King and Bear GC at World Golf VillageKing and Bear Golf Course at World Golf Village

King and Bear Golf Course at World Golf Village
1 King and Bear Dr
St Augustine, Florida 32092
Saint Johns County

Phone(s): (904) 940-6088, (904) 940-6200
Fax: (904) 940-6211

The course is a unique and historic collaboration between Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus and opened to the public in November 2000. The King & Bear is an 18-hole, par 72, 7,200-yard course featuring loblolly pines and open meadows on the front nine and the natural beauty of 200-year old live oaks complementing the back nine.

The signature feature of the course is placid lakes edged with large coquina rock. These beautiful lakes come back into play on 16 of the 18 holes.

Coquina rock is also incorporated into several bunkers and cart paths, lending visual texture to the stunning natural refinement of the land . This course is will challenge the skilled golfer while still being friendly to the novice.

Every tee shot offers you a unique look and a new opportunity to strategically plan your play. The King & Bear eagerly awaits you.

King and Bear Golf Course at World Golf Village
4.5 stars out of 5 (based on 2 reviews)
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A view from a tee at King and Bear Golf Course from World Golf Village.A view from a fairway at King and Bear Golf Course from World Golf Village.A view over the water from King and Bear Golf Course at World Golf VillageA view of green #15 with water coming into play from King and Bear Golf Course at World Golf VillageA view of the putting green at King & Bear GC @ WGVA view of the clubhouse at King & Bear GC @ WGVView from King & Bear GC @ WGV

Golf course details

  • Holes: 18
  • Designed by: Arnold Palmer, Bruce Borland, Ed Seay, Jack Nicklaus, Jim Lipe, MacCurrach Golf, Nicklaus
  • Public/Private: Resort
  • Year opened: 2000
  • Golf Season: Year round. Peak Season: Mid-February - May
  • Guest Policy: Welcomed
  • Tee times welcomed: Yes
  • Fairways: 419 Bermuda Grass
  • Greens: 419 Bermuda Grass


  • Pro in house: Yes
  • Driving range: Yes
  • Rental clubs: Yes
  • Rental carts: Yes - included in green fee

Green fees price ranges

Course policies

  • Metal spikes allowed: No
  • Dress code:
  • Credit cards accepted:

Length, slope and rating for each tee

Tee Par Yardage Slope Rating
Stone 72 7279 141 74.6
Black 72 6855 138 72.5
Blue 72 6506 133 70.6
White 72 5987 129 68.4
Green (W) 72 5119 123 69.4
White (W) 72 5987 136 74.3
Green 72 5119 110 64.7
Blue/White Blended 72 6217 132 69.2
White/Green Blended (W) 72 5501 128 71.4
White/Green Blended 72 5501 117 66.1

Reader Ratings / Reviews

  • King and Bear Golf Course at World Golf Village
    4.5 stars out of 5
    by The Golfin' Guy
    on March 16th, 2021 19:26
    Millions of golfers each year flock to the Sunshine State to play golf. From Destin in the Panhandle to Key West, the year-round warm weather makes Florida a golfer’s paradise. While there are great courses to be found all over the state, the Orlando area seems to be the most popular among golf travelers. In addition to some fantastic golf courses, there’s a lot to do off of the golf course.

    One of the areas that seem to be overlooked is St. Augustine, which in my opinion has the most to offer golfers: World Golf Village. World Golf Village is to golfers what peanut butter is to jelly. They just naturally go together. Within World Golf Village is The PGA TOUR Golf Academy at World Golf Village, the World Golf Hall of Fame, the Renaissance World Golf Village Hotel, several eateries, and two championship golf courses: The King & Bear and The Slammer & Squire.

    Whether you’re new to golf or just fine-tune your game, the PGA TOUR Golf Academy at World Golf Village can set you on the right path. They specialize in providing clinics, group exercises, as well as one-on-one teaching for all levels of golfers. The academy also offers group activities such as team-building exercises, night golf, and challenges. They can help with every facet of your game, from the driver to the putter using the latest technology: TrackMan and the SAM PuttLab.

    If you’re a golf junkie like me, you can easily spend a couple of days at the World Golf Hall of Fame. Next year (2022), four new members will be inducted into the Hall of Fame including Tiger Woods, Tim Finchem, Marion Hollins, and Susie Maxwell Bering. Exhibits include the Member’s Locker Room, containing personal items from each member, Tales From the Collection, Tributes to Nancy Lopez and African American Golfers, THE PLAYERS Experience, built around the PGA tournament in nearby Ponte Vedra, and The Challenge Hole – a 132-yard island green reminiscent of the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass.

    The Renaissance World Golf Village Hotel is located in the middle of WGV and puts you in walking distance of the Hall of Fame, PGA TOUR Academy, Bill Murray’s Caddyshack Restaurant, and The Slammer & Squire Golf Course. The rooms are spacious and well-appointed, offering everything you’ll need to relax after a round of golf or touring the grounds. The Villagio Restaurant is located on the first floor and serves a great breakfast buffet during non-COVID 19 times as well as sumptuous dinners.

    All this leads us to the golf courses, The Slammer & Squire and The King & Bear. The King & Bear is the coup de gras of the two courses. It’s located a couple of miles away but is definitely worth the trip. You’ve probably figured out by now the designers behind it, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. Not only were these two champions part of the inaugural Hall of Fame class, but their collaboration on this course is also amazing. Of the two courses, King & Bear is much more of a “players” course although, with seven different yardages on the scorecard, there’s an appropriate distance regardless of ability.

    The King & Bear can best be described as a tale of two nines. The front nine is more of a links-style course, open and airy with lots of native grasses. The back nine is where the fun begins. In true Florida golf fashion, many of the holes are lined with tall, loblolly pines and ancient oak trees, waste areas created with crushed coquina shells, and several water hazards. Since both Palmer and Nicklaus excelled off the tee, good driving is at a premium, especially on the two signature holes designed by each player. They are handicapped as the two most difficult holes on the inward nine. Number 15 is Arnie’s, a risk/reward,311-yard par 4 with a slight dogleg right. Most players will opt for a two-shot approach into a green surrounded by water. Number 16 is Jack’s hole, a 416-yard dogleg right par 4. A long drive down the middle goes a long way in succeeding on this hole. Trees line the right side and anything long and left off the tee is not likely to be found. Most players will be left with a long iron or hybrid approach shot into a large, elevated green protected front and right by a large, deep greenside bunker. Par these two holes and you’ve most likely shot a good round!

    The clubhouse at the King & Bear was recently remodeled and is spectacular, especially their brand new restaurant, AJ’s Kitchen & Cocktails. World Golf Village’s newest dining venue recently won a Golden Fork Award, placing second in Best New Amenity 2021. AJ’s specializes in specialty drinks, beer samplers, and a wine wall as well as some uncommon comfort food with a local twist including Grilled Jerk Spiced Wings, Braised Short Rib Quesadilla, and Hatch Pepper Spiced Grouper. Whether you’re looking for something light or a multi-course meal, AJ’s has something for everyone.

    Both courses have comprehensive practice facilities with full-length driving ranges, short game areas with bunkers, and large practice greens. Many players that don’t have time for a round will spend a couple of hours at one of the two practice facilities.

    World Golf Village is currently accepting new members so if you can’t get enough of these courses, here’s your chance! WGV is managed by Troon Golf, the #1 golf course management company in the country. As a member of a Troon-managed property, you’ll have access to other Troon private and daily fees across the country and around the world. And with Troon’s recent acquisition of Indigo Golf Partners, that list has grown significantly!
  • King and Bear Golf Course at World Golf Village
    4.5 stars out of 5
    by David Theoret
    on May 14th, 2018 12:54
    The King & Bear golf course at The World Golf Village in St. Augustine, FL is, in the words of co-designer Jack Nicklaus, “a collaboration of two friends, and an opportunity to bring a friendship together.” The “King” - Arnold Palmer - and “Bear” Jack Nicklaus, joined together to create a course where each hole exhibits characteristics of both players. For Nicklaus, it’s the wide fairways and generous landing areas off the tees whereas Palmer prefers the fast greens. At the time it was built, King & Bear was the only course in the world that the two had built together.

    The King & Bear course offers five sets of tees, creating an enjoyable time for any level of golfer. From the back (Stone) tees, the course measures 7,279 yards with a course rating of 74.1 and a slope of 138. Most men will get all they can handle from the Blue Tees (6,506/70.8/131), while the Ladies play from the Green Tees to a yardage of 5,119 (69.1/124). It would be fitting to mention at this point that King & Bear has been ranked in the top 100 Women-Friendly Courses by Golf for Women Magazine.

    The course meanders around pristine lakes and ponds with beautiful loblolly pines and stately oak trees throughout. These trees are spectacular to look at; that is until they impede your shot! The emphasis here is on a part of the game that both men were famous for – driving the golf ball. Water hazards are plentiful too. During the winter month, King and Bear over seeds their tee boxes, fairways and greens, producing a brilliant green color which provides a stunning contrast to the dormant Bermuda grass. It also makes for some fabulous playing conditions during the winter months. Another nice touch are the free chilled apples on the 1st tee and as you make the turn at the 10th. If you are inclines to walk the course, World Golf Village recently introduced a new caddy service. Check with the pro shop before your round to get more information.

    Not far from the clubhouse is a full length driving range with multiple targets, an impressive short game area and a large practice putting green. Many players come to the King & Bear just to use the practice facilities. Range balls are included with your paid greens fee.

    Inside the King & Bear clubhouse, you’ll find a full-service pro shop with all the latest logoed gear from top designers. There are men’s and women’s locker rooms with showers and changing facilities, so you can freshen up before heading home. You’ll also find The Champion’s Grille, with food fit for a King – and a Bear! The restaurant is open for breakfast and doesn’t close until 7 pm, so you can grab a bite no matter when you finish. For breakfast, you can’t go wrong with the Eggs Benedict and for lunch their chicken wings are big and meaty, and their burgers hit the spot. Rest assured, you won’t leave hungry. There are also several large screen TVs where you can catch the latest sporting events as well as a daily happy hour.

    Memorable Holes: (All Yardage is from the Blue Tees)

    Number 1: Par 4, 381 yards. At first glance, #1 gives you the idea that the landing area is very small, but trust me, there’s a lot of room there. Ideally, a tee shot over the water and bunker towards the left center of the fairway leaves a low to mid-iron approach into a well-guarded green. Par is a great way to start.

    Number 6: Par 3, 157 yards. This par three that has it all: trees galore, water and beach bunkers. A pin placement on the right side is best attacked with a fade. Anything long and left may find the back bunker. The green is long and narrow with substantial undulation. There’s a bailout area short left of the green if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

    Number 10: Par 4, 375 yards. It’s time to make a choice. A drive down the left side brings water and a coquina shelled waste area into play. The right side is the easier drive but brings a deep, menacing greenside bunker into play on your approach shot; too far right and you’ve got trees to deal with. The fairway slopes dramatically from right to left, so you may not have a choice. Another hole where par is a good score.

    Number 15: Par 4, 311 yards. This is Mr. Palmer’s favorite hole on the course and is easily the most photographed. It’s s a short par 4 that requires accuracy off the tee. With large Loblolly pines on the left side and a lake to the right, a long iron, hybrid or fairway wood is all you’ll need off the tee. From there, you’ll most likely have a short or iron or pitch shot over a stunning rock wall that surrounds the peninsular green; odds are that you’ll have to carry all or part of the water. Beware of the deep bunker long and left. Make your par and thank Arnie.

    Number 16: Par 4, 416 yards. Jack Nicklaus has a favorite hole here as well. It’s Number 16, a brutally long par 4, dogleg right. The oak trees down the right side keep you honest while the Loblolly pines on the left catch any shot missed that way. One particular Loblolly sits on the left side of the fairway. Regardless of how well you strike your drive, you’ll most likely be facing a long iron, hybrid or fairway wood into the green. An extremely large bunker guards the front right side of the green and catches many shots short of the green.

    Last Word: The best way to derive the most pleasure from this course is to play from the tees that best suit your handicap and playing ability. When in doubt, take Jack’s advice and tee it forward. The King & Bear will surely challenge the skilled golfer while providing player-friendly conditions for the novice.

    The traits of both designers are readily visible in this layout: coquina shelled waste areas and rock-fronted greens are found throughout the course. There are no outrageously long carry shots from any tee, but there is a certain amount of strategy required if you want to score well. Having an idea of where to hit you tee shot on some of the par 4 holes is something you will remember when you play the course a second time. And, as mentioned earlier, the emphasis here is on driving the ball. A good game from the tee boxes goes a long way in shooting a good score here. Compared to other Nicklaus courses, the greens are friendly, although the subtle breaks you find throughout this layout can spell trouble on the scorecard. To Arnie’s credit, the greens do tend to run fast. The course is well maintained and the staff is warm, friendly and anxious to help you make the most of your golf experience at The King and Bear.

    World Golf Village, The Slammer & Squire and The King & Bear makes for a great weekend of golf, whether it’s a family outing or a mancation. Throw in the World Golf Hall of Fame, where both designers are members, and the IMAX theater and what else can a golfer ask?
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