Return to Glory: Renovations raise Osprey Cove to Lofty Status

Osprey Cove Golf ClubAlready one of the finest public golf courses in the Southeast Georgia/Northeast Florida region, Osprey Cove is undergoing a renovation that will return the golf course to its glorious roots.

Located a mere mile from the Florida border on the banks of the stunning St. Mary’s River, the Mark McCumber-designed Osprey Cove opened to rave reviews nearly 15 years ago. The layout, which was built by Gilman Paper for its employees, was lauded for its breathtaking scenery, challenging designs and intriguing golf holes, which include a double green on the ninth and 18th holes. Years of neglect, however, robbed the classic course of much of its splendor, as Osprey Cove Golf Club became one of the most overlooked courses on the Georgia coast.

Nearly three years ago, however, that all changed with the purchase of the course by Jacksonville-based Hampton Golf in affiliation with LandMar Group, LLC. Since that time, Osprey Cove has enjoyed a rebirth of sorts as its conditioning has been improved, its customer service heightened and its layout slowly brought back to its roots. That rebirth will be complete early next year following the completion of a renovation that will ultimately elevate the beautiful layout back to the standards it was created to uphold.

“The course will be back to or better than it’s original grandeur when it opened in the top five in Georgia,” said MG Orender, president of Hampton Golf.

Focusing on key components of the golf course, Hampton Golf is renovating all the greens, bunkers, greensides and fairways. Major projects of note, the 12th fairway was raised and the fourth green complex was completely redone to return it to McCumber’s original design. The renovations also included some work on aesthetics of the course.

Osprey Cove Golf Club“We removed all hard cart paths and replaced them with soft (coquina) paths, which will fit into the environment better,” Orender said.
The work, however, was not limited to the golf course. The practice facility was completely overhauled, and now includes a new putting and chipping green. In addition, the clubhouse was updated and a new River Club was built, which includes a fitness center, pool, soft tennis courts a boat launch and docks.

Set amid breathtaking tidal inlets and pristine salt marshes, Osprey Cove offers breathtaking views as a backdrop to a challenging but fair test of golf. The course played host to the 1993 and 1994 PGA TOUR Qualifying School and has received numerous accolade from Golf Digest, include a 4 1/2 stars rating and a place on the publication’s 1996 “Places to Play” list.

On the majority of the holes, McCumber doesn't demand golfers be long, but on every hole his design requires a golfer be smart and accurate. There's a plan to attacking Osprey Cove and its starts and ends with patience.

By no means a long course, the challenges at Osprey Cove are far subtler. Accuracy, position off the tee and course management are far more important than brute strength on this layout. In fact, it might take a couple of rounds on the McCumber course to fully understand how to score on it.

The design of the course was guided by McCumber's commitment to building a course that fits the lay of the land. At the same time, Osprey Cove incorporates traditional elements of strategy, variety, balance and surprise. What can't be missed, however, is the aesthetic beauty of the golf course. From the first tee to the last green, you'll marvel at the delicate yet dramatic landscape of the St. Mary’s River basin.

The course, one of three daily-fee courses owned and managed by Hampton Golf in affiliation with LandMar Group, LLC, offers three spectacular holes – the eighth, ninth and 18th – that run along the beautiful St. Mary’s River.

Not only is Osprey Cove a great place to play, but also to live. Osprey Cove is a special neighborhood set amongst the splendor of the Lowcountry's lush forests and stunning tidal marshes. The community is located just minutes away from the historic seaport town of St. Marys, and offers a wide range of homes perfectly situated to help you enjoy life in a place named one of “America's Top Places to Live Today,” by Money Magazine.

For more information on Osprey Cove, contact 912 882-5575.


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