Hammock Beach Resort - The Conservatory (386-246-6710)
Florida Golf Course Review
Located just a short drive from St. Augustine and Daytona Beach, Hammock Beach Resort is a full service luxury resort featuring some of the finest golfing
opportunities available in Northeast Florida. The 36 holes of championship golf on property have been created by some of the game's greatest designers
and players - Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson - with a third course designed by Fred Couples to open in 2008. The resort features fitness facilities, pools
and spa, fine dining, banquet/special event/meeting facilities and a variety of accommodations at the Lodge, or in villas, condos and furnished homes, as
well as walkways along beautiful oceanfront properties, with opportunities for viewing abundant native wildlife. For more information on Hammock Beach Resort - click here.
The Conservatory Course
The Conservatory at Hammock Beach Resort is one of Tom Watson's newest Signature Courses and some would argue his most aggressive
accomplishment to date. This 18 hole championship course was literally carved out of 140 acres of Palm Coast landscape and, after opening in October
of 2006 to high accolades, The Conservatory has become one Florida's top ranked courses.
The clubhouse at The Conservatory was under construction during our review in December of 2007 but the majority of exterior work had been completed
and it was obvious that this will be an architectural gem. Scheduled to open in March 2008, the clubhouse will feature an extensive golf shop, restaurant,
lounge, banquet facilities and locker rooms for both men and women that will feature showers and steam rooms.
Practice facilities include a large complimentary grass range and an extensive short game area with bunkers, chipping green and putting greens. Deluxe
golf carts feature coolers with complimentary water, club protectors and on-board UpLink GPS systems.
The Conservatory is is a massive layout. The longest of the 6 available tee boxes plays 7,776 yards with a slope of 155 and a course rating of 78.4!
Middle tee boxes measure 7300, 6792 and 6271 yards with slopes/ratings of 151/76.6, 142/74.0 and 135/71.3 respectively. Two sets of forward tees
provide an equally challenging round with yardages of 5995 (132/70.1) and 5509 (127/67.8). Bermuda rough, Paspalum fairways and TifEagle greens
are immaculately manicured. Greens are large, dramatic, undulating and sloping and will challenge even the most seasoned duffer.
Golfers will find this course as visually stunning as it is challenging. Watson created an exciting experience for golfers by providing a unique mixture of golf
holes - some resembling Scottish links with large sprays of pampas and other grasses lining fairways that roll and ramble - offering little in the way of an
even lie. Other holes feature deep pristine bunkers that overwhelm the fairways and approaches, and some typical Florida holes feature coquina sand
waste bunkers that line the fairways and water hazards.
The landscaping on the Conservatory is impeccable. As mentioned earlier, grasses and sand provide visual stimulation but guests will also be
overwhelmed by the attention to detail in the placement of tall pines, palm trees and floral arrangements. Two particularly beautiful holes are the par four
#7 (which features a waterfall and stream) and the par three #8 island green.
The Conservatory is a course not only for those who appreciate what man can do for nature, but for golfers who enjoy a true challenge. What will matter
on this course is - well - gray matter...how much you have and how well you use it. Long hitters will be required to control their shots because danger lies
everywhere. And target golfers, as well, will have to bring their "A" game. Heralded as the Third Best New Course in the U.S. in 2007, The Conservatory at
Hammock Beach Resort is truly the ultimate golf experience and one that will leave you wanting for more!
For additional information on The Conservatory at Hammock Beach Resort including a link to its website, click here.