The King and The Prince is no allusion to Arnold Palmer; the golf course was a later addition to the resort of the same name, on the northwest side of St. Simon’s Island.
Joe Lee was the architect during 1989 and the resort acknowledges that it “grew concerned that the site might not support the layout [Lee] planned.” The designer adapted his plans to incorporate a series of marsh islands across Wilson Creek, which in time became the course’s signature stretch. Players will travel across more than 800 feet of bridges across holes Nos. 12 through 15. The plot includes two par threes with shots across the marsh, ranging between 120 and 155 yards.
The most adventurous may be No. 14, which — at 455 yards — is an eminently reachable par five. The trick will be to play its double dogleg without ending up in the wetland that lurks on both sides of the fairway. It’s a relatively simple birdie but a paramount eagle opportunity for the golfer more worried about having fun than tracking score. Indeed, the course remains a playable 6,450 yards from the back tees, beckoning players of all levels to enjoy a vacation round.
This is a fun course. Has a wee bit of everything, except, elevation changes. Not long but tight. The first two holes are welcoming par fours. The third is the first par five that bends left. It is the longest par five and is designated the number one handicap hole with which I strongly disagree. Starting about two hundred yards out there is a water hazard right and marsh left. The 4th is a mid-length Florida par three. The fifth is a straightaway par five with an extremely tight fairway. It is possible to get home in two, but with the treelined fairway you have to it long and straight to a green with compass bunkers. The 6th is the shortest par four on the front and a definite birdie oppty. The 8th bends a left and has one of the more generous landing areas. I am surprised to see it rated as the number three handicap hole. The 9th is a golfer’s golf hole. Dogleg left water carry with water all the way down the left side. The approach is also a water carry, yet it is the number 7 handicap hole?
The back starts with a par four that leans right. One criticism that I do have is the similarity in length of the last three par fours, 387, 386 and 388. Sadly, the 11th is 374, but at least it is a dogleg right. Stay left off the tee or risk being blocked out. From the 11th you will venture out to islands in the marsh. The 12th hole is a short gimme Florida par three. What is neat, is that you tee off from a small island and hit to an island green. However, it is not an island green like most in that it is large with the front tees and fairway. The 13th is similar in that you tee of from a small marsh island and have 170 yard marsh carry. This is one of the longer par fours with marsh all the way down the left side. The 14th is a penthouse or outhouse par five. It is a short S par five with marsh down the entire left side and a water hazard thru the fairway and right starting about 180 yards out. You can drive thru the fairway into the hazard. Ideal tee shot is a high draw that will leave you with a long iron in. However, this fairway is narrow, at the widest is about 35 yards and as you approach the green the isthmus narrows. Think Panama, never thought I would use that word in a golf review. I have never parred 14, either double or birdie. After the rollercoaster of 14 the short par 3 15th is sure to be a letdown. The 16th is a short par four that leans right with a water hazard creeping in about 100 yards out on the right. The 17th is the longest par four. Aim at the left fairway bunker off the tee to ensure you are not blocked out. The 18th is a reachable par five. Off the tee aim at the two left fairway bunkers.
I highly recommend this course. If you do not have fun here, make sure you have a pulse. The finishing holes are a little disappointing, but I have and will pay to play it again.
What a nice hidden Gem. In the backwoods - even during the day I suggest some off. The wooded course provides nice shade but the bugs like it too! Very nice. Ide go back.