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The Hampton Club – St. Simon’s Island, Georgia
A few weeks ago I enjoyed the opportunity to play 18 holes at The Hampton Club. The Hampton Club is nestled into an upscale community on the northern end of St. Simons Island, Georgia.
In fact, The Hampton Club isn’t all that far from the highly ranked golf resort; Sea Island Golf Club. However, I am not here to talk about Sea Island, we all know about them. You may not have heard of The Hampton Club. The Hampton Club was designed by Joe Lee and features some design characteristics that no one will ever see again. In my opinion, this course boasts not one, but four signature holes! There are four holes which were built right into the sea marsh (#12, 13, 14 and 15).
These marsh areas are now strictly protected by the EPA. These holes are connected by a series of bridges and built up land. I can guarantee that you’ll probably never see holes built into sea marsh or marshes like this again. In fact, according to The Hampton Club’s Head Pro, Rick Mattox, the Hampton Club is very limited as to what they are even allowed to do to these holes. They cannot move any big equipment in there or change any of the holes. At one time they wanted to lengthen these holes and were told NO, NO and NO by the EPA. It’s a good thing that these holes are super nice already. I was a little apprehensive upon teeing off, not because of the impending thunderstorm (which held off until I finished up!) but teeing off on some of these tight holes. The course plays fairly tight, it forces you to really concentrate on your shots (all of them), especially from the tee boxes. It actually reminded me of the "old" Pine Lakes (also designed by Joe Lee) course on nearby Jekyll Island (approximately 30 minutes south of The Hampton Club) before architect Clyde Johnston completely renovated it which included removing a ton of trees. The Hampton Club is not all that long by today’s architectural standards, from the tips it plays out to just 6465 yards (slope = 137, Course Rating = 71.7). There is plenty of course here, even if the scorecard says differently. Pay attention to the slope anyway, at 137, it is a tough guy. There are plenty of risk reward holes to ruin your score card. Hole numbers 8 and 9 quickly come to mind for me. If you are travelling along Georgia’s Golden Isles (St. Simons, Sea Island and Jekyll Island) stop by The Hampton Club for a very enjoyable round of golf set in a quiet and relaxed, sea marsh atmosphere. Greens fees run $95 with cart, this is a year round rate. The Club also has a variety of membership packages depending upon certain defined residency requirements.
Hole #4, a tough 196 yard par 3.
Tee box view of hole #5, a 500 yard par 5 that you will need to "thread the needle" off the tee.
Hole #9, a 365 yard curvy par 4 to the left. Real BIG hitters will ignore the trees lining the lake and try their
luck at getting their drive CLOSE to the green.
Number 10 is another tough driving hole. Unless your drive lands on the left side, you can
forget about a par.
Number 11 is a nice 373 yard dog leg right par 4. This is the approach shot view with the
sea marsh in the background.
This bridge links hole #11 with the first of the four sea marsh holes.
Short but deadly. Number 12 is just 118. You can be left, on the green or LOST.
Another great dog leg right, number 13. Par 4, 386 yards. A nice power fade will
set you up for a birdie.
Don’t let the yardage fool you on this dog leg left, par 5 number 14 (461). You must
be accurate off of the tee by carrying the sea marsh. This is a second shot view.
Number 18 is a 505 yard, relatively TIGHT par 5. Nice closing hole.