If you are looking to find a few private golf courses in the area, you have two outstanding choices. One is on the island and the other is just north of town. First, the island.
Marsh Creek Country Club
Situated along the Intercoastal and only a mile or so from the Ocean, Marsh Creek is a picturesque and challenging Mark McCumber design. The course features 6 set of tees with the back tees coming in at 6,883 yards and the very forward men’s tees a modest 5578. Women’s tees measure 4432 yards.
The opening holes is simply gorgeous with a mile plus long view across marsh to the other side of the Intracoastal waterway. You need to gather your focus as any tee shot out to the right is Egret food in the marshes. Your second shot requires much precision as well as they green sites on the edge of the marsh. While many would consider the layout, “target golf”, there really is a generous landing area on many tee shots. yet there are many forced carries so if you can not keep your ball airborne you will have issues. However, if you play smart, there are always area to hit to and usually a bail out area for your second shot. The fairways generally tend to pinch in the more you challenge them, so smart play will pay off here.
The course is usually in great condition with manicured fairways and fairly quick greens. The combination of challenge, condition and picturesque holes are hard to beat. The course is private and you must be sent my a member to play. there are a variety of membership option available in many classes so if you are interested in joining it would be best to call and find out the latest promotions. Occasionally they will run a trial membership.
Marsh Creek County Club
169 Marshside Dr
Palencia Golf Club
The tournament tees are a healthy 7073 yards and are rated at 74.5/142. The forward men’s tees are a more manageable 6110 and 69.7/126. ladies tees measure 4936 yards and are rated at 70.6/122.
The layout for the most part is very fair. The first hole is a slight dog leg left with a huge fairways as long as you avoid the fairway bunkers to the left. The second hole is also a shot par 4 and a birdie hole. The third hole is the signature hole on the course- The Leaning Tree, Palencia’s signature hole. This medium length par-3 is nestled around a breathtaking Oak Hammock. The dominant obstruction to making a good score on this beautiful hole is the arching oak tree that leans across the line of play. After this unique part 3 you encounter your first par 5 that has a huge mound in the front of the green requiring a blind shot into a devilish green. It is this type of design elements that may deter some. The first par 5 on the back is similar.
However, most of the other holes are more straightforward. Many of the par 3’s have long narrow greens. The closing holes are all challenging and offer a great variety. The 16th hole is a bear but the green sits aside the marsh with a long view out to the inter coastal waterway.
Conditions are impeccable. Fairways are pristine and the greens usually roll perfect and are about a 10 or 11 on the stimp.
While the course is private, there is a way to gain access to Palencia. Check out he Executive Golf card. Among other benefits you gain access to several private clubs including Palencia. More information can be found at http://execgolf.com/ New ownership took over in 2013 so they are actively recruiting new members. Trial membership may be available.
If you have a chance to play here…jump on it. You rarely see any other houses out here and the journey through the centuries old maritime oaks and views of the Intracoastal more than make up for any bad shots. Palencia is unique…and BIG.
Palencia Golf Club
600 Palencia Club Drive
St Augustine, Fl