Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Palmer's Determined Touch Evident in New Nassau County Project Second Course on First Coast This Year for Legend

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Palmer's Determined Touch Evident in New Nassau County Project Second Course on First Coast This Year for Legend

Article excerpt

YULEE --- After designing more than 200 golf courses in more than 30 years, Arnold Palmer still doesn't take new projects for granted.

Especially not the Golf Club of North Hampton, his latest design on the First Coast that will be part of a residential community astride Lofton Creek in Nassau County. The 599-acre course will feature large dunes carved out of the native soil, with tee elevations as high as 40 feet and scenic views of pine forests and salt marshes.

"This is good dirt," Palmer said yesterday, while making an inspection trip of the site. "It's a great setting, fairly wide open, and I think it's going to be gorgeous once it's finished. It's going to be very, very pretty, and I think people are going to want to come back and play the course many times."

By good dirt, Palmer meant the sandy loam and underlying mix of soil and pebbles on the tract of land purchased from Rayonier. That will enable construction crews to build "push-up" greens, or putting surfaces sculpted from the native soil, rather than trucking in the layers of rocky soil that are essential for good drainage.

"And the drainage on these greens will be as good as you can structure from 'spec' greens," Palmer said in reference to man-made greens. "Golf course designers love the chance to work with this kind of soil. I really love this entire piece of land."

The final product, targeted for a December completion date, will be about 7,000 yards from the back tees, with water in play on seven holes and characterized mainly by the dune system. Grasses such as sea oats and broom sedge will be planted on the dunes to give it a feel of being nearer to the ocean than it is.

The ponds on the course also have a natural green to turquoise color, which will add to the course's beauty.

"That's not something we really expected," said Hampton Golf owner M. …

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