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King & Bear Golf Course

King & Bear Golf Course

King & Bear Golf Course at the World Golf Hall of Fame

Don’t forget to play the King & Bear Golf Course (for Arnold Palmer & Jack Nicklaus, respectively) while visiting the golf HOF in St. Augustine, Fla.

Out of thousands of golf courses they’ve had hands in, only at the King & Bear Golf Course will you find the joint effort of Palmer and Nicklaus at links architecture.

King & Bear Golf Course

The King & Bear Golf Course in St. Augustine, Fla., is the only course Jack Nicklaus (left) and Arnold Palmer ever collaborated on.

Outside the city of St. Augustine is the World Golf Hall of Fame, which is a wonderful day well spent for any dedicated golfer.

Nearby are two well-designed courses that are the “Official Courses of the World Golf Hall of Fame” that you, as a visitor, may play.

The Slammer & Squire Golf Course is in honor of golf champions Sam Snead (The Slammer) and Gene Sarazen (The Squire).

I believe that the other course, the King & Bear Golf Course at the World Golf Hall of Fame, is somewhat better because it is more challenging. It is certainly more unique due to its designers – Palmer (The King) and Nicklaus (The Bear).

King & Bear Golf Course

A scorecard from the King & Bear Golf Course in Florida.

The King & Bear Golf Course is the only golf course in the world that Arnie and Jack collaborated on and share the title of co-designers.

Certainly, Palmer and Nicklaus have a multitude of top-notch layouts all over the planet that they each designed, but only here at the King & Bear Golf Course will you find their joint effort at course architecture.

I have played this wonderful layout and love the north Florida feel to it. Oak trees with Spanish moss, lakes, and plenty of Loblolly pines border the fairways to make you concentrate on positioning your ball on nearly every hole.

A hearty 7,279 yards from the tips, the course can be a handful for even the best players. Thank goodness the well-thought-out tee areas get progressively shorter and easier as you move up to the regular men’s or the forward tees. Most holes allow even an average golfer to play this course and still enjoy the day, you use the men’s tees.

A couple of my favorites are No. 6 and No. 15. The 6th Hole is a strong par-3 from the back tees at 194 yards. But it’s a manageable hole of only 147 yards from the white blocks. Its name is “Beach Bound” due to the large sand bunker to the right of the putting surface.

King & Bear Golf Course

The King & Bear Golf Course is an absolute joy to play, our reviewer says.

No. 15 is a brilliant little par-4 that plays a tantalizing 302 yards from the white tees. Called “Stone Reflection,” it beckons the player to try to drive the green (or close to it) to make an easy birdie or maybe even an eagle.

But be careful. Palmer designed this one to punish a shot that comes up short or slightly to the right by putting the green so close to the lake. So go ahead – try it. Arnie dares you.

Mr. Palmer likes this hole so much he included it in his “Dream 18” list in Sports Illustrated magazine.

King & Bear Golf Course

Watch out for that lake at the King & Bear Golf Course, one of Arnie’s favorite designs of his.

The fees at the King & Bear will vary as the seasons change. For up-to-date pricing, see its rates HERE

If you are in the area or would like to play after touring the World Golf Hall of Fame, then give the King & Bear Golf Course a call to set up a game at 904-940-6088.

It is worth the trip.


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