Course Architect: Jack Nicklaus
Year Opened: 2000
Location: Palm Coast, Florida
Slope: 147. Rating: 77.0
Par: 72
Yardage: 7,201
Hole-by-Hole: 1 - Par 4 380 Yds    10 - Par 5 522 Yds
                      2 - Par 5 540 Yds    11 - Par 4 384 Yds
                      3 - Par 4 414 Yds    12 - Par 3 225 Yds
                      4 - Par 3 192 Yds    13 - Par 4 433 Yds
                      5 - Par 4 434 Yds    14 - Par 5 551 Yds
                      6 - Par 5 526 Yds    15 - Par 4 450 Yds
                      7 - Par 4 458 Yds    16 - Par 4 399 Yds
                      8 - Par 3 185 Yds    17 - Par 3 174 Yds
                      9 - Par 4 468 Yds    18 - Par 4 466 Yds
                      Par 36  3,597 Yds     Par 36  3,604 Yds

Key Events Held: Ginn Championship (2007-present),
                 Amateur Golfers Tour Championship (2004),
                 USGA Senior Amateur Qualifying (2004),
                 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship (2003),
                 Georgia Seniors Golf Association Championship (2003),
                 U.S. Open Qualifying (2001).

Awards Won: Ranked #10 by Golf Digest - Best Courses you can play (FL) (2013),
            Ranked #3 by Golfweek - America's Best State by State (FL) Public
            Access Courses (2004-2006),
            Rated 4 1/2 stars by Golf Digest - Best Places to Play (2006),
            #78 by Golf Magazine - America's Top 100 You Can Play (2006),
            Top 50 Golf Course for Women by Golf For Women (2002-06),
            Rated #1 course on Florida's First Coast by Travelgolf.com,
            AAA Four-Diamond Award (2004-06).

Website: www.oceanhammock.com

HISTORY: It's not often you find a piece of land on the Florida coast that has
not  been developed,  but when Jack Nicklaus heard about the property at Ocean
Hammock, he jumped at the chance.

Opened  in the winter of 2000, Ocean Hammock Golf Club is the first oceanfront
course  to open in the Sunshine State in over 70 years. The Nicklaus Signature
layout  features  eight holes that  overlook the Atlantic Ocean, including the
spectacular ninth and 18th holes.

This  is  Nicklaus at  his  best,  with  long  and risk-rewarding  par  fives,
sensational  and challenging par fours and thrilling and demanding par threes.
Doglegs  reign  supreme, along with  plenty of  water hazards, pines and palms
and, surprisingly, uphill and downhill holes. The putting surfaces are equally
challenging, as they range from as little as 23 paces deep to over 40 yards in
length.  But that's not the half of it, as the speed and undulations are quite

Upon  completion  of the  layout, the  Golden Bear  called Ocean Hammock, "The
Pebble  Beach of the East Coast." Although biased, it is certainly high praise
from the greatest golfer of all time.

Accolades  have  certainly been  thrust upon Ocean  Hammock since its opening,
such as being named one of the top-100 Courses in America You Can Play by Golf
Magazine and rated 4 1/2 stars by Golf Digest.

The  United  States Golf Association certainly  wasted no time in adding Ocean
Hammock  to its docket, as it awarded the resort the 2003 U.S. Women's Amateur
Public  Links  Championship. Teenage sensation  Michelle Wie's rise to stardom
began  at  this event,  as she became  the youngest champion  of an adult USGA
championship  at  the age of 13,  when she defeated Virada Nirapathpongporn in
the final.

Nirapathpongporn  was  the medalist  after  the  stroke-play portion,  carding
rounds   of  72-69,  while  Wie  completed  the  36  holes  at  even-par  144.
Nirapathpongporn's road to the final was rather easy, as she defeated her five
opponents  before reaching the 17th hole. In fact, her semifinal match was a 5
&  4  thumping of Beth  Allen, who has played on the LPGA Tour the past two

Wie on the other hand struggled at the onset, as she posted back-to-back 2 & 1
wins  in the  first two rounds before  heating up. Wie then won her next three
matches  by 5 & 4, 6 & 5 and 5 & 4 scores. Wie's quarterfinal win came against
Becky Lucidi, who captured the 2002 U.S. Women's Amateur.

In  an amazing championship match, Wie outlasted Nirapathpongporn in a 36-hole
match, 1-up, for her first and only title outside her home state of Hawaii.

After  dropping the second hole of the match, Nirapathpongporn won five of the
next  six holes  to  take a  4-up  lead  on the  opening  nine. Wie,  however,
responded  by winning four  of the next six holes to square the match. The duo
halved the next four holes and were even after the opening 18.

Nirapathpongporn reclaimed the lead by winning two of the next four holes, but
the  advantage was short-lived, as Wie captured four of the next five holes to
take a 2-up lead with just nine holes remaining. Nirapathpongporn responded by
taking  two  of the next  three to  even the match  once again with five holes
left.  Wie  then eagled the  par-five 32nd hole (14th),  as she sank a 20-foot
putt  for a 1-up lead, but again Nirapathpongporn evened the match with par on
the 34th.

The   final   turning  point  in   the  match  came   on  the  35th  hole,  as
Nirapathpongporn  missed  a three-foot par  putt on the  par three and the two
players  halved the  last,  as  Wie became  champion.  Wie  was a  stroke-play
equivalent of seven-under par for the 36 holes while Nirapathpongporn was six-

The  course  played just  over 6,000  yards for the  championship with the cut
coming  at 14-over par. During the opening round of stroke-play, Cindy Skilton
of  Pennsylvania recorded  a double-eagle on the par-five 14th, when she holed
her  five-wood second shot.  When Wie made eagle on this hole, she used a six-
iron for her second.

REVIEW:  Standing on the  first tee, take a look behind to take in the scenery
of  the  Atlantic Ocean.  It will  be seven  holes until  you return to Mother
Nature's splendor.

The course opens with probably the easiest hole on the layout, a simple dogleg
right  par four of  just 380 yards. The shortest four par on the course can be
had,  as the large fairway is quite accessible. Avoid the trio of bunkers down
the  right side  and you'll  have a  simple wedge  to an  elevated green.  The
putting  surface does have some slope to it, as it rolls from back to front. A
back-left  pin can be  tough to get at, especially with the bunker left of the

The  first of four outstanding par fives, the second is a solid 540 yards from
the  black buttons.  Water comes into play  down the left side, jutting in and
out  several times. Once again, the landing area is quite wide, so try and cut
off some of the water down the left. All you'll need is 225 yards to carry the
inlet  and you  might be able to give it  a go in two. This is where the brain
should  take  control of the brawn.  The fairway tightens drastically from 100
yards  in  with woods and two  pot bunkers left  and a sandy waste area right.
Going  for the green  in two will require precision, as the putting surface is
guarded by two deep traps in the front. Although just 29 paces deep, the green
is  wide  and undulating. With  a short  pin, use the  back stop to place your
pitch close to the flag for birdie.

After  a pair of real birdie chances, the third is a fairly long and tight par
four.  The key is  the tee shot, which must split woods left and right and the
two  fairway bunkers  on either  side. A  medium iron  will remain  to a  very
difficult  green. An outcropping of four bunkers block the left portion of the
putting  surface,  while another quartet  of sand traps  guard the rear. At 23
yards  deep, this is the smallest putting surface on the front nine and one of
the most demanding. When the wind is up, this hole can be a bear.

One  of the  finest holes  on the  course, the  fourth is  a great  par three,
stretching  a modest  192 yards. The tee  shot travels over water to the green
and  to the  right. Four  strategically  placed bunkers  surround the  putting
surface,  which  is very wide and  undulating. A par  here will be a very good

Next  up are  the boomerang  fifth and  sixth holes,  which bend  sharply left
around  water hazards.  The dogleg par-four fifth requires a draw off the tee,
hugging  the left side as much as possible to set up a mid-iron approach. It's
not  a  bad play  to miss your  opening shot  to the right,  as the fairway is
bunkerless, thus avoiding the water. The putting surface is quite large with a
deep bunker fronting the green and two pot bunkers deep.

Talk  about  your ultimate risk-reward  par five, the  sixth is only 526 yards
from  the tips  and bends to the left.  A big tee ball down the left side over
the  corner of the lake will set up an opportunity to go for the green in two.
One  word  of caution: The  putting surface is  surrounded by water, so you're
200-yard-plus second will be all carry to the promised land. The green is long
and  two-tiered with sand guarding the left. It's a great hole to get one back
with  a birdie.  By the way, if  you're playing the conservative way, you must
avoid the handful of bunkers down the right side of the fairway off the tee.

Snapping  back to the right, the dogleg seventh is a robust 458 yards from the
tips,  thus earning  its No. 3 handicap  ranking. The key here is avoiding the
trees  lining  the right  side of  the fairway. The  landing area is generous,
although  water and a sandy beach blanket the left side. A medium to long iron
will  remain to an undulating green with sand and grass bunkers abound. Making
par here is like stealing one on the scorecard.

Playing  back  toward the ocean,  the eighth is a  fantastic par three that is
dramatically  effected  by the wind.  Listed at only  185 yards, this hole can
play  three or four clubs differently on any given day, especially when Mother
Nature blows. The elevated green is quite narrow and undulating with a pair of
deep  bunkers to the  right that sit well below the putting surface. The green
runs  right up  against the beach, featuring  a nice view of the Atlantic, but
devilishly close to OB, making club selection crucial.

One  of two holes  on the course that run alongside the ocean, the ninth is by
far  the hardest hole at Ocean Hammock. At 468 yards, it's also the longest of
the  par fours  and requires two well-struck blows. Two bunkers, one right and
one  left, must be avoided to have any shot at getting home in regulation. The
landing  area  is quite generous, as  it plays slightly downhill from the tee.
Playing  down the  right side will shorten your approach to the uphill putting
surface,  but you will  still be left with a long iron or hybrid. The green is
long,  slick  and undulating from back  to front and  sits in full view of the
mighty Atlantic.

The back nine opens with the easiest par five on the course, however, don't be
fooled.  From  an elevated tee box,  the straightaway 522-yard 10th features a
tree-lined fairway down the entire right side, a narrow landing area and a 25-
yards-deep  bunker down  the left, which is quite reachable off the tee. There
are  two  rules of thumb for  your next play: Go  for the green -- that is, of
course,  if  you hit a  big tee shot  -- or layup in  the 100-yard range for a
simple  third.  Either way, you  must avoid the  quartet of bunkers, short and
near  the green. The  most dangerous of the four are the duo that stand by the
elevated  green. Both are very deep and difficult to recover from. The putting
surface  is very  shallow at 25 paces,  and quite undulating. The ridge in the
center  will direct balls left or right, so control of your approach is of the
utmost  importance. So,  yes, one of the simplest on the course, but demanding

Coming up next are two of the finest holes on the course, the dogleg-left par-
four  11th and  the lengthy par-three 12th.  Not the longest of par fours, the
11th  is  only 384  yards from  the tips, however  a large  lake runs down the
entire  left side of the hole to the green. There are two trains of thought on
the  tee  box: 1) Play  towards the right-center of  the fairway with a three-
metal  to the  widest portion of the  landing area, thus setting up a 150-yard
approach  to the green and taking all the trouble out of play, and 2) The more
risky  option is  to go with the  big stick and try  to cut off as much of the
water  as possible, also avoiding the 20-yard bunker in the left-center of the
fairway, as this will set up just a short wedge to the green. What's left is a
slightly-elevated putting surface just 23 paces deep, but quite long with sand
left  and  deep running  towards  the  lake.  The  undulating green  is  quite
challenging, especially with a back-left pin.

The  12th is  the longest  of  the quartet  of  par threes  at Ocean  Hammock,
reaching  a whopping 225  yards from the black markers. The carry to the green
is  all over  water to a 41-yards-wide putting surface fronted by a beach-type
bunker  and a  deep trap  built  into the  hillside  on the  right. With  wind
affecting  your shot off the tee, this could be one bear of a hole, especially
with  another back-left  flag. It's hard to pick favorites and signature holes
on this course, but No. 12 certainly stands out.

One of the more difficult driving holes, the 13th is anything but lucky. Trees
and  out of bounds run down the entire left side, while a large stand of trees
guard  the  right landing area.  Let's not forget  the 35-yard bunker down the
left  that pinches the fairway at the 200-yard marker. If you're strong enough
to  fly the bunker  and reach the landing area, you'll be left with a mid-iron
to  a  very shallow, but  relatively flat,  green. Chipping areas surround the
surface  and a  deep bunker, front-right, must  be avoided to have any shot at
par. Who knows, maybe you will get lucky.

The  longest  hole on the  course is  the par-five 14th  at 551 yards. The so-
called  easiest hole with  a No. 18 handicap rating, this monster bends to the
right  around a  large body of water  that comes into play on all three shots.
Although  the fairway is  the widest on the course, two bunkers, one right and
one  left, must be  dissected to give yourself any shot at birdie. A big blast
down  the right  side can  give the  player  a shot  at getting  home in  two,
especially  with a helping  breeze. Bypass the tall palm tree by the water and
slip  past the greenside bunker and, who knows, maybe you will make a three or
a four.

The  final  four holes at Ocean  Hammock are affectionately known as "The Bear
Claw."  Course  designer Nicklaus  commented that "they  should rank among the
game's  more memorable  finishing foursomes." It comes as no surprise that the
final quartet are rated as four of the top-eight most difficult on the course.

First  up is  the robust, straightaway par-four 15th. It measures a rugged 450
yards  from the  tips and plays uphill  to the green and towards the ocean, so
expect  a head wind. Even with a big tee ball, the player is still left with a
long  iron or  hybrid to  a green  that's  perched a  good 30  feet above  the
fairway.  There are no  greenside traps to mess with, just a steep grade to an
undulating  putting surface that overlooks the Atlantic. A par here would be a
great start to the "Claw."

The  narrowest of fairways,  the 16th provides plenty of drama as you stand on
the  tee. From an  elevated box, this short par four sweeps to the left around
another  finger of  water. Three-metal or a  long iron should be the play from
the start, thus avoiding the water and the 50-yard beach bunker on the left. A
medium  iron should remain to a slightly-elevated green that slopes sharply on
all  sides. The bunker  that guards the left portion of the putting surface is
difficult  to get up and down from, so the bottom line...You better be precise
or  your short game  will be subject to scrutiny. A word of caution: Stay away
from the right side, as trees guard the entire ride to the green.

With  the ocean on the horizon, the par three 17th is as good as it gets. Over
water  and  sand, this one-shotter is  all about club selection. With the wind
blowing  off the  water, picking the right stick will be of utmost importance,
as  two deep traps guard the front along with a large beach bunker. Of course,
any shot long could reach the dunes by the Atlantic, so beware.

Although  similar to  the  closing hole  on  the front  nine,  the 18th  plays
completely  different  than its predecessor, as  the ocean and the wind are on
the left side and the hole bends ever so slightly to the left. A very generous
landing  area  is afforded the  player off the  tee, however, a 40-yard bunker
stands  guard down the right and of course the beach and dunes flank the left.
Whether  you split the fairway or find the rough, you will still find yourself
with  a fairway metal or long iron to the two-tiered, elevated green that sits
precariously  close to  the beach. A very deep bunker protects the front-left,
so if you're going to err, miss right by all means.

FINAL WORD: Phew! You'll definitely need to catch your breath after completing
Ocean  Hammock Golf  Club and "The Bear  Claw." Ocean Hammock has it all, from
sensational scenery to outstanding conditions and a terrific track.

You  can't go  wrong when several holes  play up to and alongside the Atlantic
Ocean. Water comes into play on all but two holes, although with the ninth and
18th,  you'll  be hard-pressed to reach  the ocean, unless of course it's high

With  all  of the different  angles, wind directions and yardage fluctuations,
this course is really a strategic, shotmaker's venue, not a bomber's paradise.
Take,  for  example, the par-five  sixth or  the par-four 11th, both requiring
placement  off  the tee and  both rewarding  the aggressor or the conservative

Don't  get me  wrong, you  still need  to  move it  out there,  as the  course
stretches  to over 7,200 yards, but you must be accurate. Despite its whopping
148  slope  and 77.0  rating, Ocean Hammock  is for all  levels, as the course
yardage  starts at 5,115  with five sets of tee boxes. Since 2002, it has been
rated as one of the top 50 courses in the United States for women.

Let's  talk about  some of  the amenities  at Ocean  Hammock. The  first-class
practice facility sits between the first and 10th holes and can handle a small
army of players. The halfway house features a chicken salad sandwich that's to
die for and the pro shop is fully stocked with all of the latest apparel.

But the piece de resistance is the Lodge at Ocean Hammock. With just a handful
of  rooms -- 20 to be exact -- the Lodge sits above the 18th green and affords
all  guests  views of the  Atlantic Ocean. The food  at the Atlantic Grille is
exceptional  and  the relaxed atmosphere  and sensational staff will make your
stay complete.

Just  a  short drive from  Jacksonville, Ocean Hammock is conveniently located
off  A1A in  the small town of  Palm Coast, situated between Daytona Beach and
St.  Augustine. Let's not forget the relatively minimal distance to Mickey and
Minnie  at Disney World and of course the PGA Tour headquarters at Ponte Vedra

This  is a top-notch destination that will only get better with age. Trust me,
Ocean  Hammock is one course you need to start planning to get to. The word is
certainly  out about  Ocean Hammock and it'll  be just a matter of time before
getting  a reservation at this haven of leisure and recreation will be hard to

All  you need  to know  is  this comment  by  the greatest  golfer ever  after
designing  the course: "As  it relates to the East Coast in the United States,
you  are not  going to get any better  than you have right here." No, it's not
Pebble Beach, but it's awfully good.