Playing golf at the King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort on St. Simons Island, Georgia

Tee Off on the Coast

Golf is part of Georgia's history (just think of native son Bobby Jones), and the sport is rightfully celebrated on the coast. The Golden Isles of Georgia (St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Jekyll Island, Little St. Simons, and Brunswick) were officially recognized as a golf venue in 1894 when the Jekyll Island Golf Club registered with the United States Golf Association. In 1898, club members built the area's first golf course. Today, the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club plays host to the RSM Classic, an annual PGA tournament.

Several recognized course designers -- Dick Wilson, Joe Lee and Tom Fazio among them -- left their marks on local greens. Oleander at Jekyll Island, for example, was designed by Wilson. Set 300 yards from the ocean, it follows inland lakes and pine forests. The Hampton Club, A King & Prince Golf Club on St. Simons, designed by Lee, is known for its challenging layout among forests, salt marshes and island holes.

Prime golf destinations may also be found farther inland in Kingsland, home to the Davis Love III-designed Laurel Island Links Golf Course, which winds through preserves and wooded areas. In St. Marys, you can tee off at the Trident Lakes Golf Club - Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base. Once reserved for the military and their guests, it’s now open to the public. Farther west, the Folkston Golf Club offers a short front nine with water hazards on three holes and a back nine with man-made hills, as well as fairways lined with pecan and cedar trees.

Published: February 2015