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Jax Daily Record Tuesday, Mar. 19, 200212:00 PM EST

People in Golf

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The course

LOCATION

It’s on State Road 16 about halfway between I-95 and U.S. 1. It’s adjacent to the St. Augustine campus of St. Johns River Community College. You can see it from the road. That’s the 15th hole that stretches along SR 16 to the west of the entrance, and the second half of the 13th to the east side.

OWNERSHIP

It’s owned by three individuals; several were involved in Cimarrone. There are three major builders: ICI, Crawford Homes and American Homebuilders.

HOW IT’S LAID OUT

The design is like many new developments: the homesites were selected, and then the course winds around them. This allows the developer the opportunity to maximize the golf course frontage, and it also provides non-course lots for those who prefer to be on the marsh or another areas.

HOMES

It’s part of a development and there are three active builders — Crawford, ICI and American — which have room for 364 homes. There also are 260 apartments on the east edge of the courses, so Royal St. Augustine will have a built-in constituency.

ARCHITECT

Jacksonville’s Chris Commins, who formerly worked with Mark McCumber.

AGE

It opened last May.

AMENITIES

Director of Golf John Eldridge says it reminds him of a ski lodge and he’s right. There are exposed beams, a big fireplace and overstuffed chairs. The dining and bar area is spacious, there’s a pool table off to the side (and far enough from the televisions) and a big pro shop.

THE COURSE

Eldridge says it’s a “thinking man’s course” because you won’t be hitting the driver off every tee. The translation is obvious: there are some very, very tight holes. The person who scores here will hit it straight; there are dropoffs on most fairways and water on almost every hole. Eldridge says you’ll see similarities between this and the Golf Club of Amelia.

PRACTICE AREA

Big with lots of target greens. A practice area is a draw to homebuyers.

DIFFICULTY

If you don’t hit it straight, it’s going to be quite a challenge, even though the length (6,529 from the back, 6,115

middle, 5,363 forward and 4,670 ladies) makes it one of the area’s shortest

courses.

OVERALL

A good course and a terrific clubhouse. Overall, you should rank this with semi-private courses such as Cimarrone, North Hampton and several at Palm Coast.

— by Fred Seely

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