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300 Conservatory Dr
Palm Coast, FL  32137-3050
United States
P: (386) 246-6710
F: (386) 447-4699
www.hammockbeach.com
The Conservatory Course

18 hole regulation length course

Private golf course

72 par | 7,776 yards

Recommend this course: +0 -0

The Conservatory Course Golf Course Description


The 18-hole "The Conservatory Course" at the Conservatory Course At Hammock Beach Resort facility in Palm Coast, Florida features 7,776 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72. Designed by Tom Watson, the The Conservatory Course opened in 2006. Salamander Hotels & Resorts manages this facility, with Brad Hauer as the Director of Golf, PGA.

Course Reviews


Beverages Available (1) Cart Included (1) Challenging (1) Club Rentals (1) Food Available (1) Great Deal (1) Pro Shop (1) Putting Green (1) Quick Pace (1) Scenic (1) Well Maintained (1)

Most golfers are familiar with Tom Watson the PGA Tour golfer, winner of eight major championships, including five British Opens and outdueling Jack Nicklaus on several occasions. He certainly was fun to watch.

Not as many people are familiar with Tom Watson the golf course architect. As a golfer, Tom Watson was praised for his passionate play, attention to detail and outstanding course strategy. His company, Tom Watson Design, employs the same integrity, dedication and focus to each of their designs. The company only builds one or two courses each year using a few fundamental requirements: beauty, variety and challenge. Each course design will challenge a golfer’s mental and physical skills and at the same time provide a memorable golf experience. This is especially evident at the Watson-designed Conservatory Course; part of the Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, Florida.

In their January 2008 issue, Golf Digest ranked The Conservatory third on its elite list of America’s Best New Public Courses. And with good reason. As you meander through the course, you will encounter some breathtaking sights: waterfalls, babbling brooks and veneered field stone work.

Not finding a suitable set of tees to play from is not possible; there are seven of them ranging in distance from 7,740 yards to 5,168 yards. From the back tees, The Conservatory is the longest course in Florida. Move up to the fourth (White) set of tees, and you’ll have a manageable distance of 6,281 yards. Ladies typically play from the Red Tees (5,225 yards).

There is a lot of mounding and undulation at the Conservatory, not only on the greens but all down the fairways and roughs. Conservatory is anything but your typical Florida course and for this reason some players may find it too much. If that’s the case, my suggestion is to relax, take a deep breath and look around you. Looking back on the previous hole provides every bit as much of an inspiring view as what lays before you!

For me, what sets this course apart from any other I have played around the world is the bunkering; there’s sand everywhere. And it comes in all shapes and forms: there are your typical greenside bunkers and coquina-shelled waste bunkers which are fairly easy to navigate. But then there are a number of pot bunkers – some visible off the tee, some not - that can wreak havoc with your score not to mention your mind. Some of these are sod-walled, which adds a true Scottish feel. Most are penal in nature; one in particular on the first hole is in play off the tee if you hit it right. The face of this bunker has to be 5 feet high and about 140 yards out. Find this bunker and you can say goodbye to par – or even bogey – on this hole! Not a great way to start.

Most Memorable Hole: Number 15, Par 4, 377 yards (White Tees). With a Tom Watson course, what you see isn’t always what you get; many shots appear more difficult than they actually are. Case in point is the 15th hole, a par 4, dogleg right. The waste bunker that runs up the right side of the fairway blends in with the bunkers on the far side of the fairway, creating the illusion that the landing area is miniscule. Trust me, it’s not; there’s plenty of room out there. The large multi-tiered green is also surrounded by sand, so it will take an accurate approach shot to get it close.

Favorite Par 3: Number 8, 134 yards. The shortest hole at The Conservatory is also the signature hole. At only 134 yards from the White Tees, the island green looks inviting. If your nerves are already shattered, there’s plenty of room to bail out to the right. The green is wider than it is deep and has plenty of undulation. Don’t get too greedy with a left pin placement.

Favorite Par 4: Number 14, 431 yards. Regardless of the tees you decide to play, this is the longest par four on the golf course and offers a great risk/reward opportunity. Longball hitters can cut off a significant amount of yardage off the tee by playing to the right of the fairway bunkers. Water guards the entire right side of this behemoth hole. For us mere mortals, it’s either a long iron or fairway wood into the green. For many, your best shot at par is to get on the green in three and one-putt.

Favorite Par 5: Actually, there are two of them. Number 4 plays 497 yards and is fairly straight away. From the back tees, number 4 stretches out to 621 yards; it’s sheer length makes it a formidable opponent. From the White Tees, it’s a manageable par 5. Off the tee, water is in play on both sides. The layup is the toughest shot on the hole and requires both accuracy and distance control. The water creeps in very close on the right while strategically placed pot bunkers on the left side and middle of the fairway make you choose to either layup short or go over them. An approach shot from the left side opens up the green. A good wedge player can score well on this hole.

Number 18 is a dogleg left that plays 592 yards from the Back Tees; 502 from a humane distance (White Tees). Pot bunkers and Florida wetlands dot the landscape up the right side, while water guards the left. Watson has provided a generous landing area at the bend in the dogleg, which will require a mid-length iron into a long and narrow green guarded tightly on the left with water and on the right with sand. Find the fairway off the tee and you’re well on your way to a good score.

Last Word: For my money, this course rates as one of the top tracks in Florida; far and away Tom Watson’s best work in the state. His use of bunkering is unrivaled on any course I’ve played; they are plentiful and penal. Avoid them if you want to score well.

Although this course can play very long for the men, ladies enjoy many benefits. From the Red Tees, the majority of hazards faced by the guys off the tee are taken out of play. All they will need to deal with are the rolling fairways and undulating greens. In building The Conservatory, Watson’s two major goals were to create course that was both beautiful and playable. He has succeeded on both fronts.

These are just a few of the memories I have of the Conservatory Course at Hammock Beach. The best way to experience this course is to book at vacation at Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, FL. When doing so, be sure to package it together with a round on the newly renovated Ocean Course. Combined, these two courses offer the best one-two punch of any two courses in the state.


Beverages Available Cart Included Challenging Club Rentals Food Available Great Deal Pro Shop Putting Green Quick Pace Scenic Well Maintained

It is a shame that the economics of the golf industry have hit the conservatory so hard. The design is so unique to Florida and extremely challenging to play. The maintenance budget has obviously been slashed to the bone. It is still a great course to play. The elevation changes are so uncommon in Florida and the difficulty cannot be overstated. The club house is outstanding and the staff are wonderful! Hopefully the financial situation will improve!

This is a relatively new course, but from the start it looks fantastic! This course will definitely get better as it matures and the plantings grow-in and the greens have several seasons of over-seeding and aeration.

The staff here is great. The clubhouse is still under construction, but when we arrived we were greeted by a staff member and checked-in for our round. They didn't rush us and encouraged us to use the wonderful practice facilities (complete with range finders and a true practice green). If the clubhouse comes out anywhere near the artist drawings it truely will be a spectacular club.

Although a long course from the tips, choosing the right tees to play from will make this one of the most enjoyable rounds you will play. Conversely, if you choose to play from the wrong tees, as the group did in front of us, you will suffer. I watched a group play from the Championship tees and none of them could hit their tee shots more than 200 yards which typically wouldn't be a problem until you have to carry hazards that are 200-225 yards off the tee. Some of the par fours from the back tees were almost 500 yards!

As a side bar, the course is very friendly and fair for women so definitely encourage your better half to play with you if she likes to golf.

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Leaderboard

  • Overall
  • Latest Scores
Rank Golfer Name Handicap Gross Net Date
1 Craig P. 14 80 66 07/22/09
2 SCOTT H. 17 87 70 06/22/08
3 Matt B. 4 75 71 03/15/08
4 Mike S. 16 90 74 08/24/10
5 Craig P. 14 89 75 07/24/09
See All
Rank Golfer Name Handicap Gross Net Date
14 Brian S. 20 102 82 03/21/12
4 Mike S. 16 90 74 08/24/10
6 Joe M. 14 90 76 08/01/09
5 Craig P. 14 89 75 07/24/09
1 Craig P. 14 80 66 07/22/09

Golf Course Information

About Conservatory Course At Hammock Beach Resort, The Conservatory Course

Conservatory Course At Hammock Beach Resort

Resort facility

Managed by Salamander Hotels & Resorts

35 tees driving range

18 regulation holes

Awards at Conservatory Course At Hammock Beach Resort, The Conservatory Course

No recent major awards have been noted.

Tournaments of Conservatory Course At Hammock Beach Resort, The Conservatory Course

No local tournaments listed for this course.

Course Staff

Brad Hauer, Director of Golf, PGA
Steve Sorell, Superintendent

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