Players skim the marshes at holes three and six as well, with a serpentine-shaped lake thrown in to make hole three even more interesting. Hole six also beckons with cunning water that reminds one of a comedian’s observation: “The reason the pro tells you to keep your head down is so you won’t see him laughing at you.” Indeed, overhead bird caws closely resemble the taunting laughter that reminds us how humbling this game can be.
Play at Laurel Island Links is both exhilarating and inspiring. As is tradition at great courses, it starts easy and finishes hard with deviations in difficulty well-spaced to keep interest up and frustration to a minimum.
Hole 18 might be the one to take your breath away. Water comes into play on your second shot as you make your way to challenging contoured greens well-protected by water and sand. This is the hole that makes recreational players a tad nervous, but even experienced players enjoy the thrill of victory when they play it well.
Laurel Island Links is a trophy course for Davis Love III. It is picturesque beyond mere words—the danger being the visual distraction one might experience playing on a picture postcard golf course. Several times throughout the course, quaint wooden bridges take players under ancient live oak canopies and through verdant pine forest stands. It is a bit of a fairy tale setting for a game that often escapes the coveted “happily ever after” ending. No one has ever described the sport of golfing as “soothing.” But, perhaps, when on safari at Laurel Island Links, the excitement of the hunt is balanced by its nearly surreal, serene setting.
Laurel Island Links is located just six miles north of the Florida border off Exit 6 on I-95, a mere fifteen-minute drive from St. Marys’ waterfront.
Call 912-729-7277 for tee times.