Jacksonville FL Trip - Need some Course recommendations!

A couple of us northern boys (Boston, MA) are going down to Jacksonville, FL for our annual golf trip. Last year, we did Hilton Head, SC which was a lot of fun. Hoping that this year builds off of that.



We are flying in on Thursday, December 6th and are hoping to get a quick 9 in for practice (we get in around 11 so getting a full 18 in probably isn't doable). We are staying at the Four Points Jacksonville Beachfront.



First question - Where would a good place be to get a quick 9 in on Thursday? Somewhere fairly close due to lack of daylight after we are all settled.



On Friday we are doing the Slammer and Squire in the morning and the King and Bear in the afternoon. Really looking forward to golfing these 2 courses.



On Saturday, we are looking to golf around 10ish.



Second Question - Any recommendations for what course we should play? We don't want to travel too far but are willing to uber 30-45 minutes away if it means getting a great experience.





Appreciate all of your help/insights/suggestions.



Best,

Chris
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Comments

  • jut111jut111 Members Posts: 1,597 ✭✭
    edited Nov 6, 2018 #2
    I’d recommended renting a car over uberring everywhere. Jacksonville is huge and a lot of the better public courses are outside city limits imo.



    That said courses I’ve played and really loved are north and south Hampton and St. John’s golf and country club.



    Personally I’d do n Hampton on either travel day as it’s a haul from where you’re staying. If you want to go to the hotel first then Windsor Parke is probably the best closest option.



    St. John’s and south Hampton are down around where you’ll be Saturday. I’m too cheap but obviously tpc sawgrass is an option.
  • SMcGavin1SMcGavin1 Members Posts: 115 ✭✭
    If you've never done it, TPC is quite the experience. Ponte Vedra Beach Inn is a lot of fun too.
  • geauxtigers777geauxtigers777 Members Posts: 59
    SMcGavin1 wrote:
    If you've never done it, TPC is quite the experience. Ponte Vedra Beach Inn is a lot of fun too.


    Agree with TPC. Even if you don't want to pay for the stadium course, the valley course is a lot of fun.
  • fsuspfsusp Members Posts: 909 ✭✭
    If you are staying at the beach, plan on at least 1 hour+ drive to st Augustine. Morning traffic can be a nightmare. I used to live at the beach and A1A to JTB can back up. Plan accordingly.



    Also, Jax Beach CC just did a major overhaul. I have not played it since it was a goat track. But, it was a fun goat track and beer was cheap. If I were staying at the beach, I would play it the day I got in simply to unwind, make some bets, and get acclimated. There are a ton of restaurants nearby as well as bars. An Uber would be reasonable to there.



    But as others have said, there is no way I’d Uber to st Augustine. Way too far.



    Windsor Parke is fun. But, you have to go over the intercostal. Though not far, traffic could be a pain.



    Some other beach courses I would consider would be:

    Atlantic Beach CC—Web.com had the finals there before and will again in 2019



    Valley Course



    Ponte Vedra Inn and Club—short track but super fun



    TPC is overrated. Played it. Was fun simply because we see it on tv but there are much better courses for less money.



    Have a blast.
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  • ChrisGio315ChrisGio315 Members Posts: 430 ✭✭
    Thanks everyone. Anyone else?
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  • burnsniperburnsniper Members Posts: 515 ✭✭
    I vote for the TPC Courses. The stadium course is one of my favorite (partially due to familiarity from TV). I travel/work regularly in Jax and when I bring the clubs alsways seem to end up there.
  • fsutankerfsutanker Posts: 288 ✭✭
    I’d recommend buying a first tee of North Florida tour card and saving a ton of money on the WGV courses and TPC Valley. There are some Friday-Sunday restrictions but you should be able to get all your rounds in and save some serious $$ across your group.

    https://tourcard.org/

  • whynotgolfwhynotgolf Members Posts: 59 ✭✭


    Thanks everyone. Anyone else?




    If you do rent a car (advised over uber as well) and go down to St Augustine...I would go a tad farther to Palm Coast and play Ocean Hammock...Nicklaus track with about 7 holes on the Atlantic...I've never played the TPC, but one guy in our group has played both and he said TPC has some very memorable holes as does Ocean Hammock, but 1-18 he liked Ocean Hammock better. Watson also has 18 very nearby.



    Sounds like fun...have at it!
  • youraway2youraway2 Just Old Sticks Members Posts: 1,402 ✭✭
    whynotgolf wrote:



    Thanks everyone. Anyone else?




    If you do rent a car (advised over uber as well) and go down to St Augustine...I would go a tad farther to Palm Coast and play Ocean Hammock...Nicklaus track with about 7 holes on the Atlantic...I've never played the TPC, but one guy in our group has played both and he said TPC has some very memorable holes as does Ocean Hammock, but 1-18 he liked Ocean Hammock better. Watson also has 18 very nearby.



    Sounds like fun...have at it!
    Yes Hammock has two nice tracks, I really liked them and stayed fairly reasonable on property. Also I hear conditions at Palencia have come back around. Never been a fan of the two TPC courses, every time I've play them they were very wet, deep rough and very muddy. Stadium has improved drainage in the fairways, but last time I played the Valley course I sunk to my ankles in the middle of the fairways, heard they have improved conditions there as well, so maybe I need to give them another try.
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  • fsutankerfsutanker Posts: 288 ✭✭
    I played Valley yesterday. They just overseeded so greens were slow and they were watering the fairway and greens between every group. It stunk for us, but it’s part of their formula for the annual plan to be in good condition year round.



    You can’t go wrong with any of the courses recommended in this thread.



    Hammock: Ocean has the better views but I feel like Conservatory is a better round of golf.



    Also, an hour down to LPGA and get a quality 36 in for a really good rate. Two totally different 18s.
  • J_BirdieJ_Birdie LOFT Issue Members Posts: 1,698 ✭✭
    I played Oak Marsh at Amelia and TPC Sawgrass Stadium in the two days I was there and was not disappointed by either course
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  • cubuffscubuffs Posts: 390 ✭✭
    Was just talking with my buddy yesterday during a round about our trip 6 years back. We played Amelia National, Golf Club at North Hampton, TPC Stadium. All were good, with the Stadium course being well worth it in my opinion (we got lucky as the Web.com was playing the Valley course and we got to be in the clubhouse when Jake Owen was giving a concert the day we played TPC). Golf Club at North Hampton is not easy, but my buddy still talks about how much we both enjoyed that course.
  • ChrisGio315ChrisGio315 Members Posts: 430 ✭✭
    So everything is booked.. Appreciate all of your input!



    Here is what the trip looks like:



    Thursday - Quick 9 holes at Jacksonville Beach Golf Club (afternoon).

    Friday - Morning Round - Slammer & Squire

    Friday - Afternoon Round - King & Bear

    Saturday - TPC Dye Valley



    Really looking forward to these courses. Doing a flyover, they do NOT look easy. If anyone has played them recently, anything to watch out for? Any information I can use to my advantage to beat the other 7 guys? haha
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  • iteachgolfiteachgolf Members Posts: 16,591 ✭✭
    Jax beach is easy. Plays firm and fast. Neither WGV course is hard, Slammer is actually quite easy IMO. Valley is simply a good test.
  • diddlediddle Posts: 148 ✭✭
    I live in ponte vedra. I've played most of the courses in the area.



    Jax Beach course is not too difficult unless the wind is really blowing. And since it's near the beach and exposed, the wind is usually a factor but haven't played there since the renovation.



    Sawgrass TPC is fun and a must if you can get on but actually not as difficult as the valley course imho. Avoid oak bridge which is in the complex but not in good shape at all.



    Wgv courses are worth the trip down the highway. Both are well maintained and not too difficult. But King and bear is more difficult. And you get free apples!



    I would also check out South Hampton and St Johns just off of I95 & 210. Both are nice and pretty easy fun courses for a reasonable rate.



    North Hampton is up near Fernandina. It is a beautiful course but a little more difficult.



    Windsor park is also nice and a good test. As is queens harbor with small sloping greens...



    Have fun!
  • ChrisGio315ChrisGio315 Members Posts: 430 ✭✭
    iteachgolf wrote:


    Jax beach is easy. Plays firm and fast. Neither WGV course is hard, Slammer is actually quite easy IMO. Valley is simply a good test.




    Ahh great to hear.. We are all decent golfers (handicaps range from 12 all the way to 23) so Valley should be interesting since it will be the deciding course to crown the winner of the DaM Cup...
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  • tanker44tanker44 Mid-AtlanticPosts: 242 ClubWRX
    Hyde Park on the westside. Get there about 7am on Saturday and get in the skins game and then tell Billy you are from out of town and looking for a game with some of the regulars. Bring lots of beer and cash and you will get to experience the best of golf on the westside of Jacksonville. FYI - it is a Donald Ross course and David Duval grew up playing at the neighboring Donald Ross course named Timequanna. Enjoy.
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  • jschwarbjschwarb Members Posts: 735 ✭✭
    diddle wrote:


    I live in ponte vedra. I've played most of the courses in the area.



    Jax Beach course is not too difficult unless the wind is really blowing. And since it's near the beach and exposed, the wind is usually a factor but haven't played there since the renovation.



    Sawgrass TPC is fun and a must if you can get on but actually not as difficult as the valley course imho. Avoid oak bridge which is in the complex but not in good shape at all.



    Wgv courses are worth the trip down the highway. Both are well maintained and not too difficult. But King and bear is more difficult. And you get free apples!



    I would also check out South Hampton and St Johns just off of I95 & 210. Both are nice and pretty easy fun courses for a reasonable rate.



    North Hampton is up near Fernandina. It is a beautiful course but a little more difficult.



    Windsor park is also nice and a good test. As is queens harbor with small sloping greens...



    Have fun!




    I worked at the Tour for a few years and one of the perks was being able to play the Valley course year-round for a cart fee (or less to walk, which I usually did). It's a great test and fair, not to mention it's almost never the five-hour round that the Stadium ALWAYS is.
  • ThorntonMelonThorntonMelon Posts: 190 ✭✭
    Different than op but is Palencia worth going out of the way for? Have an option to play it but would mean messing with my schedule a bit- mixed reviews but some make it sound like a great take- curious on opinions



    Thanks
  • iteachgolfiteachgolf Members Posts: 16,591 ✭✭


    Different than op but is Palencia worth going out of the way for? Have an option to play it but would mean messing with my schedule a bit- mixed reviews but some make it sound like a great take- curious on opinions



    Thanks




    It’s been in better shape recently. Had some issues last year
  • ThorntonMelonThorntonMelon Posts: 190 ✭✭
    But is it a memorable track or just a pretty standard golf course?
  • iteachgolfiteachgolf Members Posts: 16,591 ✭✭


    But is it a memorable track or just a pretty standard golf course?




    It’s a very good course. Not as good as some others in the area but there are some heavy hitters in this area. I wouldn’t ever cal it standard. It’s worth playing
  • ThorntonMelonThorntonMelon Posts: 190 ✭✭
    Thank you very much.
  • nocarts83nocarts83 Member Posts: 142 ✭✭
    jschwarb wrote:

    diddle wrote:


    I live in ponte vedra. I've played most of the courses in the area.



    Jax Beach course is not too difficult unless the wind is really blowing. And since it's near the beach and exposed, the wind is usually a factor but haven't played there since the renovation.



    Sawgrass TPC is fun and a must if you can get on but actually not as difficult as the valley course imho. Avoid oak bridge which is in the complex but not in good shape at all.



    Wgv courses are worth the trip down the highway. Both are well maintained and not too difficult. But King and bear is more difficult. And you get free apples!



    I would also check out South Hampton and St Johns just off of I95 & 210. Both are nice and pretty easy fun courses for a reasonable rate.



    North Hampton is up near Fernandina. It is a beautiful course but a little more difficult.



    Windsor park is also nice and a good test. As is queens harbor with small sloping greens...



    Have fun!




    I worked at the Tour for a few years and one of the perks was being able to play the Valley course year-round for a cart fee (or less to walk, which I usually did). It's a great test and fair, not to mention it's almost never the five-hour round that the Stadium ALWAYS is.




    We were there on a buddy trip back in September. In my opinion, the Valley course is "good", but not particularly unique if you've played a lot of Dye courses. Think Barefoot in Myrtle Beach...maybe a hair better than that but you get the idea. Your enjoyment of the Stadium course rides on 1 of 2 factors: either you really get a kick out of the "see it on TV" thing, or you've played a ton of courses and really appreciate fine architecture. 1-18, it's just a stellar course. Just like Pinehurst, you get people saying "I like the other courses better!", but that's usually based on less difficulty and that person's personal experience.



    With these courses, though, the "is it really worth it?" factor always comes into play. To be fair, we had an in there and didn't pay rack rate. It probably comes down to the thickness of your wallet. To me, the Valley is more like a $100-200 course. I'll never fault anyone for paying more on a travel trip like that, but I'd never ever pay that rate if I lived close. As for the Stadium...it's one of the best courses I've ever played, but I wouldn't put it on a tier to be worth the full rack rate either. I'd put it a hair above Kiawah, but you can play Kiawah for less than half in the offseason. If you're a value golfer, I'd pass. If you have the green and are the type that would appreciate it, you should absolutely play it, even if the pros never did.



    You know what's not overrated, though? The nachos in the clubhouse. Always get the nachos.
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