JEKYLL ISLAND GOLF CLUB:
GEORGIA’S COASTAL CLASSIC

Story by: Mike May

While the greater Atlanta area may be home to many golf top-notch golf courses, as well as the home of the late, great Bobby Jones, and while the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta may be the most famous golf course in Georgia, the Jekyll Island Golf Club on Jekyll Island may be the most idyllic golf destination in the Peach State.

The Great Dunes Course was the first golf course on Jekyll Island.  The first shot struck was in 1926.  The architect of this coastal jewel is the great Walter “Old Man” Travis. 

The Jekyll Island Golf Club, located in the extreme southeastern corner of Georgia, is blessed with an abundance of golf courses – a nine-hole layout and three 18-hole courses.  That’s a 63-hole golf getaway.  At Jekyll Island, you are truly spoiled for choice.  The nine-hole layout is the Great Dunes Course.  The three 18-hole courses are the Indian Mound Course, Oleander Course, and the Pine Lakes Course.

Not surprisingly, the Jekyll Island Golf Club is one of the 20+ destinations on the Georgia Golf Trail

“Jekyll Island may well be the best place in Georgia to unwind and relax while enjoying golf, fresh seafood, long walks along the beach, poolside siestas, and time off the grid,” said Doug Hollandsworth,, Founder, the Georgia Golf Trail.

The Great Dunes Course was the first golf course on Jekyll Island.  The first shot struck was in 1926.  The architect of this coastal jewel is the great Walter “Old Man” Travis.  Travis was asked to design and build the best golf course that money could buy.  He delivered on his promise.  Veteran golfers have described the Great Dunes Course as both difficult and simple.  When the seaside breeze picks up, the degree of difficulty of Great Dunes gets higher.  It’s worth noting that the United States Golf Association once used Great Dunes as a testing facility for clubs, shafts, and golf balls.

The Indian Mound course was constructed in 1975 by veteran course designer Joe Lee.  It is the shortest of the three 18-hole courses.

The Indian Mound course was constructed in 1975 by veteran course designer Joe Lee.  It is the shortest of the three 18-hole courses, but it’s no pitch and putt track.  Water impacts play on 11 of the 18 holes.  If you can avoid ‘the drink’ on holes 9-12, then you will avoided a huge liquid hazard.  The par fives are more difficult in reality than their yardage indicates.  The many short par four holes represent your best birdie opportunities.

The Oleander Course is considered to be the most difficult course on Jekyll Island.  Not surprisingly, it has been the host course for the Georgia Open on four occasions. Designed by well-respected golf course architect Dick Wilson, Oleander is known as the most ‘distinct’ of the three 18-hole courses on Jekyll Island.  Measuring just over 6,500 yards from the tips, Wilson designed a jewel which current visitors enjoy.

The Oleander Course is considered to be the most difficult course on Jekyll Island. 

Pine Lakes was first opened for play in 1968 and it was renovated in 2002.  Pine Lakes is the longest golf course on Jekyll Island.  The golf course meanders through ocean forests and natural marsh hammocks. Many golfers and visiting naturalists agree that Pine Lakes is peaceful, quiet, and tranquil.  That should be the description of every golf course – right?  Developed by designer Clyde Johnson, Pine Lakes is best described as family friendly.

After golf and a bite to eat at McCormick’s Grill, make time for everything else that Jekyll Island has to offer – ten miles of marvelous beaches, guided kayak tours, bicycle rides, bird watching, tennis, paddle boarding, horseback riding, fishing, and boating.  And, if you want a more modern type of adventure, book a trip on the Emerald Princess Casino Cruise.

Pine Lakes was first opened for play in 1968 and it was renovated in 2002.  Pine Lakes is the longest golf course on Jekyll Island.

When the sun sets and your body needs some down time, there are many places to ‘hang your hat’ on Jekyll Island.  The premier spots are The Westin Jekyll Island, Jekyll Island Club Resort, and the Jekyll Ocean Club.  All three properties can easily take credit for being the ultimate ‘rest & relaxation’ destination.

Finally, it’s worth noting that Jekyll Island has strong historical roots.  Native Americans used to call this neck of the woods their exclusive home until the invasion of Europeans.  Jekyll Island received its name in 1733 when General James Oglethorpe named Jekyll Island in honor of Sir Joseph Jekyll, his friend and financier from England.  In the late 1800s, Jekyll Island was the playground for the rich and famous as families such as the Rockefellers, Morgans, Vanderbilts, and Pulitzers spent vacation time on Jekyll Island. 

In order to confirm that Jekyll Island is truly Georgia’s coastal classic, check out JekyllIsland.com.

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