By Charlene S. Mixa
Great Golf Courses, Golf History and Great Accommodations
THE SLAMMER & SQUIRE vs THE KING & BEAR: Golfers step up to the challenges of the World Golf Villages two world-class golf courses, the Slammer & Squire verses The King & Bear. The pristine setting of the, Slammer & Squire Course, a true resort course has views of the World Golf Hall on Fame on several holes. Challenges are many as the course traverses Florida preserved woodlands, wetlands all with an overall natural beauty.
The Slammer & Squire: Playing the course today is exciting as I am in the “zone.” Hall of Fame members Sam (The Slammer) Snead and Gene (The Squire) Sarazen served as consultants for the course. My shot are on track easily scoring pars and bogies. As the front nine finishes at the Clubhouse, we admire the fabulous view of the World Golf Hall of Fame from this slightly downhill yet demanding hole. Ugh, a couple of those nasty over bogie holes keep this from being a terrific scoring day for this 20 handicapper. We learn to stay alert to course’s nuances of bunkers, water and marshes. The memorable par-3’s further test our shot making. The fall weather is perfect for an excellent day of golf on a great course. The Slammer & Squire has an expansive Pro Shop for picking up golf memorabilia and special items.
The King & Bear: The King & Bear is a few miles from World Golf Village and has a private golf club feel. Created by Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, it lives up to our expectations of courses of these two golf legends. Plenty of massive waste bunkers, well bunkered greens, lakes, marshes or various water hazards on many holes. Putting is a challenge so there are numerous three putt greens, turning potential birdies or pars to bogies. Richard enjoys a great round on the front nine, while I struggle on several holes. I find my niche on the back nine and he meets new challenges in his game. No. 18 is a dramatic finishing hole, a par5 that has water to carry on the drive and a huge dogleg left fairway with a massive waste bunker running along the entire left side of the fairway. The green is tucked and carefully protected with bunkers. Course management is a must on this hole or a golfer will be in the huge waste bunker. Amazing, I am on in regulation then three putt for a bogie. Oh, well that’s golf!
Golfers of all ages and abilities will have a fantastic golf experience playing the World Golf Villages two world-class golf courses, the Slammer & Squire and King & Bear. Both courses are par-72 and fit any golfer’s skills with its five sets of tees and are in beautiful, tournament-ready course conditions year-round. Owned and operated by Honours Golf, each course features Honours’ signature amenities including complimentary range balls, fresh chilled apples on the 1st and 10th tees, cool towels for warm Florida days and a Global Positioning System (GPS) in every golf cart. We have an unforgettable golf experience in this beautiful resort setting.
WORLD GOLF HALL OF FAME: Golf’s past, present and future awaits us at the World Golf Hall of Fame. Golf’s history comes alive in informative and interactive exhibits covering the five centuries of golf lore of The Open Championship including golf’s U.S. roots in Pinehurst to advances of golf today. Taking a photo on the replica Swilcan Burn Bridge of The Old Course at St. Andrews brings back memories of our visit to St. Andrews. Ever tried to putt with a hickory club on an old time putting green? Much different from the technology of today’s fancy putters. The World Golf Hall of Fame is fantastic with its history of golf and seeing the most prized possession of many Hall of Fame members in the Member Locker Room. The famous, long-running television series Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf shows historic footage of golf legends. World Golf Hall of Fame is a must for golfers and even non-golfers. Plan time around your golf at World Golf Village to include a visit to the World Golf Hall of Fame.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Class, comfort, and convenience are found at the Renaissance World Golf Village Resort. A beautiful AAA Four Diamond resort, it is the “Official Resort of the World Golf Hall of Fame.” On our arrival we are impressed with the courteous staff and ease of check in. The dramatic 10-story atrium lobby has a Colonial/Asian theme with lush foliage, ponds, comfy chairs and chaises making it a great gathering place. We snap a photo of the chaises as an idea for our home. From the elevator we see the colorful 7-story modern sculpture that is reminiscent of the fabulous open Florida skies.
The contemporary Asian-style guest room is warm with its deluxe furniture and appointments in rich tones with its crisp white bedding. Convenience is No. 1 with amenities of flat-paneled televisions, high speed internet, and executive desks as well as wet bars and refrigerators. The spa-inspired bathrooms give a lush feel. Our picture window has a scenic view of Kelly Lake, the World Golf Hall of Fame, the 18-hole putting course and the Walk of Fame. We watch visitors attempt to reach the replica 17th Island Green of the TPC Sawgrass Course. Can they carry the 132 yards over water to a postage stamp green?
With the evening turn down service we get special treats and a “Tomorrow’s Weather Forecast” card. Featuring weather icons from sunny to stormy of the projected next day’s weather, appropriately circled as well as the high temperature for the day. A daily quote is included, too! Nice touch! It definitely helps us plan “what to wear.”
A luxurious circular pool is perfect for relaxing after a round of golf on a warm day. Or burn off some calories at the state-of-the-art fitness center. Dining options are varied from the resort’s new upscale dining venue of Villagio Italian Grille to the fun, casual atmosphere at Murray Bros. Caddyshack, the famous restaurant from comedian Bill Murray. Both golf courses have restaurants for enjoying a meal before or after golf. Reliving great shots at the Resorts elegant bar is a good way to end our day.
Convenience is prominent as the Resort is only a “pitching wedge” away from the World Golf Hall of Fame, Walk of Fame, Caddyshack, and The Slammer & Squire Golf Course. A local complimentary shuttle even takes guests to and from historic downtown St. Augustine.
Visitors to Florida and Florida residents will find this “hidden gem” a few miles south of Jacksonville, FL. The exciting World Golf Village welcomes golfers, golfing fans and even non-golfers. Learn about the legends of golf, it’s history, how golf’s greats got into the game, play championship golf courses, test your skills on the 18 hole putting course, try to drive the island green, or enjoy an awesome IMAX movie all conveniently located by the AAA four-diamond Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village. All these experiences await visitors.
If you go:
The Renaissance Resort at World Golf Village, 500 South Legacy Trail, St. Augustine, FL 32092; 904.940.8000 or 888.7420.7020; www.worldgolfrenaissance.com
Note: Renaissance World Golf Village and Convention Center is home to the largest combination hotel and conference center between Orlando and Atlanta. With over 101,000 square feet of meeting space and 301 rooms/suites it is a great location for conferences.
World Golf Village Golf Courses, 2 World Golf Place, St. Augustine, FL 32092; 904.940.6088; www.golfwgv.com/Club/Scripts/Home/home.asp
World Golf Hall of Fame, 1 World Golf Place St. Augustine, FL 32092; 904 940-4123; www.worldgolfhalloffame.orge