Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Fla. is on schedule to re-open its famed Ocean Course, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design, on Oct. 12, after a 12-month restoration project.
Best known for its six Atlantic Ocean-hugging holes and closing stretch named “The Bear Claw,” the Ocean Course has been closed since October 2016 after high winds and storm surge from Hurricane Matthew caused damage across the majority of its holes. The Ocean Course restoration has included the re-grassing of all fairways, greens and rough with the salt-tolerant Platinum Paspalum, as well as the reconstruction of each tee box, bunker and green complex.
Salamander Hotels & Resorts, which manages the resort, says the course’s dune line, which is more than one mile long, continues to be carefully restored to state conservational specifications. Newer and stronger dunes are forming, which offer greater environmental protection and some of the best ocean views on the East Coast.
“By replacing Bermuda grass with the salt-tolerant Platinum Paspalum, we will now offer golfers one of the purest surfaces in the game,” said Brad Hauer, director of golf at Hammock Beach Resort. “And, in addition to improved playing conditions for golfers of all levels, the views of the Atlantic Ocean are simply incredible.”
As one of only a handful of courses in the Southeast to feature Platinum Paspalum, the Ocean Course’s new surface features thick, short grass blades. Tolerant of all seasons, the grass is able to withstand seasonal temperature changes yet maintain a beautiful verdant year-round look. The addition of new and bright white Angle-G sand has also significantly brightened the course’s visual appeal.
The Ocean Course – likely the final course ever to be built along the Florida’s East Coast – originally opened in April 2000. And, while the integrity of the original design has been retained through the recent restoration, new forward tees have been added to each hole, making six on each. This allows the par 72 course to play as short as 4,100 yards, but retain a challenging overall length of 7,201 yards from its back tees.
Throughout the Ocean Course’s restoration project, Hammock Beach’s other championship layout, the highly-rated Conservatory Course, designed by Tom Watson, has continued to accommodate guest and member play.
When the Ocean Course re-opens, the resort will be able to double its efforts to introduce young players to the sport through its Family Fairways Program. The daily program, designed to bring families together through golf, provides special rates for adults and juniors along with complimentary club rentals for children from 3:00 p.m. until close.
Starting this fall, the resort is offering golfers a Just Golf Package with rates beginning at $179 per person, per day. The package includes one round on the Ocean Course, one round on the Conservatory Course and $20 daily breakfast credit. Pricing is based on a midweek, two-night stay with four people sharing a deluxe three-bedroom villa.
The restoration of the Ocean Course follows a number of previous enhancements at Hammock Beach Resort. The resort has recently renovated and refurbished its grand lobby, refurbished all 15,000 square feet of indoor meeting and event spaces and upgraded 75 of spacious one-bedroom suites.
This past July, Hammock Beach Resort announced the re-launch of its boutique hotel experience, The Lodge at Hammock Beach, and re-opened its signature restaurant, The Atlantic Grille.
The Lodge now offers an intimate accommodation option overlooking the Ocean Course. It features 20 guest rooms, direct beach access and provides guests with the unique “Lodge Experience” – a VIP service including amenities and daily breakfast. With ocean views, the Atlantic Grille, led by new Executive Chef Kevin Luque, is serving “Shore to Table” cuisine, highlighting local, freshly caught seafood.