Junior Golf: Tom Watson’s Masterpiece

img_0135In this Monday Mulligan we will spend more time discussing The Conservatory, considered Tom Watson’s finest golf course and the Jack Nicklaus-designed Ocean Course. (photo jennleforge.com)

We played both Hammock Beach Resort courses twice and as strange as it seems we lost a lot more balls on The Ocean Course than on The Conservatory. There is just pretty much water everywhere on the Ocean Course and when you are right next to the beach on those gorgeous holes, the wind is blowing about 100 miles per hour. As a Jack Nicklaus course it is a 1st class design and has a number of fade holes for a right-handed player. And there are alligators in the water so you don’t get too aggressive about searching for balls in or near the ponds.

The salt air is hard on Bermuda greens and Paspalum Platinum grass will soon be on the greens at The Ocean Course as this grass has a high tolerance for the salty coastal air. The Conservatory was changed over to PP a couple of years ago and I must say those greens are immaculate and perfect. We were advised however, that putts tend to NOT die in the hole on PP. Players are advised to use a firm stroke to get the ball in the hole and we concur. S3 teeing off on #18 on The Ocean Course, how beautiful!image

Yes, S3 played The Conservatory from the tips both times and averaged 78, which is pretty much the rating for this course (actually 78.2). I must tell you that the communication among staff at Hammock Beach is beyond that of any hotel/resort where we have ever stayed. From the PGA pros to the starter and golf cart team to the food cart girls, everybody knew our names and was so polite and accommodating. When we showed up for our 1st round, basically getting out of the car and heading to The Ocean Course, the pro shop asked if we had eaten. Our response was not really and they asked if we would like them to make some turkey wraps and have them delivered to us on the course? Wow! Yes, we would and we had them about 2 holes later and they were delicious.

Now these courses are about 15 minutes apart and we were playing the same course every other day so our clubs needed to be transferred back and forth. No problemo. At the end of each round the cart guy asked for instructions for where our bags needed to be and the transfer truck always waited until the last group was finished before shuttling clubs from 1 course to the other. Absolute 1st class! Everything was so seamless and stressless that we could just relax and enjoy our family time at this wonderful place. Below is the driveable par 4, #15, at The Conservatory.image

Both courses are very special and lots of fun. If we had to pick, The Conservatory would be our favorite because every hole is visually breathtaking. I mean how many times can you say, “Wow” in a round? And it is a blast seeing your son play from the tips on Florida’s longest and likely, toughest, golf course!

If you haven’t guessed by now, we can’t say enough great things about Hammock Beach Resort and their 2 outstanding and highly-rated golf courses. We bought the Just Golf Package that included a 3-bedroom condo and lots of golf for all 3 of us. While this is not an inexpensive package, it does render superior value for the price. Our family totally recommends HBR and can’t wait to get back and tee off on those 2 great golf courses!

See you on #1 tee, looking salty… Sam

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