Course: Ponte Vedra Inn and Club (Ocean Course)
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Course architects: Herbert Strong (1928) | Robert Trent Jones (1947) | Bobby Weed (1998)
From the tips: 6,811 yards
Saturday morning green fee: $$$$ ($150-199)
Caddie service: No
Walker friendly: Yes
Starter: The Ocean Course is a classic 1928 design located near the Atlantic Ocean. Cool bunkering and some unusual greens — such as at Nos. 9 and 16 — make it fun. The 1939 Ryder Cup was scheduled to be played here, but it was postponed due to World War II. The island green at the ninth was the inspiration for Pete and Alice Dye to build the island 17th at nearby TPC Sawgrass.
Play because …: They rake the beach with a tractor daily at this AAA Five-Diamond Resort — which requires a stay at the resort or as a guest to play — so you know the golf will be good. The Ocean Course is historic, fun and playable. The 6,000-yard, par-70 sister Lagoon Course is more difficult than its short scorecard would have you believe.
Takeaway: Even though TPC Sawgrass' Stadium Course is just down AIA, this classic is more fun because of its historic design, interesting, old-style green complexes and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. Wind can change the course’s difficulty quickly. It's more playable than TPC Sawgrass and you can jump in the ocean afterward.
RATINGS [1 to 10 scale, 10 being the highest]
Food | beverage: 10
Pro shop: 8
Pace of play: 8
THE COURSE (Scorecard)
Best par 3: 16th hole (131 yards). The island green ninth is more famous, but the course's shortest hole tees off toward the nearby Atlantic Ocean. The hole offers a green with three distinctly different tiers that can dramatically change how the hole is played.
Best par 4: 4th hole (467 yards). The dogleg right usually plays into the prevailing wind. The tee shot includes water on the left and right, and the approach is into a green that is very deep and elevated.
Best par 5: 14th hole (485 yards). Yes, it's short, but the second of consecutive par-5 holes on the back nine requires a precise drive around bunkers. Avoid the water right of the green and master a green that is very shallow.
RATED BY: Ward Clayton