The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort

The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort – Played 2016

  • Rankings: Golf Digest Public #83, Golf Magazine Public #75
  • Location: 200 Ocean Crest Drive, Palm Coast, Florida
  • Year: 2000
  • Architect: Jack Nicklaus
  • Course Access: Resort
  • Walking Rules: Carts Available

Score Card Information:

  • Black: 7,201 yards, Par 72, 75.5 Rating/144 Slope
  • Gold: 6,723 yards, Par 72, 73.8 Rating/141 Slope
  • Blue: 6,371 yards, Par 72, 71.7 Rating/135 Slope
  • White: 5,811 yards, Par 72, 69.0 Rating/126 Slope (Men), 74.2 Rating, 135 Slope (Women)
  • Red: 5,115 yards, Par 72, 70.3 Rating/132 Slope

After a short drive down from Sea Island and a good night’s sleep it was off to the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach.  This is another resort course, but if you book through you can gain access.

As you will see from the pictures this course stays true to the ocean in its name with six holes along the water.  It is always interesting for me to play courses designed by Nicklaus.  He was a fader of the ball and a lot of times that shows up in his work.  For me, a definite hooker, his courses can be very challenging.  I was interested to see how this one would go.

The course has received plenty of accolades as evidenced by the photo below.  They have also received praise from Conde Nast Traveler, Golf For Women, Golf Magazine, Golfweek, and Links Magazine.

OCHB - CLUB 1Below is a visual layout of the course.

OCHB - CLUB 2Encased in the clubhouse is some memorabilia from Jack’s opening round at the course.

OCHB - CLUB 3The range is quite large with a bit of downhill slope to it.

OCHB - RANGEThe resort is a wedge shot away from the range and watches over you as you practice.

OCHB - LODGEThe hole markers are this black metal on whitish rocks.  It was a nice aesthetic.

OCHB - TEEThe flags are featured below.

OCHB - FLAGI played the blue tees on this day.  I played the back side first, but have kept the pictures in the normal order for you.  Off we go.

Hole 1 – 333 yards – Par 4

I appreciated this tribute to Bruce Borland on the first hole.  Classy.

OCHB 1-1The first tee shot eases you into the round.  It is not very long and driver is not needed.  The fairway is quite wide as well.

OCHB 1-2The second shot should be a shorter one.  It is slightly uphill.  There isn’t much trouble except for the bunker well below the green on the left.

OCHB 1-3The green has a mini false front you can see below.

OCHB 1-4Hole 2 – 481 yards – Par 5

The second hole is definitely reachable in two.  The first step is a good drive.  There are bunkers down the right side that must be avoided.

OCHB 2-1Here is the second from about 220 yards out.  You have an opening in front of the green to run up the shot.

OCHB 2-2The green has two ridges you can see below.  Other than that there are a lot of flat parts.

OCHB 2-3Hole 3 – 360 yards – Par 4

This is another shorter hole.  You want to avoid the bunker up the left side.  A fade works very well here.

OCHB 3-1The approach plays mildly up the hill.  The green is surrounded by bunkers that are all pretty deep.  The ones on the far left are very difficult.

OCHB 3-2This green is quite small as you can see below.

OCHB 3-3Hole 4 – 146 yards – Par 3

The first par three is a tough little devil.  There is some room to bail out left, but not much.  The water is definitely in play if you flare one to the right.  With a short iron though a good shot is within reach.

OCHB 4-1Due to the shortness of the hole a small green for defense can be expected.  That is certainly the case here.

OCHB 4-2Hole 5 – 380 yards – Par 4

This tee shot features all kinds of trouble to the left.  The water goes for a long way on that side so left is dead.  If you can work a slight draw from the right edge of the fairway you will be happy.

OCHB 5-1I went well right for caution.  From this angle the only thing to worry about is the bunker front right.

OCHB 5-2Here is a closer look at the green.

OCHB 5-3Hole 6 – 485 yards – Par 5

I picked the right set of tees for reachable par fives.  Hey it’s vacation!  If you hit a semi-solid drive the water shouldn’t be in play at all.  You can go quite a bit up the left side.

OCHB 6-1You may be able to get to the green in two, but it will take a precise shot.  The green is a peninsula with water everywhere but the right.

OCHB 6-2Here is a little closer look.  This is the view if you choose not to go for it.  This is still a tough shot with water lurking.

OCHB 6-3Below is a look at the contours of the green.

OCHB 6-4Hole 7 – 399 yards – Par 4

I liked this hole.  It looks like traditional Florida to me.  You can go left a little as those palm trees are not densely packed.  The best line is just inside the tallest palm.

OCHB 7-1The approach is a stock shot.

OCHB 7-2This is also a small green.  A ridge runs left to right behind this flag.  Putts from back to front will need good speed control.

OCHB 7-3Hole 8 – 154 yards – Par 3

This uphill par three sits in a nice little amphitheater among the hotel.  The front bunkers are well below the surface of the green and make for difficult up and downs.

OCHB 8-1The photo below shows the green.

OCHB 8-2I snapped a picture of the photographer as she was returning from checking out the beach.  It was very close to the back of this green.

OCHB 8-3Hole 9 – 437 yards – Par 4

The ninth is a stunner.  It plays right along the ocean which is just over the bushes to the right.  The fairway is wide thankfully on this long hole.  A solid drive is needed.

OCHB 9-1The second for me was a long, uphill shot.  The architect did leave green open in front to run a long club up there.  Thanks Mr. Nicklaus.

OCHB 9-2The green has a ridge running from the left side (right in this photo).  Other than that there is not a lot of slope.

OCHB 9-3Hole 10 – 482 yards – Par 5

This is another short par five.  There is trouble down the right as well as trees up the left.  The left side is sparser than the right.  Just hit one down the middle.

OCHB 10-1The second goes back up the hill and slightly to the right.  The bunker you see here is well short of the green and only affects a lay up.

OCHB 10-2I couldn’t get home so here is a shot from where I laid up.  You must avoid the front bunker.

OCHB 10-3The green has a big ridge running through the middle of it.  You want to be on the flag side of that ridge otherwise you will be tested to two putt.

OCHB 10-4Hole 11 – 330 yards – Par 4

Driver is not needed on this tee which is nice with the water running all along the left.  A good line is at the bunkers left of the trees on the right side.  You can play a draw on that line.

OCHB 11-1The approach plays to a plateau green with bunkers in front and to the left.  The approach is very different depending on where the flag is.

OCHB 11-2Here is a look from behind the green.

OCHB 11-3This angle shows the shallowness of the green.

OCHB 11-4Hole 12 – 191 yards – Par 3

This is a tough hole.  It’s on the longer side and any miss left will be swimming with the fishes.  There is plenty of room to the right though.

OCHB 12-1The green is long and sits diagonal to the tee.  This setup favors a draw from the tee.

OCHB 12-2Hole 13 – 388 yards – Par 4

This hole is framed nicely by the trees.  It bends slightly to the left.  The best line is at the clump of trees down the middle.

OCHB 13-1Here is another one of those action shots.  Check wide brim hat action.  All kinds of swagger.

OCHB 13-2The approach is shown below.  The concern is the bunker on the right.  With this pin it isn’t really in play with a good shot.

OCHB 13-3The green slopes overall from right to left or toward us in this photo.

OCHB 13-4Hole 14 – 495 yards – Par 5

If you slice the ball this hole is nerve wracking.  There is plenty of water on the right.  The aggressive line is just to the left of the bunker on the right side of the fairway.  You can go further left and be just fine.

OCHB 14-1The water is in play on the second shot as well.  It is all carry if you take it at the green.  There is plenty of room short and to the left if you can’t get it there.

OCHB 14-2The layup leaves you with the shot below.  The primary objective is to carry the large front bunker.  Anything with a lot of spin can suck back off the green and roll a bit because of the slopes next to the green.

OCHB 14-3Here is a different angle of the green.

OCHB 14-4Hole 15 – 405 yards – Par 4

This hole begins the stretch known as the “Bear Claw”.  Every Nicklaus course seems to have one of these stretches of holes with some funny name.  You can pick your own line here, but I like taking it at the bunker dead down the middle.

OCHB 15-1The second is all uphill.  There isn’t much room behind the green so be careful.  The green is pretty wide.

OCHB 15-2Here is a look at the green from behind.

OCHB 15-3This is from a slightly different angle.

OCHB 15-4You can see from this angle that the green sits close to the hazard and just near the ocean.  There are some good views here.

OCHB 15-5Here is some of those views.

OCHB 15-6

OCHB 15-7Hole 16 – 352 yards – Par 4

There are a good number of holes that move to the left on this course.  For Nicklaus, who favors the fade, I thought that was a nice change of pace.  You can take this tee shot at the bunker.  The further left you go the longer the carry is.

OCHB 16-1The approach shot is seen below.

OCHB 16-2The green is pretty narrow and anything with spin on the front portion is at risk of running away.

OCHB 16-3Here is a side view that shows more of the runoffs.

OCHB 16-4Hole 17 – 138 yards – Par 3

The last par three is on the shorter side.  There is plenty of sand to worry about though.

OCHB 17-1Here you can see what you face if you miss to the right.

OCHB 17-2This view from the front shows the overall slope from back to front.

OCHB 17-3Hole 18 – 415 yards – Par 4

The finishers on both nines are quite strong.  This one favors a draw.  This fairway is very wide so take a good rip at the drive.

OCHB 18-1The green is fronted by a deep bunker and is slightly raised.  Left is dead with the bushes separating the course from the beach.

OCHB 18-2Below is the large green.

OCHB 18-3From the back of the putting surface you can see the mild contouring.

OCHB 18-4This course was really fun.  The holes have good variety and move both ways.  From the tees I played you are asked to hit multiple clubs off the tee and you end up using most of your bag.  The greens rolled pretty good.  A few had some conditioning issues, but it wasn’t terrible.  I would say that I think the rate may be a little too high, but you probably get a break if you stay at the resort.  Overall, I would say you should definitely play the course.  I have heard good things about the other course at the resort as well.

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