Saturday, the day before changing clocks to "savings" time, I took advantage of an after 12:30 special at The King and Prince club on St. Simons for $55. I do not know if the special changed after the time change. The course would be worth that or even higher greens fees. I was grouped with a couple of guys named Chris and we played the Blue tees at 70.6/137 and 6200 yards.
It is located at the north end of St. Simons it is nearly 30 minutes to the course once you get onto the island. The holes make their way through some large trees with housing (unobtrusive) and a four hole loop through salt marshes. There is an abundance of lakes and lagoons as well. This mix gives a lot of variety to the holes with no two being alike. Some of the tree lined holes are tight and most of the marsh holes are wide open but require forced carries or force you to choose how much to "bite off." There wasn't a lot of wind but enough to make shots pretty dicey, especially in the "wide-open" holes in the marsh loop.
Par threes were varied with yardage from 120 to 190 (blue tees.) The toughest was the shortest, #12, since it was in the marsh and wind seemed to be at us. I hit first and it looked really good, right over the flag to the back side of the green where it kicked to the edge of the marsh behind the green. That green was severely sloped toward the tee with marsh close in front as well. The other guys clubbed off me and hit close to the flag only to see their balls roll back to the bottom of the green.
Par fours were varied, long, short, tight, open, tree lined, marsh lined, into wind, with wind, straight, dog leg left, dog leg right, a couple of blind tee shots, and several where something besides driver may be a better choice. No two holes played the same. Number nine was pretty memorable (our last hole.) It had lots of room to the right off the tee but the drive needed to be beyond the row of trees down the left side which were bordering a lake that lay between the fairway and green. My tee shot was over the tree line but it stayed straight! It turns out the lake cut back into the fairway just enough to catch my tee shot, the ball was a foot into the water. I dropped and hit to four feet but missed the putt for par as it broke just before getting in the cup.
Par fives were similar to the fours in that there was variety. I seldom think about reaching in two anymore and certainly didn't here. The closest I was off the tee was 235 with pin tucked behind a bunker and water right (waiting to drown my hook). I hit it out to the left (safe) side, happy to make par and have a putt for bird. The most memorable was, I think, #14 in the marsh loop. The tee shot was to a fairway running diagonally R to L away with a row of trees between fairway and marsh left side. I decided how much to "bite off" and hit it perfectly except for one thing, wind was R to L so I just barely got into the trees with a punch out shot for the second shot. The third shot was to a green with water down the right side all the way to the green. I screwed it up but it was a terrific par 5.
Grass was pretty good for this time of year, it was overseeded and still in decent shape.
Bunkers were in good shape and I tried a lot of them as I was having trouble figuring distances. It was a case of playing my previous rounds in thirty degree weather and then being sixty degree down there. My irons were long to start with then short as I tried to adjust, leaving lots of balls in the bunkers. Fairway bunkers kept grabbing my tee shots as well.
As good as the rest of the course is, the greens are the superstars! They were receptive, smooth, and fast. I felt that I was rolling the ball very well and these greens pretty much ate my lunch. With all the slopes, angles, and tiers these greens were very difficult to read speed-wise and also very difficult to read with subtle breaks at the hole. By the end of the round I was at least getting the first putts closer and actually made a putt or two.
People at the course were super nice, the layout is excellent, course conditions very good, and value was good. When I go back, I will use more irons off the tees and maybe have a better feel for the greens.
If you find yourself in "The Golden Isles", and like a challenge, The King and Prince just might fill the bill for you.