The Ocean golf course at Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast hugs the Atlantic Ocean
PALM COAST, Fla. -- Hearing is believing.
While golfers can't always see the Atlantic Ocean on the Ocean Course at Hammock Beach Resort, they can usually hear the waves crashing while playing the holes near the beach.
The 7,201-yard course, built by Jack Nicklaus in 2000, doesn't always showcase the fact that it has more coastal frontage than any golf course in Florida. Nicklaus built elevated tees and greens on six holes that provide glimpses of the ocean over the sand dunes but never that awe-inspiring vista.
Ocean breezes are a constant playing partner on this brawny layout. The final four holes are nicknamed the "Bear Claw," a tribute to the Golden Bear that might be even more challenging than the "Bear Trap," holes 15-17 on the Champion Course at PGA National Resort & Spa made famous by the PGA Tour's Honda Classic.
It takes some savvy course knowledge to choose the proper club hitting into the elevated greens of the par-4 15th hole and par-3 17th hole. Both tend to play directly into the wind. A ribbon-thin fairway pinched by a waste bunker, water and forest make the short par-4 16th hole tougher than the yardage suggests. Making a par on the brutal final hole requires a game as good as Nicklaus himself. It's a stirring finish to one of the finest golf courses in Florida.
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