Mary Ann DeSantis featured The King and Prince Golf Course in a recent article on several notable courses in the Southeast. DeSantis played our course with her husband and interviewed our head pro, Rick Mattox. We love her beautiful descriptions and entertaining writing style:
Accessible only by elevated cart bridges, the island holes looked quite daunting on the virtual course. Hitting the greens, however, was not a problem; staying focused on our game was as a parade of wildlife marched by, including deer, ospreys, and a persistent heron that hovered near a putting green.
The King and Prince Golf Course – Home of the Hampton Club
Readers, for the past few months we’ve been speaking about the truly amazing sites, sounds, views – everything that St. Simon’s Island in Georgia has to offer. There are vacation packages that include fine dining experiences and glorious accommodations in this unique locale, where each and every visitor can enjoy walking beside the crystalline waters of the Atlantic under the warm sun each and every day.
Because of the endless array of nature – birds of every vibrant color nesting in the endless, undisturbed marshlands, to the baby dolphins playing in the sea – St Simon’s is a true ‘gift’ for all types of visitors from photographers to bird watchers to historians who want nothing more than to relax in a world of luxury.
But there is so much more to St. Simon’s, and the one jewel in in this already priceless crown is a golf course that is literally second to none. This is a course that has ‘met’ PGA celebrities, members, amateurs, enthusiasts, and simply lovers of the game of golf. Every year, something else occurs here that people wait for the chance to be part of. For amateurs or professionals, this is an unforgettable experience for people who wish to bring their golf game up to a higher level.
On this stunning island that is a true portrait of natural beauty and serenity, this is a golf course that transcends all others. Because of the undisturbed nature, this course is truly a challenge, which is what makes it one of coastal Georgia’s great courses. Emerald fairways, ancient forests, vast salt marshes, island holes, premier instruction, gracious dining – all of these combine to give the visitor and member a true, “Quality Golf Experience.”
The King and Prince Golf Course – Home of the Hampton Club has gone through a stunning renovation with the modernization of their grasses and the addition of their new stellar Practice Facility. But what golfers across the land should know and be extremely excited over, is the fact that The Hampton Club also offers instructional programs, with one being a Junior Golf Clinic that is unsurpassed when it comes to gaining new knowledge and enhancing your game with pro’s.
For all members and guests, this is a learning opportunity – a Junior Clinic (a summer camp, of sorts) that offers one-on-one instructional appointments that focus on the specific elements of the game.
The Junior Clinic Runs:
June 20th, 21st & 22nd
July 11th, 12th & 13th;
As well as
August 2nd 3rd & 4th
Rick Mattox, General Manager of The Hampton Club, is a Class A PGA Professional who began his career in the golf business with an assistant professional job in Lexington, North Carolina. In 1975, he was elected to PGA Membership with his first ‘Head Pro’ offer sending him to the Carolina Golf & Country Club in Charlotte. Rick’s vast experience on the course and knowledge of all the facets of the world of golf, led to Rick being hired as General Manager of golf operations at The Hampton Club.
The King and Prince Golf Course: Home of The Hampton Club is a truly amazing golf experience for the amateur. Which is why it should be mentioned that it is also being run by the most knowledgeable staff there is, who have received various honors throughout their careers. Rick received the East Chapter PGA Pro of the Year in 1998 and 2002, and served as Georgia PGA Board of Directors in 2001 and 2002.
The Junior Golf Clinic not only offers the best, most professional, and most respected staff, but the actual course will amaze you! Included in the scenery are ancient forests, vast salt marshes, dramatic island holes, and a lake that overlooks a relaxing and elegant clubhouse. This is one place that the golfer will never forget. Having its own definite signature – which is a group of four spectacular holes gently carved from small coastal marsh islands and accessed by 800-feet of elevated cart bridges – The Hampton Club course is just what the amateur longs for. This bold design has been heralded by many, and over the years the King and Prince’s commitment to provide a premier golf experience has remained one of their highest priorities.
Check into the Junior Golf Clinic today! Not only will you have the time of your life, but the instruction you’ll receive will have you feeling as if the career of “Tiger Woods” is definitely in your future.
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!
Warren Resen’s travel article about the Southeast Georgia Coast and The King and Prince Resort.
Warren Ressen explores St. Simons Island and the Golden Isles of Georgia. He writes about his visit at The King and Prince and tour of the island in the Observer News.
St. Simons Island, Georgia By WARREN RESEN
The horror stories of foreign travel never seem to end and yet we still have a desire to travel to other places. The question then is where can we go that is different and yet close to home where we can be in charge of our destiny?
In this case that means not depending on any type of transportation but our own. Well, here is a suggestion about a place different in most respects from a Florida experience yet easy to get to by car in less than a day.
Look north and east at the coast of SE Georgia. Even for Floridians used to the ocean, this is different. Georgia only has 100 miles of coast line, but what a 100 miles it is. It represents an environment unlike any found in most of Florida and yet many people don’t even know Georgia has an oceanfront.
Salt marshes are the most important geographical feature of coastal Georgia. It is estimated that Georgia’s marshes and tidal rivers cover over 700,000 acres, one-third of all marshes remaining on the US Atlantic coast. From the ocean, the coastline looks much the same as when the first Europeans saw this area in the 16th century except possibly for the lighthouses.
Drive over the dramatic Sydney Lanier Bridge from the Georgia mainland to Brunswick and then cross the seemingly endless miles of coastal marsh to the Golden Isles, named for the brilliant golden color of the marsh grasses in the fall. The light and color change with the time of day and the swiftly flowing tidal waters. Time slows in this enchanted land.
When you see the sign that says, “Welcome to St. Simons Island,” your vacation has begun. Head east on the island’s main road. The foliage is lush and more northern than much of Florida’s tropical landscape. Branches from towering oak trees form a canopy over the roadway hiding the sky. Soon you arrive at the old commercial part of “downtown” St. Simons with its quaint shops and restaurants.
The island does not have the honky-tonk flavor of so many beach resorts. At the end of Mallory Street is the historic lighthouse and fishing pier. Get out of your car, stretch your legs and enjoy a meal at one of the local, non-chain restaurants before going on to your lodgings.
For your stay on this delightful island, there are many inns and hotels from which to choose but not as many as you might expect at a vacation destination. But then St. Simons is not just another beach resort. This is your special adventure, so why not stay at some place equally special?
Archeologists claim inhabitants lived in the area as far back as 13,000 years ago. In modern times the island has been inhabited by the French, Spanish and English, none of whom could have ever envisioned as lovely a lodging as the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort. This is the oldest hotel on St. Simons and was originally built as a club and dance hall in 1935. It was THE place to go for entertainment and the first facility on the island with rooms for overnight guests.
After many rebirths and renovations, it is celebrating its 75th Anniversary
and is still the place to come to for old fashioned, gracious, southern hospitality. But saying it is old fashioned does it a disservice.
Everything is modern. The hotel has been updated to the level expected by discerning patrons. Named for King George and his son Prince Frederick, the hotel is the epitome of old time Southern charm and hospitality. The huge daily breakfast buffet features many traditional foods.
Accommodations are not your usual cookie cutter rooms but charmingly decorated ocean front rooms, suites, guest houses and island villas. My ocean front room afforded me amazing views of both the sunrise and sunset.
The Georgia Coastal Bight, the westernmost part of the Atlantic Bight, is a gentle inland sweep in the Atlantic seaboard that produces the biggest tide variation on the east coast, generally averaging from 6 to 8 feet. Because of this, the beaches often play peek-a-boo; now you see it, now you don’t, depending on the tide. When the tide is out, the beaches are extensive. When the tide is in it’s time to enjoy some of the island’s other amenities unless you just want to take advantage of the hotel’s outdoor or indoor pools.
St. Simons is an outdoor enthusiast’s cornucopia for boating, fishing, swimming, bicycling and birding. Then there are the historical sites and a trip to Christ Church is a must. Or go “downtown” for shopping. But the highlight for golfers staying at the King and Prince is the renowned Joe Lee golf course. The course is as delightful and challenging to play as it is beautiful.
Golfer’s move between beautifully tended greens to a series of four signature holes situated on “hammocks” located in the famous Marshes of Glynn. The finishing holes are played through lush forests. Even if you are not a golfer, a tour of the course is a must.
Nearby can be just as good as foreign for travel, learning and fun. Getting there is easier and a lot cheaper than travelling abroad and the hassle factor drops way down. There is much to see and do in our United States, and Southeast Georgia and the Golden Isles is a good place to start.
***Update: Since this post was written, the resort has undergone extensive renovations. Please visit our website for current information on restaurants and other amenities.***
Ed Stone recently visited St. simons Island and The King and Prince and wrote a wonderful article for his website GoGolfandTravel.com. Enjoy his article below.
The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort Georgia’s Golden Isle Gem Story and photos by: Ed Stone
The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort located on St. Simons Island, Georgia is celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2010 not with fireworks and marching bands, but with showcasing renovated quarters and public space. In addition, the former Hampton Club golf course is now named the King and Prince Golf Course and boasting some major renovations to a very challenging Joe Lee designed course. Since opening as a dance club in 1935, this Oceanside resort has become a premier destination for special occasions, family gatherings and conferences on Georgia’s Golden Isles coast.
The five-mile causeway leading to St. Simons Island helps to bring into focus the experiences you are about to enjoy. You certainly know you are on an island as you cross rivers, salt marshes and the Atlantic Ocean separating it from the mainland of Georgia. Live Oaks create canopied tunnels leading to The King and Prince Hotel. You pass by boutiques, one-of-a-kind fine restaurants and other specialty venues that comprise these types of resort areas. The island cleaves to interesting historical sites and attractions, i.e., Fort Frederica, the Battle of Bloody Marsh site, Christ Church and the St. Simons Lighthouse.
“The people enjoy our Southern hospitality,” said David Murray, the jovial doorman at the 195-room King and Prince. David certainly exemplifies the genuineness of this cultural warmth and kindness found in this part of the world.
The King and Prince offers one of the Southeast’s most prestigious historic ocean front retreats with recreation for all ages and many kinds of water sports. Dining is taken seriously with offerings of both casual and formal in either the Delegal Dining Room, The King’s Tavern or Paradise Beach Bar & Grill. The resort also offers five pools to its guests.
History of the Resort:
Frank Horn and Morgan Wynn built a seaside dance club after being asked to leave the snobbish Cloister Hotel on Sea Island in the mid 1930’s for partaking of too much alcohol. This hotel is so named because of the stature and demeanor of these two men. Horn was tall and heavyset while Wynn was short and slender. When appearing together, their friends called them “the king and the prince.” According to newspaper clippings, the dance club burned to the ground twice between 1935 and 1939. In July 1941, the King and Prince Hotel’s main building opened to the public and was considered quite modern.
During World War II, The King and Prince served as a Naval Coast Guard watching and training facility. In 1947, the property reopened to the public. The resort underwent some major building renovations and expansions in 1972 and 1983. In 1996, The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort became a member of the Historic Hotels of America and in 2005, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Awards have been presented and are well deserved for The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort. The prestigious Southern Living Magazine named The King and Prince as “Georgia’s Favorite Beach Resort.” Successful Meetings Magazine bestowed the Pinnacle Award three times representing a symbol of excellence among meeting planners and hoteliers. And, ConventionSouth voted the resort as winner of the Readers’ Choice Award.
Meeting and conference planners enjoy the flexibility of bringing groups to this beautiful setting and luxury resort.
With over 10,000 square feet of Oceanside function and pre-function space this makes for an ideal place to bring groups of 20 to 350 people. There are five meeting rooms with the largest having some 2880 square feet. Selection of space includes a beautiful ballroom, oceanfront dining rooms, a large oceanfront lawn area and poolside areas, the historic Solarium, oceanfront Retreat Room and Butler Boardroom.
Meeting and Conference Facilities and Features:
– 10,000 square feet of ocean-side function space
– Flexibility to accommodate from 20 to 350 attendees and guests
– Pre-function space in the resort’s dramatic atrium
– Ocean front lawn adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean
– Team of skilled meeting planning and support professionals
– Full catering service
– Comprehensive on-site convention and audio-visual services
– Activities for groups, spouses and as team-building events
Georgia’s “Golden Isles” is made up of the upscale Sea Island, the State owned Jekyll Island and the little known St.
Simons Island and its county seat of Brunswick. In addition to these beautiful seashore islands, there are also Cumberland, Little Cumberland, Little St. Simons, St. Catherines, Wassaw and Tybee that skirt Georgia’s coastline. Georgia’s Wildlife Management Islands consists of Sapelo Island, Wolf Island Wilderness Area, and Ossabaw Island.
The King and Prince Golf Course:
Named the Hampton Club since it opened in 1988, the club was recently renamed the King and Prince Golf Club. The par 72, 6,462-yard, Joe Lee designed course is not only a very challenging layout but offers some unique features no longer found in golf layouts of this nature. For instance, the back nine holes of numbers 12, 13, 14 & 15 are carved out of the salt marshes. These were built prior to the EPA regulating the build of such in these marshes. “Never again will anyone be able to build a golf course in the marshes, like this one,” stated Rick Mattox, Golf Club Manager. All four holes have become the signature holes for the course…and, they deserve it! They are accessed by 800-feet of elevated cart bridges, adding to the uniqueness of the course.
Recently, Billy Fuller from Atlanta worked with Rick and the King and Prince Management to renovate the course. Billy spent from 1980 to 1987 as golf course superintendent at the famous Augusta National Golf Club where the Masters is held each year. He did a splendid job of keeping the “Joe Lee Touch” and adding his own style. Several sand traps and bunkers were added or redesigned. Fuller also worked with the management in bringing to the King and Prince Golf Club the latest in grasses for this area and soil. Mattox speaks with pride, “We now have Mini Verde greens, Tif sport collars, Celebration tees, roughs and fairways – and our traps are wrapped in Emerald Zoysia. We’re the only course in our region with these types of grasses and our golfers are amazed at the fantastic course transformation.”
The King & Prince Golf Course Clubhouse
A new cutting edge technology has been added to the resort’s website allowing you to view a 3-D graphic transporting viewer to each of 18 holes via a hole-by-hole flyover. “It’s an in-depth virtual tour where one can see bridges, bunkers, the shape of ponds, sprawling live oaks, expansive marsh views, lagoons and towering pines. It includes a full course map, scorecard and vibrant photos of the extraordinary beauty of one of coastal Georgia’s great courses. The flyover takes viewers to our golf course within seconds, giving them an amazing experience,” stated Bud St. Pierre, Director of Sales & Marketing for the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort. (Click here to watch the flyover: www.kingandprince.com/golf.php)
When taking a stroll on the beach in front of The King and Prince Hotel, one would wonder what Frank Horn and Morgan Wynn would think of how much this special place has grown and expanded. It’s a long way from a dance club…designed just to get even with The Cloister for throwing them out over a few toddies. I suspect they would be very proud of having started a luxury resort that continues to carry their names after 75 years. Happy Anniversary to The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort
201 Arnold Road
St. Simons Island, Georgia 31522
After six months of restoration and prosperity of new growth grass, the time has finally come here on St. Simons Island. On October 10th, the King and Prince Golf Course is hosting its Club Members Re-Opening Ceremony, with the public play beginning October 11th.
Golfers will see many improvements on the course such as MiniVerde™, ultra dwarf Bermuda grass, with 60″ green collars planted with Tifsport Bermuda on all 18 greens. Each of the 18 fairways will have a new hybrid, Celebration Bermuda grass for ultimate performance. In addition, a new practice facility will open which includes a 6,500 sq ft MiniVerde putting green, 3,000 sq ft MiniVerde chipping green, and five target greens.
Owned and operated by The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, the course is renowned for its ancient forests, vast salt marshes, and dramatic island holes. The course houses a comfortable clubhouse overlooking the large lake that adds to the challenge of the course’s 9th hole. With its warm and welcoming clubhouse and exceptional staff, it is no wonder members are anxious for the return of the King and Prince Golf Course.