King and Bear Golf Course at World Golf Village

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Ratings Index
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4.7
339
5 Stars
221
4 Stars
80
3 Stars
26
2 Stars
12
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.6
Value
4.3
Layout
4.8
Friendliness
4.8
Pace
4.5
Amenities
4.5
98.4%
Recommend this course
317 out of 336 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
4.3
3
5 Stars
2
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
1
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.3
Value
3.3
Layout
4.7
Pace
5.0
Amenities
4.7
StaffFriendliness
4.7
100.0%
Recommend this course
3 out of 3 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
4.8
22
5 Stars
19
4 Stars
1
3 Stars
2
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.7
Value
4.3
Layout
4.9
Pace
4.5
Amenities
4.6
StaffFriendliness
4.8
100.0%
Recommend this course
22 out of 22 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 18
Par 72
Length 7279
Slope 138
Rating 74.1
Type Resort
The King & Bear Course at World Golf Village is named for its designers, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. It is the first and only collaboration between the two legendary golfers. Combining the contrasting styles of the two designers created a challenging course that incorporates features from both traditional Scottish-links courses and new traditions in American golf. The course is known for the numerous lakes bordered by large coquina rock that come into play throughout. The front nine is dotted with loblolly pines while decades-old oak trees provide shade for the back nine. In addition to King & Bear, World Golf Village also offers another excellent 18-hole course, Slammer & Squire.
Tee Par Length Rating Slope
Stone 72 7279 yards 74.1 138
Black 72 6855 yards 72.6 133
Blue 72 6506 yards 70.8 131
White 72 5987 yards 68.5 127
White (W) 72 5987 yards 74.4 135
Green (W) 72 5119 yards 69.1 124
Scorecard for King & Bear Course
Metrics:
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Stone M: 74.1/138 426 435 227 383 546 194 573 462 448 3694 436 163 412 557 200 360 467 427 563 3585 7279
Black M: 72.6/133 399 412 208 354 532 180 542 437 430 3494 406 148 373 531 179 334 441 409 540 3361 6855
Blue M: 70.8/131 381 393 181 343 519 157 529 416 407 3326 375 137 349 521 154 311 416 390 527 3180 6506
Blended M: 69.5/128 371 353 181 343 497 157 508 389 407 3206 356 137 349 521 133 311 384 324 496 3011 6217
White M: 68.5/127 W: 74.4/135 371 353 167 309 497 147 508 389 329 3070 356 123 315 484 133 302 384 324 496 2917 5987
Green M: 64.4/119 W: 69.1/124 342 328 146 257 434 125 449 373 257 2711 307 96 265 436 118 220 310 283 373 2408 5119
Handicap 3 9 17 11 13 15 7 1 5 8 18 10 14 12 4 2 6 16
Par 4 4 3 4 5 3 5 4 4 36 4 3 4 5 3 4 4 4 5 36 72
Handicap (W) 3 7 13 11 9 15 1 5 17 2 16 4 6 18 14 10 8 12

Course Details

Year Built 2000
Fairways 419 Bermuda Grass
Greens 419 Bermuda Grass
Golf Season Year round. Peak Season: Mid-February - May
Architect Arnold Palmer (2000) Jack Nicklaus (2000) Ed Seay (2000) MacCurrach Golf (2017) Nicklaus (2017)

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes - included in green fee
Clubs Yes
GPS Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Caddies Yes
Golf School Academy Yes
Golf Simulator Yes
Teaching Pro Yes
Pitching/Chipping Area Yes
Indoor Practice Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Metal Spikes Allowed No

Best of Lists

  • Golf Advisor: Top 25 Friendliest Courses in the U.S. (2017 #15) (2016 #13)
  • Golf Advisor: Top Courses in Florida (2017 #19) (2016 #17)
  • Golf Advisor: Top 25 Off-course amenities in the U.S. (2016 #15)

Reviews

4.7
339

What Golfers Are Saying

The 19th Hole is Great For:
Drinks 35
Brunch 18
Dinner 14
Course Challenges Include:
Water Hazards 72
Bunkers 69
Undulating Greens 46
This course/club is great for:
Advanced Golfers 52
A Weekend Splurge 43
A Bucket list/Top 100 Pick 42
This Course's Location is:
Worth the Drive 42
At a Resort 34
Near Local Attractions 33
Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
3.0
First Time Playing
Hot weather
Used cart

Not in great shape.

Was really looking forward to this round and willing to splurge a little on a round since I was on vacation. The course conditions were no where close to what I was expecting, Some tee boxes were burnt out. Greens were still healing from aeration holes. Burnt out spots no the course. I was disappointed in what I got for a $90 round of golf. Definitely not worth the price.

Conditions Average
Value Poor
Layout Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Played On
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

Love it

Second time playing this course and it couldn’t be any better. The conditions were great and the sight lines were phenomenal. Jack and Arnie designed a gem and the upkeep has been great. If you’re in the area it’s a must play, as well as slammer. Not too much water in play, but just enough to make you think twice on certain shots

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 100 Contributor
Previously Played
Perfect weather

Golf as It Was Meant to Be

The King & Bear golf course at The World Golf Village in St. Augustine, FL is, in the words of co-designer Jack Nicklaus, “a collaboration of two friends, and an opportunity to bring a friendship together.” The “King” - Arnold Palmer - and “Bear” Jack Nicklaus, joined together to create a course where each hole exhibits characteristics of both players. For Nicklaus, it’s the wide fairways and generous landing areas off the tees whereas Palmer prefers the fast greens. At the time it was built, King & Bear was the only course in the world that the two had built together.

The King & Bear course offers five sets of tees, creating an enjoyable time for any level of golfer. From the back (Stone) tees, the course measures 7,279 yards with a course rating of 74.1 and a slope of 138. Most men will get all they can handle from the Blue Tees (6,506/70.8/131), while the Ladies play from the Green Tees to a yardage of 5,119 (69.1/124). It would be fitting to mention at this point that King & Bear has been ranked in the top 100 Women-Friendly Courses by Golf for Women Magazine.

The course meanders around pristine lakes and ponds with beautiful loblolly pines and stately oak trees throughout. These trees are spectacular to look at; that is until they impede your shot! The emphasis here is on a part of the game that both men were famous for – driving the golf ball. Water hazards are plentiful too. During the winter month, King and Bear over seeds their tee boxes, fairways and greens, producing a brilliant green color which provides a stunning contrast to the dormant Bermuda grass. It also makes for some fabulous playing conditions during the winter months. Another nice touch are the free chilled apples on the 1st tee and as you make the turn at the 10th. If you are inclines to walk the course, World Golf Village recently introduced a new caddy service. Check with the pro shop before your round to get more information.

Not far from the clubhouse is a full length driving range with multiple targets, an impressive short game area and a large practice putting green. Many players come to the King & Bear just to use the practice facilities. Range balls are included with your paid greens fee.

Inside the King & Bear clubhouse, you’ll find a full-service pro shop with all the latest logoed gear from top designers. There are men’s and women’s locker rooms with showers and changing facilities, so you can freshen up before heading home. You’ll also find The Champion’s Grille, with food fit for a King – and a Bear! The restaurant is open for breakfast and doesn’t close until 7 pm, so you can grab a bite no matter when you finish. For breakfast, you can’t go wrong with the Eggs Benedict and for lunch their chicken wings are big and meaty, and their burgers hit the spot. Rest assured, you won’t leave hungry. There are also several large screen TVs where you can catch the latest sporting events as well as a daily happy hour.

Memorable Holes: (All Yardage is from the Blue Tees)

Number 1: Par 4, 381 yards. At first glance, #1 gives you the idea that the landing area is very small, but trust me, there’s a lot of room there. Ideally, a tee shot over the water and bunker towards the left center of the fairway leaves a low to mid-iron approach into a well-guarded green. Par is a great way to start.

Number 6: Par 3, 157 yards. This par three that has it all: trees galore, water and beach bunkers. A pin placement on the right side is best attacked with a fade. Anything long and left may find the back bunker. The green is long and narrow with substantial undulation. There’s a bailout area short left of the green if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Number 10: Par 4, 375 yards. It’s time to make a choice. A drive down the left side brings water and a coquina shelled waste area into play. The right side is the easier drive but brings a deep, menacing greenside bunker into play on your approach shot; too far right and you’ve got trees to deal with. The fairway slopes dramatically from right to left, so you may not have a choice. Another hole where par is a good score.

Number 15: Par 4, 311 yards. This is Mr. Palmer’s favorite hole on the course and is easily the most photographed. It’s s a short par 4 that requires accuracy off the tee. With large Loblolly pines on the left side and a lake to the right, a long iron, hybrid or fairway wood is all you’ll need off the tee. From there, you’ll most likely have a short or iron or pitch shot over a stunning rock wall that surrounds the peninsular green; odds are that you’ll have to carry all or part of the water. Beware of the deep bunker long and left. Make your par and thank Arnie.

Number 16: Par 4, 416 yards. Jack Nicklaus has a favorite hole here as well. It’s Number 16, a brutally long par 4, dogleg right. The oak trees down the right side keep you honest while the Loblolly pines on the left catch any shot missed that way. One particular Loblolly sits on the left side of the fairway. Regardless of how well you strike your drive, you’ll most likely be facing a long iron, hybrid or fairway wood into the green. An extremely large bunker guards the front right side of the green and catches many shots short of the green.

Last Word: The best way to derive the most pleasure from this course is to play from the tees that best suit your handicap and playing ability. When in doubt, take Jack’s advice and tee it forward. The King & Bear will surely challenge the skilled golfer while providing player-friendly conditions for the novice.

The traits of both designers are readily visible in this layout: coquina shelled waste areas and rock-fronted greens are found throughout the course. There are no outrageously long carry shots from any tee, but there is a certain amount of strategy required if you want to score well. Having an idea of where to hit you tee shot on some of the par 4 holes is something you will remember when you play the course a second time. And, as mentioned earlier, the emphasis here is on driving the ball. A good game from the tee boxes goes a long way in shooting a good score here. Compared to other Nicklaus courses, the greens are friendly, although the subtle breaks you find throughout this layout can spell trouble on the scorecard. To Arnie’s credit, the greens do tend to run fast. The course is well maintained and the staff is warm, friendly and anxious to help you make the most of your golf experience at The King and Bear.

World Golf Village, The Slammer & Squire and The King & Bear makes for a great weekend of golf, whether it’s a family outing or a mancation. Throw in the World Golf Hall of Fame, where both designers are members, and the IMAX theater and what else can a golfer ask?

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Worth every penny

If you’re like me and search for deals and try to get the best bang for your buck, you can be pretty critical of courses you pay over $100. But this course is worth it. Play this course if you have the chance. If you’re making a golf trip to St. Augustine this has to be in it. We played TPC dye’s Valley, St. John’s, Slammer and Squire as well. And this was everyone in our group’s number one. Hole 15 was one of my favorite courses I’ve ever played. Conditions are immaculate

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Used cart

Great day on a great course! Conditions, as usual, were terrific. Friendly and professional staff. Very good lunch after the round. Looking forward to playing it again.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap Don't know
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

Course Perfection

Course conditions were perfect. Everything about it was first class.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
oz4
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
Previously Played
Windy weather
Used cart

No place like home

Right now I am on assignment at Palm Beach and have the opportunity to play truly beautiful courses at Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie, and Vero Beach. However, whenever I have a chance, I drive home to spend time with the family and to enjoy the incomparable experience to play King and the Bear. Beautiful lay out, panoramic views, and a truly unique experience. A bit windy of a day, but pace of play was perfect and the putting greens were very true! A most enjoyable experience!!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Love it!!

Love this course. The course is beautiful and t truly love the area to practice chipping. My husband loved the apples on the course which I thought was very unique. Everyone was extremely nice and accommodating which made the whole day just perfect. Thank you!!

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Verified Purchaser
First Time Playing
Wet weather
Used cart

Good Experience

Beautiful course, well maintained. Facilities were excellent and staff friendly. Only deterrent was rain for a few holes, but still a good experience.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
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