10 Reasons to Love The Ocean Course

    By Carling Nolan

    The Breakers in Palm Beach is home to The 6,100 yard, par 71 Ocean Course. The beautifully landscaped course with manicured greens is reason enough to make a visit, but here are 10 more reasons why you will absolutely love The Ocean Course.

    1. History
    The Breakers Ocean Course is the oldest 18-hole course in Florida. The beautiful, classic feel will bring you back to when golf was about astounding views and creative shot-making. The shorter distance, commonly found on older courses, will have you using strategy rather than distance to conquer this track. 

    2. Restoration
    The Ocean Course was renovated in 2000 by architect Brian Silva. Like a skilled artist, Silva was able to keep the classic feel while incorporating new and modern touches. Silva introduced random bunkering throughout the landscape, weaving fairways around sandy hazards, extending water bodies to the edge of a half-dozen greens, and replacing the time-worn, thatchy putting surfaces with smooth-rolling Tifeagle Bermudagrass.

    3. Decisions on the 6th Hole
    The 6th hole is a 440-yard par four where length and strategy combine to foil the golfer. The drive must squeeze between the pond on the right and the bunker on the left. A mid to long iron approach has to then carry the stone-fortified pond in front of the peninsula green surrounded by bunkers. But, you can also play around the pond if you're feeling the heat. Decisions, decisions!

    4. Short Par 4s
    Holes 8-12 are where you can live or die on the Ocean Course. These short par fours stretch towards the ocean and then back, where the wind will definitely be a factor in club selection. Skilled golfers will be tempted to hit driver off the tee, but the smart play is fairway wood to mid iron if you want to stay out of the treacherous bunkers and make birdie. 

    5. Driveable Par 4!
    The yardage on #9 says 301 yards, but don't let that number fool you. The wind typically blows at your back, making this hole play closer to 270 yards which is drivable for most players. There's no better feeling than hitting a par 4 in 1, but a miss-hit drive can leave you doubting your decision.

    6. The View On 18
    Coming into view during the stroll up the 18th are the 560-room Breakers Hotel and new Breakers Ocean Clubhouse. The two-story, old Florida-style structure features wood clapboard on the first level, shingles on the second, and a slate roof. It might be hard to concentrate on the final hole with a beautiful hotel and first-class amenities awaiting in the distance.

    7. Options
    Although it is my recommendation to first play the historical Ocean Course, The Breakers offers golfers another 18-hole championship track called The Rees Jones Course. A 7,100-yard, par 72 course offers lushly landscaped and challenging holes set against the backdrop of the Breakers West residential community, located 10 miles from the resort.

    8. No Rain Checks Needed
    Although the resort can keep you entertained during thunderstorms, don't think a down pour will keep you off the links. Drainage improvements were part of The Breakers' renovation project, and the course can now dry almost 10x quicker than before. Right after opening the new course, there was an 11-inch downpour and golfers were teeing off by 9am the next morning. 

    9. You Can Finally Fix Your Slice 
    Has it been a long winter up north? Has work kept you off the links this summer? Well, The John Webster Golf Academy at The Breakers offers world-class golf instruction, school, and clinics all aimed at improving your golf game. The golf school can give you a quick lesson before your round or a weeklong bootcamp to lower your handicap. 

    10. Awards
    Having played this course once, I was absolutely blown away. But you don't have to take my word for it. The Breakers has received many awards including Golfweek's America's Best Resort Courses, Golfweek's Best Courses You Can Play 2010, and Golf, Inc's Renovation of the Year 2005. 

    If you go...
    The Breakers
    1 S County Rd
    Palm Beach, FL 33480

    Hit ‘em straight!