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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Rebirth of a Championship Golf Course

Ocean renewal: Hammock Beach course emerges from hurricane better than ever | via Golfweek.com

Hammock Beach’s Ocean Course is a Jack Nicklaus design that opened in 2000 and has been firmly entrenched among the top 100 on Golfweek’s Best Resort Courses list for years. So it was a pretty big deal in October 2016 when Hurricane Matthew swept across Florida’s eastern coastline, swamping the Ocean Course under a 9-foot storm surge.

I had a front-row seat to witness the destruction that Hurricane Matthew brought to this amazing course. Where there were once lush fairways and manicured greens were lakes filled with seawater and hurricane debris. When the water finally receded, everything it had touched was dead. Terrible.

I've also had a front-row seat over the last year or so to watch how hard this organization has worked to bring the Ocean Course back to life. To say their effort has been massive would be an understatement.

The word from some members I know is that the course is still a little bit rough around a few edges but in overall fantastic shape and improving every day. Considering every square foot of turf had to be removed and replace, and every green complex completely rebuilt along the way, it's amazing that the course is open so soon. Factor in that Hurricane Irma did some additional damage just a few months ago and the team that fought to save this course is to be highly commended.

I've been blessed with several opportunities to play the Ocean Course since it first opened. An invitation to play the rebuilt course for the first time since its re-opening came in a few days ago. It looks like I'll be spending my Christmas Eve playing golf on this amazing layout. Like I said, blessed.

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