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By Mike May

Since 1935, visitors to Georgia's St. Simons Island have enjoyed one of America's most luxurious and laid back island vacation destinations - The King and Prince Golf & Beach Resort (201 Arnold Road, St. Simons Island, Georgia; 912-638-3631; Located 60 miles north of Jacksonville and 65 miles south of Savannah, it's conveniently located, just off the I-95 corridor in southeast Georgia. While this Joe Lee-designed golf course is one of the focal points of this coastal getaway, golf is not the only activity that keeps you busy while you are there. If you enjoy playing tennis, there's complimentary access to two Har-Tru tennis courts. If you enjoy spending time working out, there's complimentary access to the exercise facility. If you enjoy swimming, you are spoiled for choice as there are five swimming pools - two of which are for children, plus there's a hot tub. If you enjoy making sand castles and beach walks, there are miles of beautiful beaches which are easily accessible to all guests. If you enjoy gazing out at the Atlantic Ocean during any meal, the oceanfront dining at the ECHO or poolside at the The Sea Shack Bar + Bites combine great food with great views. And, for those who need to stay connected to the office, there's complimentary Wi-Fi in all the rooms and in all public areas, plus you have complimentary access to the Business Center.

As for the golf course, Lee used his creativity to produce a true seaside spectacle as he designed 18 holes by weaving this course around towering live oak trees, across lakes and over lagoons. While all golf courses have a 'signature hole,' Lee actually built a group of 'signature holes' - four salt marsh island holes, which are accessed by 800 feet of bridges.

The entire golf course underwent an extensive restoration and renewal in 2009. To accomplish the task, golf course architect Billy Fuller - a former course superintendent at Augusta National - was hired to enhance Joe Lee's par 72-design. Fuller was successful and Lee would be proud of what Fuller's team accomplished, if he were alive to see the fruits of Fuller's labor. Not surprisingly, The King and Prince Golf & Beach Resort is one of the 20+ destinations on the Georgia Golf Trail. In fact, The King and Prince is one of the 18 founding members of the Georgia Golf Trail.

The front nine features an attractive mix of somewhat short par fours, manageable par threes, and two doglegs (par five 5th and par four 9th). On the back nine, water comes into play on seven of the nine holes. The most imposing hole on the inward half is the par five 14th hole - a double dogleg that is influenced by water on every shot, until you reach the green. The group of four salt marsh island holes are holes 12-15. Playing those four holes in par is a noteworthy achievement.

The Practice Facility at The King and Prince is a destination unto itself - a 6,500 square-foot putting green, a 3,000 square-foot chipping green, and five target greens. It's a great place to practice driving for show and putting for dough.

The King and Prince Club opened in 1935, it was a golf course and a seaside dance club. On July 2, 1941, the main hotel building, featuring Mediterranean architecture, opened to the public as the King and Prince Hotel. It was immediately praised for its modern features and magnificent ocean views. In 1996, the King and Prince Hotel was named to the prestigious Historic Hotels of America. In 2004, the historic structure was named to the National Register of Historic Places.

Suffice it to say, if you crave an island-life destination, pack your bags for a trip to The King and Prince. Simply put, the atmosphere is what everybody deserves: luxurious and laid back.

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Revised: 07/06/2021 - Article Viewed 1,280 Times - View Course Profile

About: Mike May

Mike May Mike May is a Wellington, Florida-based freelance golf and sportswriter, who is also a 25+ year public relations and communications executive in the sporting goods industry. He is also a veteran high school soccer official, an experienced high school basketball coach, an avid athlete, a part-time personal trainer, and a passionate golfer who is forever in pursuit of Old Man Par. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America.

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