Conservatory golf course - Hammock Beach Resort - hole 18
0 of 9
Conservatory golf course - Hammock Beach Resort - hole 18
The 18th green of the Conservatory at Hammock Beach Resort shimmers in the morning sunrise. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Images
Conservatory golf course - Hammock Beach Resort - hole 1
1 of 9
Conservatory golf course - Hammock Beach Resort - hole 1
The Conservatory at Hammock Beach Resort starts off with a par-4 that bends right. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Conservatory golf course - Hammock Beach Resort - 7th
2 of 9
Conservatory golf course - Hammock Beach Resort - 7th
The setting around the seventh green at the Conservatory at Hammock Beach Resort is beautiful. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Conservatory golf course - Hammock Beach Resort - hole 4
3 of 9
Conservatory golf course - Hammock Beach Resort - hole 4
The fourth hole at the Conservatory at Hammock Beach Resort is a long par 5 along water. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Conservatory golf course - Hammock Beach Resort - hole 8
4 of 9
Conservatory golf course - Hammock Beach Resort - hole 8
An island green makes the eighth at the Conservatory at Hammock Beach Resort a troublesome task. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Conservatory golf course - Hammock Beach Resort - hole 12
5 of 9
Conservatory golf course - Hammock Beach Resort - hole 12
This cross bunker on the Conservatory's par-3 12th is more for looks than actual play. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Conservatory golf course - Hammock Beach Resort - hole 15
6 of 9
Conservatory golf course - Hammock Beach Resort - hole 15
The natural beauty of the 15th hole of the Conservatory at Hammock Beach Resort is stunning. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Conservatory golf course - Hammock Beach Resort - hole 17
7 of 9
Conservatory golf course - Hammock Beach Resort - hole 17
The 17th hole at the Conservatory at Hammock Beach Resort climbs skyward to an elevated green. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Conservatory at Hammock Beach Resort - clubhouse
8 of 9
Conservatory at Hammock Beach Resort - clubhouse
No expense was spared to build the clubhouse for the Conservatory at Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Florida. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor

Conservatory golf course at Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Florida deserves more praise

PALM COAST, Fla. -- The Conservatory Course at Hammock Beach Resort could be golf's greatest one-hit wonder. This Tom Watson design hosted a PGA Tour event just once -- the ill-fated Ginn sur Mer Classic in 2008.

Blame it on the financial collapse of the sponsor that the pros never returned, not the quality of the layout. Hammock Beach Resort's Ocean Course by Jack Nicklaus might get more publicity, as it hugs the beach and the Atlantic. But the Conservatory probably remains the better golf course, at least strategically.

The Watson design could host a PGA Tour event tomorrow if necessary. Everything's in place. This masterpiece stretches to 7,776 yards, making it the longest course in Florida. Even more than length, the Conservatory plays like a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle that takes time and thought to solve.

Watson peppered it with more than 140 bunkers, including three sod-faced bunkers as a tribute to his love of links golf. The layout's natural setting and rolling site -- not to mention its par-3 island green at no. 8 -- would look great on HDTV. And even the pros would feel spoiled inside the palatial Mediterranean-themed clubhouse.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
Related Links
Harbour Town Golf Links - No. 9 and driving range
Latest galleries
Photos continue to roll in from users of memorable golf courses and animal encounters.
The 21st century has seen an influx of municipal golf investment across the country
Northern Ireland's Royal Portrush in County Antrim returns to Open rota for first time since 1951. Here's a sneak peek.
New owners return Mike Strantz gem to glory, must-play status

Popular Videos

Video
PGA Tee to Green: Difficult 15th hole of Bethpage Black
Video
Approach shot to the 6th hole at Pebble Beach
Video
Trouble at the Postage Stamp
Video
Forest Dunes adds short course
Now Reading
Conservatory golf course at Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Florida deserves more praise
New Cookie Policy
WE AND OUR PARTNERS USE COOKIES ON THIS SITE TO IMPROVE OUR SERVICE, PERFORM ANALYTICS, PERSONALIZE ADVERTISING, MEASURE ADVERTISING PERFORMANCE, AND REMEMBER WEBSITE PREFERENCES. BY USING THE SITE, YOU CONSENT TO THESE COOKIES. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON COOKIES INCLUDING HOW TO MANAGE YOUR CONSENT VISIT OUR COOKIE POLICY.
CONTINUE