Hammock Beach’s reasonably priced golf packages.
A Must Play
Brilliant course. Firm turf, a variety of shots needed, nothing tricked up. Greens not that receptive yet but give them time. Par 5s and Par 3s are excellent. #9 is one long par-4 if the wind is up. Driver/3 wood didn't even sniff the green.
It's expensive to play, but completely worth it. Great facilities. Breakfast sandwich was delicious.
Newly renovated Ocean Course makes a bold statement
The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort really is an ocean course now. Thanks to in large part to Hurricane Matthew, which blew down trees and flooded the course, and the subsequent renovation, the course has better ocean views from its six ocean holes, the practice areas and the clubhouse. Beyond that, though, the new paspalum greens and fairways work very well together. Course conditions are already flawless after the recent reopening. And practice facilities, with a large grass range, short-game area and putting greens, are tremendous as well. As far as the course is concerned, wide fairways and little rough make the Ocean Course very playable, even in windy conditions. The great variety of holes and the fact that there aren't many true ocean courses in the U.S. make this one pretty special.
A pure treat
Keep in mind, the Ocean Course was ravaged by two hurricanes in a 13-month span. Crazy. But with an aggressive gameplan to get the place put together properly, they knocked this one out of the ballpark.
Simply, the course is tremendous. The layout is fun with a smattering of both long and short holes and the ones alongside the ocean (6 in total that face the beach) are as breathtaking as anything you'll find in Florida. Hands down.
The staff was a joy to meet with and everything on the day, from beginning to end, was first class. It also helped that the day was a Perfect 10 as far as weather.
Can't wait to get back there.
Great Resort Golf Course!
We played the Ocean Course twice and both times less than 4 hours on a Thursday and Saturday! Fun layout, some fun holes and enjoyed the rounds with my buddies! About 5 greens are still recovering from the winter, they need to put paspalum grass on the greens and the course conditions would be outstanding! Pace of Play and layout is perfect for a resort course! ENJOY!
Good course but greens need help
This is a visually beautiful course but the rains have really hurt the course. The new greens are like putting on Velcro. The areas around the greens and the farways are just water logged. When this course dries out and the greens recover it will be a great track but it definitely needs a few weeks of dry weather.
First of all the brochures looks much better than the course. No real view of the ocean.The course was in good shape and the greens rolled true. It was about 100 degrees out and there was no water on the course. ( the course was not packed) With a green fee of 130.00. a guy would think there would be free water but not so, just coolers with ice. I played 4 rounds of golf in the area over a 4 day period and all the other courses had water and ice all over the course and there greens fees averaged around 50.00 and the courses were in great shape. The Ocean Course is a nice course but not for 130.00. There are a lot better options in the area.
My only comment is that there are two bottles of water on each cart, and there are places on the course to fill your bottle if you are out. I forget exact locations except the one just before the tees on 11 that you also pass after 12.
Can be tuf
A day with more wind will make course more challenging.
Ocean Golf in Florida
A friend of mine works on the staff and she was able to get me on the course for a great rate. The staff was very friendly, they addressed me as Mr and sir. Mike, one of the starters, drove me to the 10 tee as they were wrapping up a senior women's tournament. The course was in great shape after the AAC women's collegiate golf tournament was held there the previous 3 days. My Louisville Cardinals won which was a nice treat. As Fuzzy Zoeller once told, "Me always have fun on a golf course". There are 6 holes that face or are adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean which makes for some great views and some cross winds. The other 12 holes are just as nice winding through the Florida wilderness. Tip: There is quite a bit of water that isn't the ocean on this course and there are alligators. For anyone who is not a Florida native if your ball goes in the drink and you think you can retrieve it. Be mindful of what's lurking in the water.
what a great course, all round great and even better last 4 holes. I would recommend this course to any one that likes golf. The other course there is just as good without the views.
perfect weather , excellent conditions
First time I've played this course. I've heard a lot of high accolade given this course before I played, as high as Pebble Beach East. If that's the case I might be disappointed when playing Pebble Beach. That being said - pace of play excellent , staff as well. Course condition excellent , greens fast and true. Layout very good. Six holes give ocean views. Price is only sticking point , but if you want to splurge it was well worth the drive.By the way this is a difficult course, but I don't think it's Pebble Beach.
Beautiful upscale course...
I was a bit surprised to get a call from the pro shop the morning of my scheduled play at 7 a.m. Madylyn informed me that my prepaid tee time was no longer available. She informed me that she moved my tee time back a half hour, from 1:00 to 1:30 because of a group being booked ahead of us. Well, we arrived early and went out to the range to hit some balls. The starter came over and asked us when our tee time was, since we weren't even on the sheet. He then told us the group they put in front of us was a group of 12, all resort guests with rental clubs. He had nobody on the sheet in front of them so he made the excellent call to send us out ahead of this group instead of making us wait. His decision made our day!. Kudo's to him; can't thank him enough. Nobody in front or behind us made for a very relaxing and most enjoyable day on this fine course.
Very challenging in windy condition
Must play great design 6holes on ocean Very challenging in windy condition Club selection very important
This is one NICE course!
I have played this course before, but a very long time ago. The day that I played it was cold and windy. The conditions was not the best. Even in the bad conditions I still had a great time playing on such a nice course. You really need to play this course if only one time.
great golf experience
Had a marvelous day of golf at this facility. Fortunately I played on a GolfNow reward otherwise the green fee rate was pricey but unlike some of the other high end golf courses in the region this one was worth the cost. Everything about the golf course was first rate from the driving range, practice facility and golf course lay out.
High expectations, great disappointment
Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful facility and in very good shape, but if at any time your expecting to be standing on a green looking out at the Atlantic Ocean, it never happens. Unfortunately all the holes that border the water are separated by a high wall of vegetation. Other than those holes there is no reason to travel a long distance to play this course for the $ they ask. I'm from Tampa and drove 2.5 hrs to play it. Lake Jovita in Tampa just as nice. If you just want to hear the surf then you can take your chances. I'd drive 30 minutes north and play Tpc sawgrass for the same price.
If you want Ocean views go up to Amelia Isl. and play Omni-Ocean. The golf course stinks but the views are spectacular.
Great course, tough wind conditions on the ocean
The weather was very nice, but wind was blowing about 15-20, made course very difficult. Course conditions were good not great, in process of over seeding when we played. But with several holes right on the Atlantic made for great setting!
Great course but not a links!
We got a good deal to play to course, fortunately! Otherwise we would have felt that we paid too much compared to what you get at other courses. We were treated very well, nice staff! The course design is very nice, lot's of water but it's fair to play even for beginners. The course was in great conditions, greens were fast, fairways very well maintained. The course is along the ocean but not at all of the six ocean-holes offer ocean-feeling or views. The course flows thru various neighborhoods what we don't like that much. Compared to the Ocean course the conservatory at Hammock Beach offers much more remotness and a "being in the nature" feeling. Again, the ocean course is nice but there's better ones for the value.
VERY UPSCALE,BUT HARDLY "THE PEBBLE BEACH OF THE EAST"
HAD SEVERAL GLIMPSES OF THE OCEAN BUT NEVER SAW THE BEACH (EXCEPT THOSE GAURDING MOST OF THE GREENS). SPEAKING OF TRAPS, I EXPIERENCED FIRST-HAND SEVERAL DIFFERENT CONSISTANCIES OF FILLERS,i.e. CRUSHED SEASHELL, SUGAR-WHITE,& LOOSE BROWN SOIL. ALL-IN-ALL A VERY NICE COURSE.
A Must Play Course
The course and greens were in excellent condition. You could not ask for a more scenic golf course it was just beautiful. After a 40 min delay at the tee we never saw another group