Ponte Vedra (Ocean) - Florida - USA

Ponte Vedra Inn & Club,
200 Ponte Vedra Beach,
Florida (FL) 32082,

  • +1 (0) 888 839 9145

Originally designed by Herbert Strong back in 1928, the Ocean course at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club has subsequently been upgraded by both Robert Trent Jones Snr and Bobby Weed.

Many might think that the island green concept was started by Pete and Alice Dye a couple of miles to the south of Ponte Vedra Beach at Sawgrass, but the 9th on Ponte Vedra's Ocean course is a granddaddy by comparison, dating back to the Golden Age.

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Description: Originally designed by Herbert Strong back in 1928, the Ocean course at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club has subsequently been upgraded by both Robert Trent Jones Snr and Bobby Weed. Rating: 6 out of 10 Reviews: 2
Colin Braithwaite

The Ponte Vedra Inn & Club is one of the top resorts in the country. Per my wife, Beth, it has the best spa she has ever been to. The lap pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean is pretty cool, too. Ponte Vefra has two courses and the Ocean Course was opened in 1928. Paradoxically, The Lagoon course is closer to the ocean. The course was scheduled to host the 1939 Ryder Cup, but was cancelled due to World War II. On a historical note, on June 16, 1942 four Germans, who had spent a considerable time in the United Sates prior to World War II, came ashore from a German submarine on Ponte Vedra Beach. They caught a bus to Jacksonville and then took trains to Chicago, Cincinnati and New York. All four were caught before they could cause any damage and were ultimately executed.

To the course, the first hole is very welcoming with plenty of room for wayward shots. Several years ago I was wearing my Loudmouth Gator shorts. As we were teeing off, someone hollered out, “Nice pants.” I quickly retorted, “Are you checking out my ass?” He got the last laugh when he said, “Do you work out?” The 2nd is a short par 4 and a good birdie oppty, however the water on the right near the green can provide a challenge. The 3rd is a long par 5. Aim over the middle fairway bunker off of the tee. There are a myriad of bunkers in this fairway and I would recommend taking an extra club on the uphill approach shot. The par 4 4th is deceptively tricky. It is recognized as one of the toughest par 4s in northern Florida. Depending upon the tees you are playing and the wind you may drive through the fairway into the water hazard. The approach is over water and slightly uphill. When we were last there they were removing a 10 foot gator from the water hazard. The par 4 7th has one of the more generous fairways, however, be aware of the false front. You may want to take an extra club. The par 4 8th is a dogleg right with a bunker on the inside elbow. Left of center off the tee is best. Which brings us to the par 3 9th . While legend has it that Pete Dye’s wife, Alice, had a flash of inspiration to make the 17th hole at Sawgrass The Island Green, Ponte Vedra Inn has the original island green. Not a long hole, from the tips it is 144 yards, it has back to front sloping green and is surrounded by 7 bunkers. Several times we stayed at the inn and had rooms overlooking the green from the north side. We enjoyed hitting balls to green from “our backyard” and wagering on how many balls the next group would splash.

The back is much shorter. The short par 4 10th is the number 18 handicap and as tempting it is to hit driver, this green is a peninsula. A better play is right of the fairway bunker and give yourself your favorite yardage to go pin seeking. Eleven is a long demanding par 4. The par three 12th plays uphill. The 13th and 14th are back to back par 5s. Play the 13th as a 3 shot hole. The 14th is much shorter and is definitely reachable but the pond along the right side squeezes the fairway about 50 yards from the green. Also, this green is one of the most undulating on the course. The dogleg left 15th is best played along the left tree line. Anything hit right of center will probably end up in the rough. The 16th is a neat short par three over water with very little room for error to a multi-tiered green The18th is a short par four with a narrow fairway and a large green.

A fun course, I highly recommend it. I think it should be ranked much higher.

December 10, 2018
6 / 10
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December 12, 2018

You’ve certainly put it around in the sunshine state Colin!

What might a list of your Top 10 Florida public access courses look like?

Would find that very helpful.

Colin Braithwaite
December 16, 2018


I am going to cheat in my response in that several of these are resorts with multiple courses:


World Woods


TPC Sawgrass – when I was there in October they were looking for $500

Ponte Vedra Inn

Orange County National

Crandon Golf @ Key Biscayne

PGA Wanamaker (Port St. Lucie)

Hammock Dunes

Bay Hill

Camp Creek

Mission Inn

December 17, 2018

Cheers Colin!

I’ve played a grand total of zero of these courses, so had better get busy...

Jeff Kissel
December 17, 2018

I wholeheartedly agree with the top 3 on that list.

Andy Newmarch
The area around Ponte Vedra is full of golf – TPC Sawgrass, The World Golf Hall of Fame and the PGATour HQ are all not too far away. The Ocean course is well worth playing but I did feel a little cheated as although the Atlantic is only Ponte Vedra (Ocean) Golf Course - Photo by reviewerabout 200 yards away, you do not see it once during the round! However, there are twelve holes where water plays a big part. On the whole, this can be described as a second-shot course as there is not too much pressure on the tee shots – the fairways seem to be very generous, in saying that the opening tee shot is one of the hardest; over water and water to the right too. The 4th is the first hole for a mention; a par-5 under 500 yards but water crossing at about 160 yards from the green asks plenty of questions, either if laying up or trying for the green in two. The third par-5 on the front comes at the 6th – I like this hole because of the bunkering on the right of the fairway (five of them) to catch the Ponte Vedra (Ocean) Golf Course - Photo by reviewerslightly cut drive and then water close by the green on the left. The 9th will be remembered for a while; a short par-3 to an island green with seven bunkers protecting. The back continues in a similar vein, fairly generous off of the tee and five holes with water hazards. The 17th is really nice; a strong par-4 with a very wide fairway but there are a couple of bunkers in the middle that are blind from the tee, so watch out - then an uphill approach to the green is longer than it looks. If I am honest, I think the closing hole is a little weak – a straight forward hole with some bunkering but a slightly elevated tee gives a decent view to avoid these. The course was chosen for the un-played 1939 Ryder Cup and if historic events were different, then the Ocean course may have had a bigger reputation in the course history of the US. Overall, worth a visit and a decent 4-ball course – expected a little more though.
February 16, 2016
6 / 10
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