Posts Tagged ‘Georgia golf’

Explore the Golden Isle of St. Simons

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

A great article by Carolyn Burns Bass posted in Greer’s OC about The King and Prince Resort and what to see and do on St. Simons Island.

Explore the Golden Isle of St. Simons

01.20.12

Review by Carolyn Burns Bass

It’s not hard to understand why this stretch of the Georgia coast is known as the Golden Isles. Miles of marsh grass wave in the breeze, carved by streams, rivers, and inlets to form a jigsaw puzzle of islands. The sun rises like a glittering coin over the Atlantic and blankets the marshlands in gold and amber as it sets over the isles. Poised on the mouth of the sound leading up to the bustling port city of Brunswick, is St. Simons Island, the largest of Georgia’s Golden Isles.

The Spanish named the island and the sound after a Catholic saint during 16th century exploration of the Southeastern coastline. You can see Spanish influences throughout the region, including the architecture. Mediterranean arches, turrets, clay tiles and stucco make haunting backdrops for the Spanish moss dripping off the massive trees overarching the buildings and lining the streets and lanes. The island has maintained its quaint seaside charm through decades of development in the islands and cities surrounding this wild island treasure.

The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort

The jewel of this golden isle is the King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort. Perched on the white sandy shore near the mouth of St. Simons Sound, this historic hotel offers panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the coastline stretching north and south. Built in 1935 as a private dance club for the well-heeled of the area, it added lodging to its original structure in 1941 and opened to the public as a hotel. There was nothing as magnificent as The King and Prince anywhere along the Southeast coast when it was built and even today it rises above many of the cookie-cutter resorts now dotting the coast and the Isles.

A spacious, bright and airy lobby greets you from the main entry of the King and Prince. You can see the Mediterranean design in the arches that line the coastal stretch of the lobby interior. Natural wood bannisters, trim and ceiling beams encasing dark embossed tin tiles add warmth to the lobby’s light interior. Just beyond the reception desk is a fountain, surrounded by palms, lush greenery and flowers, and an indoor pool and whirlpool (one of five pools located throughout the resort).

Guests at the King and Prince have a deluxe array of choices in room types to meet budget or family needs. Oceanfront rooms in the historic building are only steps from the beach, with spacious bathrooms and separate sitting areas. Luxury amenities such as in-room Keurig coffee stations, Bath & Body Works toiletries, and large flat screen televisions are standard in every room. Stretching beyond the historic main building are the Beach Villas. These roomy accommodations offer two- or three-bedroom apartment size villas with master bedrooms, full kitchens, dining areas and private patios or balconies.

Stepping up the game in privacy and luxury at the King and Prince are the Residences, which comprise of six individual houses spread throughout the resort to include quaint beach cottages and even executive-level houses with ample meeting and entertaining areas (with as many as five bedrooms!).

Scenic and Challenging Golf

Competing with beach and ocean activities on St. Simons Island are the resort’s tennis courts, pools and golf course. While the formal name of the King and Prince includes “golf resort,” the greens are actually a bit of a drive to the northern-most end of the island. Known as the Hampton Club, this golf course shuttles hotel guests straught to the course for a day of golf among the salt marshes, swampy lagoons, towering palmettos and grand oaks draped with Spanish moss.

The course was renovated in 2009 with renewal in turf and design enhancements to the original 18-hole, 72-par design. Four of the holes sit upon individual marsh islands accessible by elevated cart bridges, making for challenging play. Practice areas include a driving range, putting green and a chipping green, and golfers can grab lunch or post game cocktails in the roomy clubhouse. You can take a virtual flyover of the entire course from the resort’s website for an overview of this distinctive course.

Georgia Coastal Cuisine at its Finest

Director of food and beverage, Vinny D’Agostino, revitalized the King and Prince’s food culture when he joined the staff in May 2011. A master sommelier and culinary arts graduate from Johnson and Wales University, D’Agostino brought more than two decades of creative culinary experience from some of the nation’s top hotels and restaurants. Food was the centerpiece of D’Agostino’s large Italian family, inspiring his passion for taste, texture and temptation, and it shows in everything he prepares or directs. Be sure to try D’Agostino’s signature shrimp and grits, made with Georgia’s wild white shrimp and Tasso ham in a spicy cream sauce that wraps the tongue in savory delight.

The King and Prince is renowned throughout the Golden Isles for its Friday night seafood buffet and its sumptuous Sunday brunch. Set in the resort’s Delegal room, the Friday night seafood buffet features various preparations of the region’s distinctive wild white shrimp, plus platters of crab legs, chilled and steamed; oysters, both fried and on the half-shell; clams and mussels, along with entrees of salmon, catfish, tilapia, sole, grouper and other chef selections. Sunday brunch includes an omelet bar, plus a wide variety of southern comfort foods such as grits, plain, creamy with cheese, or spiced to delight with shrimp; smoked BBQ ribs; buttermilk fried chicken; succulent pot roast and gravy, crispy fried catfish and plenty of other chef surprises.

The Delegal room itself is a thing of beauty. Commanding the eye is the view of the Atlantic from the windows lining the oceanfront wall. Set above the oceanfront windows and around the entire room are eleven spectacular stained glass windows depicting the history of St. Simons island.

Additional dining choices at the King and Prince include the King’s Tavern set in the hotel’s turret lined with oceanfront windows for stunning ocean views, the Atrium Café where snacks and refreshments, along with barista-prepared coffees and teas are served, plus the seasonal (March through October) Paradise Beach Bar and Grill located beachside with casual fare and cocktail service.

More to Do and See On St. Simons

Guests not getting enough exercise running or strolling along the beach, bicycling through town, or browsing through the myriad shops on St. Simons, have free access to treadmills, ellipticals, free weights, and exercise balls in the fitness facility next to the tennis courts.

Set only steps away from the beach guests may rejuvenate body and soul in the Royal Treatment Cottage, an intimate retreat house with a full menu of massage therapies. Lunch can be ordered from the concierge and enjoyed in the quiet of the cottage.

Out and about in St. Simons you’ll find boutiques and souvenir stores, coffeehouses and cafes, candy stores and cocktail happy hours. You can rent a bicycle at Ocean Motion (walking distance from the King and Prince) and pedal around the Island’s 21 miles winding bike paths.

Hop on the Lighthouse Trolley for a guided tour of St. Simons island. The trolley can take you from the Coast Guard station, now a Maritime Museum with history of the island–including its fascinating mission as a coast watching and training facility during WWII–to the working lighthouse; to the picturesque Christ Church, the first English church in Georgia; around town and through the moss-lined lanes from the north end to the south. If you’re lucky to get Cap Fielding as your trolley guide, you’re in for a treat with his arcane knowledge of the region’s colorful history.

On the Water Excitement

Travelers seeking new experiences can get thrills and chills from a shrimping trip on the waters off St. Simons island on The Lady Jane, a former working shrimp boat now USCG certified to carry passengers. The Lady Jane, run by Captain Larry Credle, is an educational and tourism expedition not to be missed.

Guests board The Lady Jane in nearby Brunswick, then head into the waters of St. Simons Sound. Once clear of the marshes, Captain Credle drops his shrimp net and trawls until he figures he’s got a good catch. The net drips with surprise when lifted, then released on the ship’s sorting deck. All hands aboard have a chance to sort the treasures in the net, the jewel of the catch being the wild white Georgia shrimp. It’s not unusual for the net to bring up stingrays, puffer fish, several varieties of flounder, shrimp and crab—including the distinctive horseshoe crabs–plus beautiful whelks. A naturalist on board identifies the different fish in the catch, including the occasional catch of a loggerhead sea turtle. When turtles are caught, they are weighed, measured, and photographed, then released. The details are sent to the Georgia Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Everything but the wild white shrimp is released back into the sea. While cruising back to harbor on The Lady Jane, a shipmate cleans and shells the shrimp, then serves it fresh on a platter with homemade cocktail sauce and lemon. Seafood doesn’t get fresher than this.

Getting to St. Simons Island

St. Simons Island is easily accessible from international airports at Savannah/Hilton Head to the north and Jacksonville to the south, while Delta brings in three flights a day to nearby Brunswick Golden Isles Airport.

The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, 201 Arnold Rd., St. Simons Island, GA 31522, 912-638-3631, www.kingandprince.com.

Kristi Sanders Visits St. Simons Island

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Kristi Sanders, writer for Plan Your Meetings, recently took a trip to St. Simons Island.  She stayed at The King and Prince and toured the area.  She saw historic places, ate at local restaurants, and enjoyed local attractions.  Her article about her trip is below.

St. Simons Island: Wild, historic seaside beauty

By Kristi Casey Sanders

Published: February 10, 2011

Want unusual transportation?

Play off the island’s historic allure by chartering a Lighthouse Trolley for a guided tour or to shuttle attendees from point A to point B. The open-air trolley looks historic, but provides a smooth ride and might be piloted by naturalist, sometimes politician and local character, Cap Fendig, whose family has resided on St. Simons since the 1800s. Fendig’s company also offers fishing and dolphin tours and beach walks.

Want edutainment?

Take attendees on a sunset shrimping cruise aboard The Lady Jane. Captain Credle and his son Cliff take small groups out to see how Wild Georgia Shrimp are harvested. Along the way, guests will learn about other forms of indigenous marine wildlife and enjoy a shrimp boil.

Want to meet somewhere with history?

The 197-room King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort originally opened in 1935, survived two fires, was rebuilt and reopened in 1941, just in time to be commandeered by the U.S. Navy for use as a WWII radar operator training station. The Delegal Room began its life as an open-air “casino” (read: gathering place) that was the center of the island’s social life. Lined with stained glass windows depicting scenes from the island’s history, the now-enclosed space offers a stunning view of the ocean and accommodates up to 200 for banquets and 250 for receptions. The Solarium (capacity: 60 banquet-style) was the original hotel’s lobby lounge; it features distinctive crown moldings, woodwork, antique furnishings and a wrap-around view of the water. Other historic meeting spaces with ocean views include the 20-person Butler boardroom and the 1,050-sq. ft. Retreat Room. The resort also has a divisible ballroom, oceanfront event lawn, 48 two- and three-bedroom villas and eight private homes that can host events. The A.W. Jones Heritage Center and adjacent St. Simons Island Lighthouse Museum are available for receptions, meetings and corporate events. Venues include an oceanfront event lawn, a historic gazebo, a 1,400-sq. ft. multipurpose room and a boardroom.

Want to meet by the marsh?

Located a short drive from the beach is the 175-room Sea Palms Resort & Conference Center, which offers one- to four-bedroom suites and meeting space with views of lagoons, the salt marsh and lush golf courses. Meeting space includes a 6,500-sq. ft. climate-controlled pavilion (capacity: 600 banquet) and a conference center with 11 meeting rooms (capacity: 400 theater; 320 banquet). Other amenities include a private beach club, three swimming pools and resort activities.

Want golf?

Sea Palms has two golf courses on property: an 18-hole, par-71 Tall Pines/Great Oaks course and a par-34, nine-hole executive Sea Palms West course. The 18-hole, par-72 King and Prince Golf Course is so integrated into the wild marsh landscape, tee boxes give way to hazards of wild grass, holes are linked by elevated cart bridges, and gators lurk in the historic forests and ponds between the fairways.

Want group dining?

The Village Inn & Pub on St. Simons is a 1930s-era beach cottage that’s been expanded to include an authentic English pub and guest rooms. The cozy pub is known for its wild orchid martinis and features a stone fireplace surrounded by leather lounge chairs and a sun porch. Live entertainment is a staple at SaltWater Cowboy, a steak and seafood restaurant located within walking distance of the King and Prince. If it’s Brunswick stew or barbecue your group hankers after, Southern Soul Barbeque offers full-service catering and can bring its hardwood-fired smoker to prepare meals on-site.

Want group activities?

St. Simons has some fascinating historic sites in addition to its famous lighthouse, which is still used and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. The Maritime Center at the Historic Coast Guard Station has rooms filled with interactive maritime exhibits and a short film that gives guests a crash course on the island’s history. The Christ Church congregation dates back to the 1700s. The island’s church of that name was built in the 1800s and is known for its stained glass windows and cemetery filled with the island’s earliest settlers. In 1742, Spanish and British forces met in battle to decide the fate of St. Simons Island. The English soldiers of Fort Frederica were victorious. Today, the remains of their military stronghold are Fort Frederica National Monument’s main attraction.

“The Southern Spirit of St. Simons Island, Georgia”

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Linda Kissam visited The King and Prince Resort a few weeks ago.  She wrote a raving review of The Resort and St. Simons Island.  Her review was posted in her blog and on Tripatini.

 

King and Prince Beach

Beach at The King and Prince

There’s a lot to be said for Southern hospitality. There’s much more to be said experiencing it for yourself. I was very fortunate to do just that in a five-day trip to St. Simons Island, Georgia. For a traveling wine aficionado and foodie like me, this has got to be one of my top three trips this year. It’s quite clear that Southern hospitality focuses heavily on food and the role it plays in daily life and social interaction. Add some great wines, amazing beaches and fun activities… and Voila! I found Southern nirvana.

For a Southern California girl it’s a bit unnerving to be addressed as “Ma’am “all the time. I am more used to hearing “Babe, ”Dude,” and “Hey”. But there’s a whole lot of emphasis in the South on the etiquette of being addressed as “Ma’am” and “Sir” to demonstrate respect. After about 20 minutes I actually rolled quite easily into the greeting. How nice to find that manners still exist and flourish in today’s casual world.

Crowne Plaza Hotel

My St. Simon’s experience began with a 5-hour plane ride to Jacksonville Airport. Arriving a bit late, I decided to rest up and regroup at the newly refurbished and award winning Crowne Plaza Hotel. This is one of the few hotels that still offer a free shuttle to/from the airport. I was treated to an amazing executive level room overlooking a beautiful courtyard. I loved, loved loved the beautiful business center located just feet from my room. It offered a computer and printer to conduct business at and luxe furnishings (including a huge flat screen TV) to stretch out and relax in. I was delighted to also find a great coffee maker featuring lattes, cappuccinos, teas, and hot chocolate; and a refrigerator stocked with ice cream, fruit and other delights. These people understand the business traveler.

Crowne Plaza Executive Chef White

While touring the hotel’s impressive restaurant, conference/event areas, lobby bar, Internet Café, and fitness center, I noticed a solid mix of business and family guests. I headed back to my room where I was met by Executive Chef Arthur White carrying a yummy welcome fruit platter. He was kind enough to sit with me awhile while we talked about his background, his philosophy and the foods he loves to prepare. This 31-year veteran started his career at the property as a dishwasher. His hard work ethic and culinary mastery eventually earned him the top chef spot. He describes his cooking style and offerings as a mixture of Southern, Caribbean, Italian, Cajun and American cuisine. He shared with me that his favorite ingredient is cream as he loves creating cream soups, sauces and Seafood Newburg. Eating at the restaurant is a treat. I highly recommend this hotel for its upscale amenities, friendly business traveler atmosphere, and its family-friendly facilities. How they can blend all that into one fabulous hotel experience I am not sure, but they do, and you should take advantage of it whether flying in for a cruise, a sports game, or a trip to the dazzling St Simon’s Island.

The King and Prince Beach

St Simons Island Beaches

The next morning I was picked up by Max Transport for the one-hour ride to St. Simons and my lodging The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort. I began to first understand the extraordinary St. Simons Island aura as I crossed the five-mile causeway experiencing stunning river views, immense salt marshes, and my first glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean. Once on the Island, tunnels of Live Oaks, picturesque ocean-side streets and homes, and all the natural beauty, beaches, intriguing shopping opportunities and an array of restaurant choices all called out to me to stop, relax and renew.

King and Prince Lobby

The King and Prince Lobby

The historic King and Prince Resort has been welcoming guests since 1935. I could go on and on about the historic resort. The room choices are endless and appropriate for every need and budget. Think beach front rooms, villas, suites, and guest homes. Add in 10, 000 sq. ft. of ocean front meeting, conference and function space, wedding facilities and several excellent dining options and you have the ultimate experience. My beach front room was just steps from the beach, was beautifully appointed and featured a lovely patio to chill out on. Wine in one hand, computer in the other… I was soon relaxing on comfortable wicker furniture listening to the soothing sounds of crashing Atlantic waves.

St Simons Lighthouse Trolley

Lighthouse Trolley

Having met up with several friends, I was soon hopping on the St. Simons Lighthouse Trolley to begin my exploration of St. Simons’ history and the Southern fun and hospitality experience. First stop was the Coast Guard Maritime Museum. This was to be my introduction to the intriguing history of the Georgia Coast. A 20-minute video and a 30 minute tour of the museum explained the ecological nuances of the Georgia’s barrier islands of which St. Simons is the second largest of Georgia’s 18 barrier islands, encompassing 31 square miles. Open seven days a week with an admission price of $6.00, be sure to stop by.

Colonial Coast Birding Trail

Gould’s Inlet

With the day waning, the trolley made a final sunset stop at Gould’s Inlet. Gould’s Inlet is the opening between St. Simons East Beach and the south tip of Sea Island providing inspiring views of coastal birds. Picturesque wooden observation platforms are part of the experience for wildlife viewing. Migrants and resident species of birds can be seen every day. High or incoming tides are best for birding at this site, but something will be there all the time, as was the case with my time there.

The King's Tavern

Chef Robyn Gomez at The King and Prince

Dinner that night was at the hotel in the lovely Solarium. We were treated to appetizers and White Sangria, with a main course of Wild Georgia Shrimp & Grits, seafood salad, and Peach Cobbler…all via a culinary demo featuring Chef Robyn Gomez. Have to confess, up until that night I had never had grits or White Shrimp. Both were exquisite and made an immediate convert out of me. The food, the service, and the culinary talents of Chef Gomez defines gracious Southern hospitality and is definitely what culinary memories are made of. And oh yes, you have to love that the perfect wine – a 2007 MontGras Reserva Sauvignon Blanc from Casablanca Valley, Chile was chosen to pair with the dinner.

Next morning my friends and I popped into the King & Prince King’s Tavern for their world-famous Breakfast Buffet and to listen to a short talk on 75 years of St. Simons History with Curt Smith, the Lighthouse Events Coordinator and Historian. Let me just say that “Wow” defines the buffet and the Mimosa’s. I loved the eclectic mix of Southern focused dishes and all- American favorites.

Golf On St Simons

King and Prince Golf Course

Back on the trolley, the group headed out for an afternoon of golf and lunch at the King and Prince Golf Course. Paired up in two’s in golf carts we toured the award-winning course well-known for its challenging layout amongst ancient forests, vast salt marshes and dramatic island holes. Had to love the two alligators sunning themselves on the 15th hole (see on the left)! After the tour we were treated to a golf lesson including a swing lesson and a putting lesson. I sucked big time at learning how to swing a club, but was dynamite in the putting class. Lunch came next in the comfortable clubhouse overlooking the huge lake that adds to the challenge of the course’s 9th hole. If it’s golf you like, this is the place for you. Also a great place for a wedding.

Back at the hotel I opted for a walk on the beach at low tide. The soothing coastal air and wet sand beneath my toes reinforced that this untouched island haven is a luxury of time well spent. Dinner was a short stroll away at the Saltwater Cowboy. Owner George Stewart‘s vision for this casual eatery centers around steak, seafood, low country boil, burgers and a nice selection of cocktails, beer and wine. I had a lovely Cabernet with my generous tasty 16-oz Rib Eye. Open seven days a week for dinner, enjoy the frequent live music and really cool bar.

Sandcastle Cafe

St Simons Island Village

Up early the next morning, our group was back on The Lighthouse trolley to the Sandcastle Café. Tim and Melissa Welford have a gold mine in this village, “hole in the wall.” The place was crowded, and for good reason. The food is good, plentiful, affordable and easily lives up to its “family legend” status of 20 years. Order off the menu or enjoy the breakfast buffet. Afterwards stroll the shops and sights that make up this scenic waterfront village. I certainly scored in several of the boutique shops, but in a few hours I was back on the trolley heading out for lunch at Southern Soul BBQ.

Southern Soul BBQ

This is what I had been waiting for …Southern BBQ, and I was not disappointed. Another crazy-busy spot this Southern smoke joint slow hardwood smokes their ribs, chicken, sausages and beef. Featured on Food Network’s, “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” this is a local landmark and deservedly so. Eat inside or outdoors, expect a short wait, and delicious melt-in-your mouth BBQ. Geese I really really loved the variety of squirt bottles of spicy, mild, smoky, and Carolina- style sauces available at each seating area. Get yourself some spicy ribs, sweet tea or cool beer, and be ready for the experience of a lifetime.

Lady Jane

Filled to the gills, we were off to an authentic shrimp boat experience aboard the “Lady Jane.” For me, this particular experience was my “Wow” moment of the trip because it brought together all the St Simons Island puzzle pieces together. it was the culmination of the beauty, the brawn and the ecological magic that makes this place so special. The Lady Jane is a United States Coast Guard certified 49 passenger steel shrimping vessel painstakingly refurbished for an enjoyable seafaring cruise. Lady Jane is the only shrimp vessel on the entire east coast that has been certified by the USCG to carry 49 passengers. Our crew and guides, Paul Christian (Marine Biologist), Phillip Flournoy (Marine Biologist)and a very mature and focused teenager Clifford Credle (aspiring Marine Biologist) dredged the inland coastal waterway for shrimp. We were invited to help sort through the catch of shrimp, Bonnethead , Blacktip, Sand shark, Horseshoe Crab,Puffer Fish, Amberjack, Crocker, Spot, Whiting, Bluecrab, and Skate while learning about the waterway ecology and each portion of the catch from Cilfford. As a extra bonus we were offered fresh shrimp to eat, boiled and prepared by First Mate John Tyre. Weather is never a concern, as the Lady Jane performs quite nicely in the protected waters of St. Simon Sound, has an air conditioned cabin, restroom, and large open decks with ample room to walk around and enjoy the views. About $40 per person, this is a deal …and a memory for a lifetime.

The “Southern” experience is something I highly endorse. If you’ve never been a part of this engaging phenomena, I suggest you start the discovery process at the King and Prince resort on St. Simons Island.

If you already know what I am talking about, then you know how right I am … so what’s keeping you from booking a room at The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, and falling in love all over again?

McGladrey Classic Golf Tournament

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Amazing weather today and the rest of the week for the inaugural McGladrey Classic Golf Tournament played on the Seaside course here on St Simons Island, Georgia.  Bright blue skies and 80 degrees!

Here at The King and Prince Resort, we are hosting about 40 of the golfers and wish them all the best of success.  It has been exciting for our guests and resort staff to meet the golfers, as they are very friendly and complimentary of the whole tournament experience.

The Golf Channel announcers have also been very complimentary of the tournament officials, the area amenities and the gorgeous island scenery.  It is enjoyable to see our island on TV, receiving outstanding reviews.  And this is only the first of three years for the tournament here on St Simons Island.

Enjoy our beautiful fall weather and the McGladrey Classic Golf Tournament this weekend!

Bud St. Pierre, Director of Sales & Marketing

“The Highwayman: Birdies and Eagles in The Marshes of Glynn”

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

John Plaisant visited The King and Prince in April and wrote his take on St. Simons Island and the King and Prince Golf Course.  His article can be found in the Daily Times.

The Highwayman: Birdies and eagles in The Marshes of Glynn

Published: Monday, June 21, 2010

Affable live oak, leaning low,

Thus — with your favor — soft, with a reverent hand,

(Not lightly touching your person, Lord of the land!)

Bending your beauty aside, with a step I stand

On the firm-packed sand,

Free

By a world of marsh that borders a world of sea.

— The Marshes of Glynn,

Sidney Lanier, 1842-1881

Second of two parts.

Sidney Lanier was a poet, musician and scholar, widely recognized as poet laureate of Georgia. And the Marshes of Glynn refer to coastal Glynn County, Georgia, which includes the port city of Brunswick and those barrier islands known as the “Golden Isles” — St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island.

The winding rivers, unspoiled beaches and vast marshlands of these islands were what Lanier loved and immortalized in “The Marshes of Glynn”, written three years before his death from tuberculosis, which he contracted while a POW during the Civil War. Today, in Brunswick the Sidney Lanier Bridge, a 21st-century suspension bridge spanning the South Brunswick River and the longest bridge in Georgia, is a gleaming sentinel standing watch over his beloved low country.

Although Georgia’s coastline is only a hundred miles long, its half-million acres of salt marshes (also known as tidal marshes) constitute nearly one-third of all the salt marshes on America’s Eastern Seaboard. Salt marshes are coastal wetlands, rich in marine life and plants which grow in protected areas behind barrier islands and in other low-energy areas. They often look like grasslands, as the marsh grasses change with the season with shades of green, gold and brown.

“In the fall, the marshes look like great waving fields of wheat,” noted local historian Mary Burdell.

Some of these enchanting Marshes of Glynn can be found at the northern tip of St. Simons Island, right in the middle of the King and Prince Golf Course, Home of The Hampton Club. In Georgia, where the ghost of Bobby Jones still walks the fairways, golf is more than just a game.

On the back nine, four “signature” holes are situated on “hammocks” — small islands located in the marshes. These beautiful golf holes —12 through 15 — are connected by more than 800 feet of picturesque, elevated wooden cart bridges. The finishing holes then wander through a lush forest of live oak trees. It’s one of those courses that golfers young and old dream about playing.

And it’s all practically brand new with cutting-edge technology.

Originally opened in 1989 and designed by the late Joe Lee, the course got a complete makeover in 2009 from architect Billy Fuller. It’s a restoration of the course’s original design but with the latest surface technology and strategic specifications to challenge both the scratch player and the weekend duffer.

The King and Prince utilizes different grasses for different purposes. All 18 greens have mini-verde, ultra dwarf Bermuda grass, with 60-inch green collars planted with Tifsport Bermuda. All 18 fairways have a new hybrid called Celebration Bermuda grass. All the traps are wrapped in Emerald Zoysia.

There’s also a 6,500-square foot mini-verde putting green, a 3,000-square foot mini-verde chipping green, and five target greens that have been added to the driving range.

“We’re the only course in our region with these types of grass, and our golfers are amazed at the fantastic course transformation,” declared Rick Mattox, the golf club’s general manager.

What most impressed me, however, is the course’s fairness. It is not a particularly long course — 6,462 yards from the back tees — and although challenging, the course is set up to reward the good shot. If you can “manage” your game, keep the ball in play, you can register a good score requisite to the level of your ability. Golf should be fun, and this course bears that in mind.

There are five playing distances for the par 72 course — Old Ironside, Live Oak, Dogwood, Magnolia and Azalea — but the 19th hole is always a relaxing seat on the clubhouse veranda in the shade of trees dripping with Spanish moss. Even a bad round looks pretty good from that vantage point.

If you want to see for yourself, go to www.kingandprince.com on the Web and check out the course’s virtual flyover. Using the latest technology, there’s a computer-generated 3-D animation of each individual hole. You’ve probably seen similar computer generations on television. Most recently, this technology was used on telecasts of the Masters Championship in April.

And the golf course is open to all. Members of The Hampton Club and guests of the King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort are, of course, always welcome, but the course is also open to the public, which means that any island visitor or local resident can get a tee time, too.

Sinuous southward and sinuous northward the shimmering band

Of the sand-beach fastens the fringe of the marsh to the folds of the land.

There are 13 barrier islands lining Georgia’s 100-mile coastline, with Tybee Island at the north and Cumberland the farthest south. But St. Simons Island is the only one that was never privately owned. With its beautiful beaches, rustic rental cottages, lovely bed and breakfasts and wonderful hotels like the King and Prince, St. Simons has always been a favorite vacation destination for Georgians. Even for non-golfers. In fact, vacationers have been coming here since the 1880s, and when the Torras Causeway, connecting the island to the mainland, opened in 1924, tourism became the major player in the island’s economy.

The island stretches about 15 miles from north to south and actually has a year-round population of more than 15,000. In fact, there are two elementary schools on the island, although middle school and high school kids must be bused to the mainland.

The island has a little something for everyone, including a number of significant historical sites, fine dining and great shopping. There’s the friendly little village at the south end in the shadow of the island’s historic lighthouse, which is now the home of the Coastal Georgia Historical Society which operates a museum in the original lighthouse keeper’s residence. And over on East Beach, there’s the Maritime Center at the historic Coast Guard Station.

There’s also horseback riding, swimming, hiking, birding, kayaking, fishing, and cycling among the myriad selection of outdoor activities.

But this part of Georgia is golf country as much as any place in America. Augusta National, home of the Masters, is just 200 miles away. The home of the PGA, fabled TPC Sawgrass with its iconic island green, is only an hour to the south in Ponte Vedra, Fla., and golf mecca Hilton Head, S.C., is not much more than 90 minutes to the north. Just a bit farther north is the Myrtle Beach, S.C., area, perhaps the most popular golfing destination east of the Mississippi.

And the King and Prince isn’t the only golf course on St. Simons. There’s also the Retreat Golf Course, the Sea Island Golf Club, which opened in 1928, and the Sea Palms Golf Club. At the entrance to Sea Island Golf Club, you’ll find the fabulous “Avenue of the Live Oaks,” a breathtaking stretch of beautiful old live oak trees in perfect tandem, planted by Anna Page King, who grew up on what was once the Retreat Plantation. She married a Philadelphia lawyer named Thomas Butler King, who went on to become an important 19th century Georgia politician.

At the north end of the island, near the King and Prince Golf Course, is Fort Frederica National Monument, built by James Oglethorpe, a British general and founder of the colony of Georgia. He chose the site on St. Simons Island to defend the colony’s southern border against encroachment by the Spanish in Florida.

The first and only battle ever fought at Fort Frederica was in 1742, when British forces pushed back the Spanish once and for all, confirming Georgia’s place among the British colonies. And we all know how much those Brits love to play golf.

The Highwayman appears twice monthly in the Sunday Times. Comments and questions are welcome. E-mail The Highwayman at hwm4travel@comcast.net.

Way Stations

While visiting St. Simons Island, plan to have breakfast or lunch at the Sandcastle Cafe in the village, just up the street from the fishing pier. The Sandcastle has become a local legend of sorts, a feel-good story about Tim and Melissa Wellford. Down on his luck, Tim bought the little “hole-in-the-wall” establishment 21 years ago with a few hundred dollars, a promise and a dream. Tim and Melissa turned the cafe into the most popular breakfast spot on the island.

Today, locals arrive early for coffee and stay half the morning. Visitors come in for Tim’s fabulous breakfast buffet. Tim and Melissa enjoy schmoozing with the customers, treating strangers like old friends and family. It’s a fun and tasty experience.

For a casual dinner and some authentic Southern cooking, you might want to try Gnat’s Landing in Redfern Village, a shopping area just off Frederica Road near the island’s midpoint. There’s plenty of live music and good food presented by another of the island’s local entrepreneurial celebrities, “Boz” Bostock.

Upstairs at Gnat’s is Bubba Garcia’s Mexican Cantina — home of the $8,000 margarita. No, it doesn’t cost $8,000 … but it tastes like a million.