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 teeoff.com 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.
Hole 1 – 333 yards – Par 4
I appreciated this tribute to Bruce Borland on the first hole. Classy.
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.
This is another shorter hole. You want to avoid the bunker up the left side. A fade works very well here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
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.
The last par three is on the shorter side. There is plenty of sand to worry about though.
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.
This 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.