2019 ECGJ: Playing Seth Raynor’s Westhampton CC… Redan, Short, Biarritz et al…

With Zeny after playing... still smiling... he is a great caddie... I think I tired him out a bit though!

With Zeny after playing… still smiling… he is a great caddie… I think I tired him out a bit though!

Beautiful walk around Westhampton CC in the morning with caddie Zeny… one of Seth Raynor’s early designs in 1915… expertly restored by the 2016 Olympic Golf Course designer Gil Hanse in 2009… Redan at the 7th… Short at the 11th… Biarritz at the 17th… Raynor was born on Long Island in 1874 and died at the age of 52 in 1926… graduated from Princeton in 1898 and came back to Southhampton and started a landscaping and surveying business… Raynor’s big break and entry into the Golf World was to survey the The National Golf Links of America property for C.B. MacDonald in 1908… then MacDonald hired him to construct the golf course and several others including Old White at the Greenbrier… Raynor died in his prime of pneumonia in Palm Beach, Florida… other Seth Raynor masterpieces that I have played include Shore Acres in Chicago and Blue Mound Golf & Country Club outside Milwaukee… dream Raynor courses yet to be played include Chicago Golf Club, Fishers Island Club, and Yale University Golf Club!

With PGA Head Golf Professional Kirk Satterfield!

With PGA Head Golf Professional Kirk Satterfield!

Thoughts and memories of my time at Westhampton Country Club… played the Monday after witnessing another Brooks Koepka win at the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black… PGA Head Golf Professional Kirk Satterfield could not have been more welcoming… with kudos to my friend Ann Ligouri… fairly short even from the tips but make no mistake that this is an extreme test of golf given the Raynor/Hanse combined design and the wind nearly always present at this near Atlantic Ocean locale… Zeny was an awesome caddie, immediate friend, and wealth of course knowledge!

Bunkered long right on the Redan 7th... the rest of the story was actually pretty good but still a bogey 4!

Bunkered long right on the Redan 7th… the rest of the story was actually pretty good but still a bogey 4!

Historic clubhouse and men’s locker room although modern and updated a bit, still exudes historic golf… first tee right outside the clubhouse and pro shop doors… there is a burn just in front of the green on the short par-4 first hole… reminded me of the Old Course at St. Andrews but unfortunately not the only water hazard at Westhampton as in St. Andrews… combination of sand bunkers with protective elevated mounding starts to emerge on the second hole… deep bunkering on the short 3rd… then a 4-5-4 combination before arriving at the Redan 7th hole… cross the road to the 5th tee… make no mistake this Redan is as severe as they come… deep bunker long right which I experienced… back across the road after 8th green… the par-4 9th is a challenging hole with a risk-reward water hazard to navigate on the drive and bunkers to carry on the approach shot… memorable first nine, par-35 with two short holes and one long hole!

Deep, deep, deep bunker short right of the 15th green. I was short left of it! Thankfully!

Deep, deep, deep bunker short right of the 15th green. I was short left of it! Thankfully!

The 10th is another long par-4 with a water hazard short left of the green… the golf course is starting to feel like a bear when I reached the short par-3 11th… enveloped by Shore Road be sure to get a pic with a view of the water here… short does not mean easy, it means difficult in Seth Raynor’s vocabulary… avoid the water right on the drive on the 12th… the angle of approach to the big mounded green on the short par-4 13th is key… watch out for water right (same as 12th tee shot) of the par-5 14th green… watch out for the deep, deep, deep bunker (staircase to enter provided) short right of the 15th green… time to head eastward for the final 4-3-4 tricky punch of Westhampton… do not add up your scorecard yet… water carry on the 16th is no issue, bunker left is… don’t go over this green… the short 206-yard par 3 Biarritz 17th is spectacular… don’t get lost in the swale… somehow I managed a long 2-putt for par across the traverse… the home hole brings you gracefully back to the historic and grand Westhampton Clubhouse…

30First a pause, tip of the hat and a tap on the heart to Westhampton members Thomas M. Brennan, Timothy J. Coughlin, Jeffrey E. LeVeen, and Joseph P. Shea who lost their lives on September 11, 2001…

Do not underestimate the difficulty of the deep green-side bunkers on the 18th… and don’t go long and knock one off the clubhouse like I witnessed a playing partner do at the home hole of the Old Course… which took a hook and a flyer!

Many thanks to Ann, Kirk, and Zeny from Andy’s Golf & Travel Diary for this historic round of golf at the historic Westhampton Country Club!

(Andy Reistetter; 5/21/19; Expanded Facebook Post with 30 Pics)

Referenced Source

Play Laurel Island Links in Kingsland, GA; Interstate-95 Golf at its Best!

Here is my ongoing experience playing the Laurel Island Links Golf Club which is less than 3 miles from the GA Exit 6 on Interstate-95 just across the Florida border. This is a club that you can call home whether you play it once a year, a handful of times a year or are a member! The Bogey’s Grille is the golfing equipment of ‘Cheers.’ Be sure to say hello to new owner (purchased in October 2017) Ron Tyre for me or better yet let me know when you are coming and I will tee it up with you! Good golfing!

So here is my Facebook posting log and three photo albums: 1) Aerial Pics from my Buddy Drone; 2) People of Laurel Island and the Food of Bogey’s Grille Pics; and 3) ground level Golf Course Pics.

Facebook Log:

Another great round of golf on the Laurel Island Links & Bogey’s Bar & Grille followed by a good time at Bogey’s! Some more aerial pics by my Buddy Drone! When was the last time you played Laurel Island Links? When will be your first time playing Laurel Island Links? Enjoy! (Facebook Post with 30 Pics; Andy Reistetter; 11-3-18)

Always a good time at Laurel Island Links! A Davis Love III design gem, challenging shot values, FUN golfing experience, beautiful salt marsh vistas, great people & then there is always Bogeys for some delicious food afterwards! Some aerial pics from my Buddy Drone! Only 3 miles off Interstate-95, Exit 6 in Georgia, just north of Jacksonville & the Florida State line. Come by sometime & tee it up, you will be happy you did! #IGolfI95   (Facebook Post with 30 Pics; Andy Reistetter; 10-29-18)

Another great golfing experience in South Georgia! You were right Tony Jr. Vizzie! Laurel Island Links Golf Club is a fun, challenging, & spectacular Davis Love III design! Salt marsh views on the first nine, pine trees embraced by honeysuckle on the second nine. Never felt more genuinely welcomed at a golf course than by owner Ron Tyre with Brendan & Pat in the golf shop, and Patty & Brittany in Bogeys, both a golfers & family friendly restaurant. Beer-battered fish was very tasty! Within 3 miles of I-95 Georgia Exit 6. Great way to break up a trip north or south on I-95 or visit from Jacksonville or Savannah! Maybe I should write an I-95 golf column? What would it take to entice people to take Exit 6 and play & experience Laurel Island Links & Bogey’s Bar & Grille? Thanks Ron Tyre for hosting Andy’s Golf & Travel Diary! PS Ron Ruckdeschel another good golfing opportunity in Georgia!   (Facebook Post with 30 Pics; Andy Reistetter; 4-27-18; feeling fabulous at Laurel Island Links & Bogey’s Bar & Grille in Kingsland, GA) ·

Aerial Pics:

People & the Food of Bogey’s Grille Pics:

Golf Course Pics:

Osprey Cove- A Residential Golfing Paradise in St. Marys, Georgia!

Found a little piece of Paradise just north of the FL/GA border at Osprey Cove in St. Marys! A Mark McCumber Signature golf course with the best of everything that I have ever seen in a Southeast coastal salt marsh golf course! Beautiful vistas, interesting, challenging, & fun routing; and a double 9th & 18th green! Osprey Cove looks like a great place to live too! Very warm & friendly people, a real peach of a place! Thanks Mike, Rob, Carolyn, & Mosaic Clubs & Resorts for hosting Andy’s Golf & Travel Diary! I will be back for sure!   (Facebook Post with 30 pics, Andy Reistetter, 3-12-18)

 

The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort: A Magnificent Restoration!!!

Not only did I survive but I thrived playing the Ocean Course in the wind!

Not only did I survive but I thrived playing the Ocean Course in the wind!

Mark Twain once said: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

Andy Reistetter now says: “The two most important days in a golf travel writer’s life is the day a golf course re-opens after a restoration project and the day I get to play it.”

For the fabulous Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort those days were November 2nd, 2017 and November 15th, 2017.

This is the 174-yard par-3 17th, part of the famed closing stretch named “The Bear!"

This is the 174-yard par-3 17th, part of the famed closing stretch named “The Bear!” Claw,”

On the afternoon of Friday, October 7th, 2016 the eye of Hurricane Matthew passed by Palm Coast churning at 120 mph, which is designated as a Category 3 hurricane.

Amazingly this tragic event with its devastation to the golf course was not only reversed but improved upon over a 13-month period.

As detailed in the press release below, “the Hammock Beach Resort owners and resort managers—Salamander Hotels & Resorts—  took a long-term view regarding conditioning (of the golf course) and opted to conduct a complete course restoration in conjunction with Nicklaus Design.”

'Joey' Burch is the kind of guy you want to meet (and interview if you are a writer) when you visit the Hammock Beach Resort... Joey said something simple, profound, and heartfelt to me- "It's good to see golfers on the golf course again!" I could not agree more!

‘Joey’ Burch is the kind of guy you want to meet (and interview if you are a writer) when you visit the Hammock Beach Resort… Joey said something simple, profound, and heartfelt to me- “It’s good to see golfers on the golf course again!” I could not agree more!

“Staying true to Nicklaus’ masterful design, 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.”

Having played the golf course before and after the restoration it is my opinion that they took a great golf course and made it even greater with subtle design changes and the best grass that money can buy and grow next to an ocean!

Scoring 46-37 as I transitioned from a somewhat sheltered (and shattered)  first nine to a wide open second nine in a 25-30 mile Nor’easter wind I would have to say “let her blow!”

Perfect day for clam chowder which kicked in to enable me to start the second nine with two birdies!

Perfect day for clam chowder which kicked in to enable me to start the second nine with two birdies!

The greens were ultra-pure and ultra-fast both uphill and downhill and into the wind and downwind too!

I say bring back the PGA TOUR or invite the LPGA and let those men and women give it a go too! Actually the PGA TOUR Champions played on the second more inland resort course designed by Tom Watson—the Conservatory Course. Watson did not win but Bernard Langer did in 2008 while Keith Fergus won the inaugural event the year before.

The Salmon Burger with House Made Chips!

The Salmon Burger with House Made Chips!

Besides playing the magnificent Ocean Course I was treated to a delicious lunch in the signature restaurant of the Hammock Beach Resort—The Atlantic Grille. I went with a bowl of the New England Clam Chowder and the Salmon Burger on a Brioche Bun. The tasty, the sweet, and the meat sustained me throughout the afternoon round of sunshine and challenging winds!

It was a great day playing the renovated and newly improved Ocean Course! Though I missed Opening Day the press release and great pictures below, including Lee Elder, the barrier-breaking, four-time PGA TOUR winner and Tennis Hall of Famer Ivan Lendl, make me feel like I was there!

Bravo Salamander, as this type of commitment and dedication is unparalleled!

Ocean Golf at its finest, at least on the second nine for Andy Reistetter!

Ocean Golf at its finest, at least on the second nine for Andy Reistetter!

The Florida Golf Collection of Sheila Johnson, the founder of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, goes west from Palm Coast through Orlando via the elegant Reunion Resort which is embellished with Nicklaus, Palmer and Watson Signature Course designs and then a bit south to the famed Innisbrook Resort in Tampa Bay, which has four golf courses and hosts the a PGA TOUR event on its Copperhead Course.

Playing any one of the nine Salamander golf courses is a treat but why not start at the Ocean and Conservatory Courses in Palm Harbor and play them all?

 

Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort Re-opens after 13-month Restoration Project

Jack Nicklaus Signature Design now features new salt-tolerant greens, fairways and rough

11 / 02 / 2017

PALM COAST, FL – The famed Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design, today re-opened after a 13-month restoration project.

The ceremonial first foursome at the re-opening of the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach comprised (from left to right): Paul Propis, the resort’s golf committee chairman; Lee Elder, the barrier-breaking, four-time PGA TOUR winner; Brad Hauer, Hammock Beach Resort’s director of golf; and Tennis Hall of Famer Ivan Lendl Photo Credit: Gregory Heck

The ceremonial first foursome at the re-opening of the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach comprised (from left to right): Paul Propis, the resort’s golf committee chairman; Lee Elder, the barrier-breaking, four-time PGA TOUR winner; Brad Hauer, Hammock Beach Resort’s director of golf; and Tennis Hall of Famer Ivan Lendl
Photo Credit: Gregory Heck

A ceremonial event, attended by golf, tourism and elected officials, featured a first tee foursome consisting of Lee Elder, the barrier-breaking, four-time PGA TOUR winner; Tennis Hall of Famer Ivan Lendl; Brad Hauer, the resort’s director of golf; and Paul Propis, vice president of the resort’s board of governors and golf committee chairman.

The Palm Coast, FL, resort is managed by Salamander Hotels & Resorts, the luxury hotel company founded by Sheila Johnson, and is part of the Salamander Golf Collection.

Renowned 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 resort’s owners and Salamander took a long-term view regarding conditioning and opted to conduct a complete course restoration in conjunction with Nicklaus Design.

Renowned for its six Atlantic Ocean-hugging holes and closing stretch named “The Bear Claw,” the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design, re-opens after a 13- month restoration project. Photo Credit: Ryder Haske

Renowned for its six Atlantic Ocean-hugging holes and closing stretch named “The Bear Claw,” the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design, re-opens after a 13- month restoration project. Photo Credit: Ryder Haske

Staying true to Nicklaus’ masterful design, 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.

The new salt-tolerant grass was tested by high winds and storm surge caused by Hurricane Irma in September, but the turf stood up well and the restoration project completion was only pushed back a few weeks.

“Today, the Ocean Course reclaims its position as one of the finest golf courses in the country,” said Salamander Founder & CEO Sheila Johnson, who also serves as an executive committee member of the United States Golf Association. “The location is unique, the views are exquisite and the conditioning now matches the spectacular locale. We thank Lubert-Adler, the resort’s owners, for its commitment to the game of golf, and are honored that the Ocean Course rejoins the rotation within our Salamander Golf Collection.”

The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach re-opened on November 2 after a 13- month restoration project. Photographed, from left to right, are: Prem Devadas, president of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, Terry Bechtold, managing director of Hammock Beach Resort; Sheila Johnson, founder and CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts; Amy Wilde, president of ACP Communities; Brad Hauer, director of golf at Hammock Beach Resort; and Neill Faucett, managing principal of Lubert-Adler. Credit: Gregory Heck

The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach re-opened on November 2 after a 13- month restoration project. Photographed, from left to right, are: Prem Devadas, president of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, Terry Bechtold, managing director of Hammock Beach Resort; Sheila Johnson, founder and CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts; Amy Wilde, president of ACP Communities; Brad Hauer, director of golf at Hammock Beach Resort; and Neill Faucett, managing principal of Lubert-Adler.
Credit: Gregory Heck

In addition to the Ocean Course, Salamander is also re-opening its North Course at Innisbrook Resort near Tampa Bay on November 3 – just 24 hours later. The course, designed by Larry Packard, had been closed for four months for a renovation of its greens.

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 already visually appealing course.

The course’s dune line, which is over a mile long, continues to be carefully restored ­to state conservational specifications. Newer and stronger dunes are forming, which offer greater environmental protection while also offering golfers some of the most stunning ocean views on the East Coast.

“By replacing Bermuda grass with the salt-tolerant Platinum Paspalum, we 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.”

Hammock Beach Director of Golf Brad Hauer hits a ceremonial first tee shot at the re-opening of the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort. The course re- opened on November 2, 2017 after a 13- month restoration. Photo Credit: Gregory Heck

Hammock Beach Director of Golf Brad Hauer hits a ceremonial first tee shot at the re-opening of the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort. The course re- opened on November 2, 2017 after a 13- month restoration. Photo Credit: Gregory Heck

The Ocean Course 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 (Tom Watson), has continued to accommodate guest and member play.

The restoration of the Ocean Course follows a number of previous enhancements at Hammock Beach Resort. The resort has recently renovated its grand lobby, refurbished all 15,000 square feet of indoor meeting and event spaces, and re-opened its signature restaurant, The Atlantic Grille.

In mid-November, it will launch its boutique accommodation option: The Lodge at Hammock Beach, which 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 spectacular ocean views, the Atlantic Grille, led by new Executive Chef Kevin Luque, is serving “Shore to Table” cuisine, highlighting local, freshly caught seafood.

Just south of historic St. Augustine, Hammock Beach Resort presents true luxury nestled among nature and offers an upscale escape surrounded by scenes of Old Florida, with more than 300 luxurious and spacious accommodations. There are numerous golf and social membership options available at the coastal oasis, which operates as both a private club and resort. It offers storybook experiences with two highly renowned and ranked golf courses designed by legends Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, a 10,000-square-foot ocean-inspired spa and fitness center, multiple restaurants and bars, a multi-level pool complex with adult and children’s areas, oceanfront meeting space, a marina and tennis center, and miles of coquina-laden coastline.

For more information, call Hammock Beach Resort at 866-841-0287 or visit www.hammockbeach.com. Hammock Beach Resort is located at 200 Ocean Crest Drive, Palm Coast, FL 32137.

 

About Salamander Hotels & Resorts

Salamander Hotels & Resorts is a privately owned and operated company based in Middleburg, VA, just outside Washington, D.C. Founded by entrepreneur Sheila Johnson in 2005, the company has a luxury portfolio featuring two distinct collections. The Signature Collection includes the stunning Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, a 340-acre equestrian-inspired property near Washington, D.C.; The Henderson, a 170-room grand beach resort in Destin, FL; NOPSI New Orleans, a new 217-room luxury historic hotel re-imagined which opened in July 2017; and Hotel Bennett, a 179-room luxury hotel in Charleston, SC, opening in summer 2018. The Golf Collection includes the famed Innisbrook Resort in Tampa Bay, which hosts an annual PGA TOUR on its Copperhead Course; the elegant Reunion Resort in Orlando, which includes Signature Course designs from Nicklaus, Palmer and Watson; and the recently renovated oceanfront Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, FL, home to layouts by Nicklaus and Watson. All Salamander properties are members of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. For additional information, visit www.SalamanderHotels.com.

 

 

Social Media Preview: The Ocean Course at the Hammock Beach Resort!

WOW, what a resort, and what a golf course! Knocked down by Hurricane Matthew last year, but with

The gorgeous and all-inspiring 174-yard par-3 17th hole on the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort!

The gorgeous and all-inspiring 174-yard par-3 17th hole on the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort!

Jack Nicklaus Design’s help and 13 months of repair and renovation, the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort has come back to life better than ever! Think about that, the damage to the six ocean-hugging golf holes, actually the entire golf course was impacted, yet the long-term vision, dedication, and financial commitment by Sheila Johnson and Salamander Hotels & Resorts has preserved one of America’s ocean front golfing experiences! True to Nicklaus’ masterful design, re-grassing with salt-tolerant Platinum Paspalum, reconstruction of tees, bunkers and green complexes, a legendary golfing experience is back alive, thriving, and open to golfers worldwide!

Nothing better than playing golf oceanside!

Nothing better than playing golf oceanside!

This is a true Ocean Course with a mile long encounter with the Deep Blue. Speaking of the Deep Blue, lunch in the Atlantic Grille was outstanding! More to be written on this amazing golfing experience! Welcome back Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort!, we missed you and are happy to be experiencing your treasures again!Many thanks for hosting Andy’s Golf & Travel Diary! PS: in the market for some new equipment so played with a rental set of Taylormade M2 irons, hybrids & driver! WoWie there is hope for my game! SOTO TP Collection putter was pretty sweet too!   (Facebook Post with 30 Pics, Andy Reistetter, 11-16-17)

Here are some pics and a press release too!

 

Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort Re-opens after 13-month Restoration Project
Jack Nicklaus Signature Design now features new salt-tolerant greens, fairways and rough

11 / 02 / 2017

PALM COAST, FL –  The famed Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Design, today re-opened after a 13-month restoration project.

The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort re-opened on November 2 after a 13-month restoration project. Pictured are holes 17 and 18. Phot Credit: Ryder Haske

The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort re-opened on November 2 after a 13-month restoration project. Pictured are holes 17 and 18. Photo Credit: Ryder Haske

A ceremonial event, attended by golf, tourism and elected officials, featured a first tee foursome consisting of Lee Elder, the barrier-breaking, four-time PGA TOUR winner; Tennis Hall of Famer Ivan Lendl; Brad Hauer, the resort’s director of golf; and Paul Propis, vice president of the resort’s board of governors and golf committee chairman.

The Palm Coast, FL, resort is managed by Salamander Hotels & Resorts, the luxury hotel company founded by Sheila Johnson, and is part of the Salamander Golf Collection.

First Foursome of Lee Elder, four-time winner on the PGA TOUR and the first African American to play in The Masters, talks with Sheila Johnson, founder and CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, at the re-opening of the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort. Photo Credit: Gregory Heck

First Foursome of
Lee Elder, four-time winner on the PGA TOUR and the first African American to play in The Masters, talks with Sheila Johnson, founder and CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, at the re-opening of the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort. Photo Credit: Gregory Heck
Download (11.9 MB)

Renowned 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 resort’s owners and Salamander took a long-term view regarding conditioning and opted to conduct a complete course restoration in conjunction with Nicklaus Design.

Staying true to Nicklaus’ masterful design, 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.

The new salt-tolerant grass was tested by high winds and storm surge caused by Hurricane Irma in September, but the turf stood up well and the restoration project completion was only pushed back a few weeks.

The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach re-opened on November 2 after a 13-month restoration project. Photographed, from left to right, are: Prem Devadas, president of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, Terry Bechtold, managing director of Hammock Beach Resort; Sheila Johnson, founder and CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts; Amy Wilde, president of ACP Communities; Brad Hauer, director of golf at Hammock Beach Resort; and Neill Faucett, managing principal of Lubert-Adler. Credit: Gregory Heck

The Ocean Course at Hammock Beach re-opened on November 2 after a 13-month restoration project. Photographed, from left to right, are: Prem Devadas, president of Salamander Hotels & Resorts, Terry Bechtold, managing director of Hammock Beach Resort; Sheila Johnson, founder and CEO of Salamander Hotels & Resorts; Amy Wilde, president of ACP Communities; Brad Hauer, director of golf at Hammock Beach Resort; and Neill Faucett, managing principal of Lubert-Adler. Photo Credit: Gregory Heck

“Today, the Ocean Course reclaims its position as one of the finest golf courses in the country,” said Salamander Founder & CEO Sheila Johnson, who also serves as an executive committee member of the United States Golf Association. “The location is unique, the views are exquisite and the conditioning now matches the spectacular locale. We thank Lubert-Adler, the resort’s owners, for its commitment to the game of golf, and are honored that the Ocean Course rejoins the rotation within our Salamander Golf Collection.”

In addition to the Ocean Course, Salamander is also re-opening its North Course at Innisbrook Resort near Tampa Bay on November 3 – just 24 hours later. The course, designed by Larry Packard, had been closed for four months for a renovation of its greens.

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 already visually appealing course.

The course’s dune line, which is over a mile long, continues to be carefully restored ¬to state conservational specifications. Newer and stronger dunes are forming, which offer greater environmental protection while also offering golfers some of the most stunning ocean views on the East Coast.

Hammock Beach Director of Golf Brad Hauer hits a ceremonial first tee shot at the re-opening of the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort. The course re-opened on November 2, 2017 after a 13-month restoration. Photo Credit: Gregory

Hammock Beach Director of Golf Brad Hauer hits a ceremonial first tee shot at the re-opening of the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort. The course re-opened on November 2, 2017 after a 13-month restoration. Photo Credit: Gregory Heck

“By replacing Bermuda grass with the salt-tolerant Platinum Paspalum, we 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.”

The Ocean Course 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 (Tom Watson), has continued to accommodate guest and member play.

The restoration of the Ocean Course follows a number of previous enhancements at Hammock Beach Resort. The resort has recently renovated its grand lobby, refurbished all 15,000 square feet of indoor meeting and event spaces, and re-opened its signature restaurant , The Atlantic Grille.

In mid-November, it will launch its boutique accommodation option: The Lodge at Hammock Beach, which 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 spectacular ocean views, the Atlantic Grille, led by new Executive Chef Kevin Luque, is serving “Shore to Table” cuisine, highlighting local, freshly caught seafood.

Just south of historic St. Augustine, Hammock Beach Resort presents true luxury nestled among nature and offers an upscale escape surrounded by scenes of Old Florida, with more than 300 luxurious and spacious accommodations. There are numerous golf and social membership options available at the coastal oasis, which operates as both a private club and resort. It offers storybook experiences with two highly renowned and ranked golf courses designed by legends Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, a 10,000-square-foot ocean-inspired spa and fitness center, multiple restaurants and bars, a multi-level pool complex with adult and children’s areas, oceanfront meeting space, a marina and tennis center, and miles of coquina-laden coastline.

For more information, call Hammock Beach Resort at 866-841-0287 or visit www.hammockbeach.com. Hammock Beach Resort is located at 200 Ocean Crest Drive, Palm Coast, FL 32137.

 

About Salamander Hotels & Resorts

Salamander Hotels & Resorts is a privately owned and operated company based in Middleburg, VA, just outside Washington, D.C. Founded by entrepreneur Sheila Johnson in 2005, the company has a luxury portfolio featuring two distinct collections. The Signature Collection includes the stunning Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, a 340-acre equestrian-inspired property near Washington, D.C.; The Henderson, a 170-room grand beach resort in Destin, FL; NOPSI New Orleans, a new 217-room luxury historic hotel re-imagined which opened in July 2017; and Hotel Bennett, a 179-room luxury hotel in Charleston, SC, opening in summer 2018. The Golf Collection includes the famed Innisbrook Resort in Tampa Bay, which hosts an annual PGA TOUR on its Copperhead Course; the elegant Reunion Resort in Orlando, which includes Signature Course designs from Nicklaus, Palmer and Watson; and the recently renovated oceanfront Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, FL, home to layouts by Nicklaus and Watson. All Salamander properties are members of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. For additional information, visit www.SalamanderHotels.com.

The Waterfall Club in Clayton, Georgia; Even More Spectacular in the Fall…

The colors are brilliant at The Waterfall Club especially when the sun peaks out late on a Sunday afternoon!

The colors are brilliant at The Waterfall Club especially when the sun peaks out late on a Sunday afternoon!

So came a Fall 2017 visit on top of the initial Summer 2016 visit to The Waterfall Club in Clayton, Georgia! Hoping for a Trifecta with a Spring 2018 visit to cover all seasons except winter! First time stayed in a private residence, this time in the Walnut Lodge Suite which came with an unbelievable view of  Lake Burton! David Feherty may have stayed in Coach Saban’s place on the lake but nothing really beats staying on-course with all the comforts of home and more, fine dining, lake access and the club’s own pontoon boat, a spectacular view and all the fresh air that you can breathe in! This is a private residential country club with lots for sale and a brilliant lodge for the members and their guests. Blessed to be a guest now for two visits and to be able to experience The Waterfall Club and Lake Burton! See the link to the article below!

Summer view of Signature Hole No. 2 with Doc Daryl Wiley.

Summer view of Signature Hole No. 2 with Doc Daryl Wiley.

Heading back to The Waterfall Club in Clayton, Georgia on the way to Asheville on the Reprise of the 2017 Fall East Coast Golf Journey! Had a great time there last year and will see the fall colors in peak season this weekend! Amazing place with amazing people, amazing views, and amazing golf! See you soon Chris Schindler! (Facebook Post with 1 Link; Andy Reistetter, 11/3/17)

The Waterfall Club in the N. Georgia Mountains- Beyond Expectations (Summer 2016)!

Fall view of the Signature Hole, the par-3 2nd hole with a 210 feet drop in elevation from tee-to-green!

Fall view of the Signature Hole, the par-3 2nd hole with a 210 feet drop in elevation from tee-to-green!

I can’t tell you how beautiful The Waterfall Club is! Words & pics don’t do it justice! Mountain autumn golf at its best, actually Super Best with bent grass greens! Velvet like greens but still FAST with lots of slope! Shooting 77 with three birdies makes it special too! Super special staying onsite in the Lodge in the walnut suite! Played here last summer, autumn now, hoping for a spring round in the future! Chris Schindler, thanks for hosting Andy’s Golf & Travel Diary!   (Facebook Post with 30 Pics, Andy Reistetter, 11/5/17)

Jason LeBlanc You picked a stellar time. Sorry I missed you Andy!

Morning view from the Walnut Lodge Suite!

Morning view from the Walnut Lodge Suite!

Andy Reistetter I did Jason! Sorry to miss you too! I also missed the Daryl C Wiley clan this time too! But I did see Chris and all 18 glorious golf holes, they really could all be signature holes!

Andy Reistetter Seriously Jason LeBlanc, you have me at Goodbye! With a view like this to awake to from the Walnut Lodge Suite I don’t ever want to say goodbye to the Waterfall Club! If invited, I will be back! Lifetime TROML Experience for sure!

Jason LeBlanc I hope you know you are always welcome.

Here are the pictures from the Fall 2017 visit:

 

Hidden Hills Country Club: One of Palmer’s Best Designs!

Granted God gave Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay this beautiful hilly country but they took advantage of the land and designed a memorable and fun t9o play golf course! I played it on a Sunday morning after Chet’s Creek Church and posted on Facebook about the wonderful experience—see below—and then below that for a gallery of pictures! How true the greens rolled after being aerated earlier in the week is a testament to Russ Libby’s greens keeper staff and to this solid design. Recently opened for public play, there is no reason Hidden Hills CC has to be hidden from you and your play schedule! a great place to put a tee in the ground and enjoy a wonderful round, some great wildlife and the hospitality of a country club too! Enjoy!

‘Pray & Play’ Sunday with my buddy Stokes Hill! First, an inspirational service at Chet’s Creek Church with Lead Pastor Spike Hogan. CHOSEN series opener; CHOSEN to Be God’s People. God always has a PLAN, a PURPOSE, & a PERSON.. Is that PERSON you? We are all God’s CHOSEN people but not all say YES! Then off to one of my favorite courses in all of the Southeast! Not you typical Florida golf course! Beautiful hills, real nice rolling hills with elevated tees, a beautiful Arnold Palmer/Ed Seay design. Even with recently aerated greens, the putts rolled true & it’s one of those golf courses with deep character so you remember the routing and each hole. Spectacular golf! Recently opened to public play, even with a full Sunday morning tee sheet we played in well under four hours. Russ Libby thanks for hosting ‘Andy’s Golf & Travel Diary!’ ‘Pray & Play,’ the way life ought to be! TROML Baby!   (Facebook Post with 30 Pics, Andy Reistetter, 6/4/17)

Afternoon Round on Old Mac at Bandon Dunes…

1Afternoon round on Old Mac… true links golf… another excellent Tom Doak design… played with my new golfing buddy Seafood Seattle Colin, aka as Bunker… after we both birdied the difficult last at Pacific Dunes… another thumbs up round at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort!   (Facebook Post, Andy Reistetter, 3-30-16 with 26 Pics and 2 Videos).

Bandon Preserve, 5th but NOT Final Course at Bandon Dunes!

Bandon Preserve is Bandon Vista of the Pacific too!

Bandon Preserve is Bandon Vista of the Pacific too!

Bandon Preserve, the Fifth & Final course to be played at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort… 13 hole par-3 which is as good,as the other four except all par-3s…plus don’t forget the Punch Bowl, a putting course near the Pacific Dunes clubhouse… I did with regret…   (Facebook Post, Andy Reistetter, 3-30-16 with 25 pics and 1 video).

Afternoon on Bandon Trails at Bandon Dunes…

I think he wanted to play golf with me!

I think he wanted to play golf with me!

Day One, in the afternoon I was playing Bandon Trails, a Coore-Crenshaw design.. awesome golf course!   (Facebook Post, Andy Reistetter, 3-29-16 with 17 Pics).