Sea Palms Resort (Public)
5445 Frederica Rd., St. Simons Island
STAFF: Rick Irwin is the PGA Golf Professional; Scott Lomis is the Superintendent.
PAR/YARDAGE: Sea Palms’ original 18 plays to a par of 71 with four sets of tees: Blue (6,477 yards); White (6,092); Green (5,714) and Red (5,102).
COURSE RATING/SLOPE: 70.9/130 (Blue); 69.1/126 (White); 67.5/122 (Green); 69.5/118 (Red).
ABOUT THE COURSE: Although it may be overshadowed a bit by the other courses on the island, Sea Palms remains a thoroughly enjoyable resort-style layout that offers a sufficient challenge along with a healthy dose of coastal charm and aesthetic appeal. The excellent George Cobb design has held up well over the years, with the course undergoing one change of note during the past decade, when the par-4 ninth was re-worked into a semi-island green par 3. As a result, the course lost about 225 yards on the scorecard and now plays to a par 71, with five par 3s. Length was never a serious concern at Sea Palms, although the back nine is not short by any means, measuring 3,435 from the blue tees and 3,240 from the whites. The key is keeping the ball between the tight tree lines, which include a number of overhanging limbs and moss that will definitely make their presence felt if you stray off the tee. Recovery from the tree lines is possible, but requires some skill to successfully negotiate and prevent a big number. As you would expect from a resort, Sea Palms has a fair amount of water in play. While no heroics are required to carry any of the hazards, quite a few will not treat miss-hits very kindly, with a few of the more inviting holes also among the most perilous. With two par 5s under 500 yards from the blues and a trio of relatively inviting par 3s, the front nine offers an excellent opportunity for some quality scoring, but the back nine includes some deceptively difficult short-ish par 4s and two stout par 5s, the second of which begins a tough finishing trio of holes. The greens complexes are on the gentle side, but Cobb surrounds them with enough bunkers to place some pressure on your iron game. Sea Palms also has a short, par-34 West nine that has elements of both a regulation and executive layouts, with plenty of water in play.