Nicklaus, Watson Courses Are the Draw to Palm Coast, Fla.

By Dan Vukelich

It’s never too soon to start planning your winter golf travel, so I’m going to plant this idea in your head now, the Hammock Beach Resort.

This Salamander Resort property, owned by Sheila Johnson, co-founder of the Black Entertainment Network, is a delightful getaway just under two hours north of Orlando.

Towering above the beach in Palm Coast, Fla., the Hammock Beach Resort features two terrific golf courses. Jack Nicklaus designed the Ocean Course and Tom Watson designed the Conservatory Course. More on them in a moment.

But first I want to talk a little about the resort itself. During a visit there last February with the Golf Writers Association of America, I came away with the all-too-rare feeling that the people at this resort enjoy going much further to please their guests than most Florida resort properties.

Lesson One came when my roommate and I couldn’t figure out how to turn on the TV. We called the front desk and a technician in white ovralls arrived in less than five minutes, reset the set-top box and patiently explained how to do it ourselves should it need resetting again.

Lesson Two came after I arrived home and found I’d left a pair of dress slacks hanging in the closet in the hotel suite. After being connected to lost-and-found, I was told, yes, the pants had been found by housekeeping. They were in my mailbox within a week. More