FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

St. Simons Island, GA, The Hampton Club

Feb 1, 2008
2008 / February 2008

The wonderful retreat of St. Simons Island, Ga., full of golf courses and fabulous beaches, is often overlooked by travelers from outside the southern United States. North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida get far more attention, even from golfers who tend to gravitate to the big-name courses in those states. Here’s a tip: Take a closer look at Georgia, where golfers will find many hidden gems, such as the Hampton Club on St. Simons Island.

In the 18th century, the Hampton Club land was part of the Hampton Plantation, where cotton, indigo and rice were grown. When the decision was made to build a golf course here in the 1980s, 300 acres of mature oaks and pines at the northernmost tip of the island were turned over to course designer Joe Lee, who used the natural topography of the land — lagoons, tidal marshes, ancient trees and even natural marsh islands — in his design. The result is a course that presents some singular challenges and offers golfers spectacular views, especially from the elevated cart paths.

The full-service clubhouse provides all the necessary amenities, but the true beauty of the Hampton Club is its connection to The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort. (The course is just a 10-minute shuttle ride from the hotel.) The King and Prince, a member of Historic Hotels of America, has a history on the island that goes back more than 70 years. It opened as a private club in 1935 and when the original building burned down a few years later it was replaced by a marvelous Spanish Colonial-style hotel complete with red-tile roofs and a terrazzo ballroom floor. After opening in 1941, the hotel was commandeered for use by the U.S. Navy when a German U-boat was spotted off the coast in 1942. By 1947, it was back in service as a hotel and renovations and upgrades to the guestrooms, suites and villas have been made regularly — most recently in 2003.

My guestroom was literally steps from the beach, which was inviting and never crowded. The resort’s amenities, restaurant, bar and pool all were tops, and it was a perfect place to relax after taking on the challenge of Joe Lee’s Hampton Club course.


Hole 3

(570 yards, par 5)

From the blue tee this is a long hole with lots of mature trees on either side of the fairway. A trap lies on the right side of the fairway positioned to catch any drives that fly off the mark. On your second shot, stay away from the pond that lies to the right. From here your approach to the green should be between 120 and 150 yards, depending on the length of your second shot. Joe Lee made sure this was a playable course, so golfers should have fun. This green, with its links style approach, allows you to roll the ball to the pin.

Hole 4

(196 yards, par 3)

This tricky par-3 is made difficult by its length and by the pond that lines the right side of the fairway, starting about 110 yards from the pin and extending to the green. The water is far enough from the green that it should not really come into play, however a bunker on the left side might interfere if you hook the ball slightly.

Hole 5

(500 yards, par 5)

Another par-5 on the front side; this one is slightly shorter than Hole 3. A large pond lies to the right side of the fairway and trees line the left, which makes accuracy off the tee box crucial. Drive slightly right and past the pond to gain perfect position for your second shot. Then, presuming you followed my advice, you can give it all you’ve got and drive a straight ball down the fairway. Theoretically, a big hitter can make this green in two; less aggressive players will end up with a short chip to the green. Beware of the perfectly placed traps, one on either side of the fairway about 20 to 30 yards from the green. These traps can end your dreams of birdie or par.

Hole 9

(365 yards, par 4)

Water, water everywhere makes this par-4 a nuisance. Off the tee you have to carry water, which then turns and runs along the left side of the fair way all the way to the green. The dogleg left requires you to cross the water to reach the green. A 200-plus yard drive off the tee, positioned center of the fairway, will place you perfectly for your approach shot. From here you will be about 150 to 160 yards to the green and your shot will need to partially clear the water just before the green.

Hole 11

(373 yards, par 4)

This dogleg right requires you to drive your tee shot past the pond on the right to the center of the fairway to make your turn to the green. From here you should have a mid-iron shot to the green. Beware of the two traps that protect the front section of the green. The green is elevated in the back so be mindful of the pin placement.

Hole 14

(461 yards, par 5)

Don’t let the length fool you on this par-5; it is a very difficult hole and it requires perfect placement of your shots. Your drive from the tee box need only be about 180 yards to place you well short of the pond that runs up the right side of the fairway to the green. You must also avoid the marsh that lines the entire left side, running up and wrapping around the back of the green. Your second shot must stay clear of the water and take you about 100 yards to the green. The green itself is slightly elevated and has two nasty traps, but they might not be the worst hazard here as balls hit with too much gusto can end up in the marsh.

Hole 15

(155 yards, par 3)

This is a fairly easy par-3 with water on the right that should not come into play. There are three traps that protect the green if you fall short right or left.

Hole 17

(430 yards, par 4)

This dogleg right will require an accurate drive from the tee box avoiding the trees that line the narrow fairway. A lone fairway trap lies on the left side about 230 yards from the tee box. Your second shot might bring you into birdie territory. Again, a straight and accurate shot is necessary, but you will be able to roll your ball up to the green. One traps lies to the right side of the green.


The Hampton Club
100 Tabbystone
St. Simons Island, GA 31522
tel 912 634 0255
http://www.hamptonclub.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
January/February 2021
Mar 4, 2021

Set Your Sights on San Antonio’s Art, Culture and Green Spaces

San Antonio celebrated 300 years of progress in May 2018. With a clear vision following that anniversary year, the Texan city set its sights firmly on 300 more. While commemorating this milestone, the city underwent a major overhaul to prepare for the next phase in its history.

What To Expect When Flying: oneworld Debuts Information Portal

Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.

Daily
Mar 4, 2021

SoJo Spa Club: Tranquility with an Urban View

When you think of a relaxing spa day, mountains, rivers and view of gorgeous landscapes pop in your head; a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of any city’s booming music and honking taxis. SoJo Spa Club and Hotel gives you the relaxing feeling of being away while still staying close to the busy center of Manhattan.

eFlyer Reviews
Mar 3, 2021

Mondrian Doha Review

I was part of a group of travelers attending the Hamad International Airport Expansion presentation in Doha. Most arrived the day before, but due to a family commitment, I arrived the following day. A driver picked me up at the airport and drove me to the sleek and modern Mondrian Doha, designed by Marcel Wanders of the Netherlands. The 270-room property was the first sbe hotel in the Middle East. My luggage was scanned and put aside for a hand check and the guard removed the little sleep sound device I use to cover city noise when I sleep and travel. “No speakers allowed,” the guard said, but once I explained what the item was he allowed me to take it. From there, check-in was swift, and I received a packet of information about dinner and the week’s agenda.

Peace of Mind

IHG® Business Edge provides small- to midsized enterprises with benefits and confidence to navigate the evolving business travel environment.

eFlyer News
Mar 3, 2021

Munich Airport Works Toward Climate Neutrality

As ACI EUROPE and leading European aviation associations recently detailed a plan to make sustainable aviation a reality, Munich Airport continues its work toward climate neutrality. In 2019, MUC was one of the first airports in Germany to sign a Net Zero Carbon resolution alongside more than 200 other European airports in 2019. The pledge aims to deliver net zero airport CO2 emissions by 2050.

Daily
Mar 3, 2021

The Galt House Hotel Updates Meeting Offerings

The Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, introduces new meeting offerings starting this month. Louisville’s only waterfront hotel recently underwent a property-wide $80 million renovation on all guestrooms, meeting spaces and new food and beverage concepts.

The Greatest Show on Earth

Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.

Daily
Mar 2, 2021

6 Reasons to Put Madrid, Spain, on Your Travel List

As the vaccine rolls out and travel begins to pick up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next international trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Madrid, Spain, with us.