The National Golf Course Owners Association has received the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club the 2015 Jemsek Award for golf course excellence. The honor was announced at the association’s annual conference, held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show in San Antonio.
Located on at the southern tip of Saint Simons Island just off the southeast Georgia coast, the Seaside Course was originally designed in 1929 by famed architects Harry S. Colt and Charles Alison. It was updated in 1999 by Tom Fazio and immediately earned a prominent ranking on Golf Digest’s list of Top 100 Courses in the United States. Seaside is the host venue for the PGA TOUR’s McGladrey Classic, and has hosted numerous USGA events, challenging golf’s best amateur players.
“We selected the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club for its long reputation of golf course excellence,” said Mike Hughes, CEO of the NGCOA. “Seaside is one of those special places that literally attracts people from around the world. It’s an extraordinarily beautiful and challenging golf course.”
Long considered Sea Island’s most demanding course, Seaside features tidal creeks, dunes, salt marshes and gently rippling fairways against a backdrop of St. Simons Sound. It stretches 6,657 yards (par-70) and typically plays fast and firm, demanding shot-making excellence in the tradition of Scottish golf links.
Seaside welcomes the annual McGladrey Classic, hosted by PGA TOUR professional Davis Love, III, a long-time area resident. The tournament draws top TOUR players; many of whom live, train and practice on Georgia’s Golden Isles.
The Jemsek Award is named for the late Joe Jemsek, an American golfer who entered golf as a caddie, became a golf professional, and later owned and operated several public golf clubs in Chicago and south of Atlanta in Newnan, GA. He died in 2002 at the age of 88.
The award honors the world’s top golf courses, which are widely known for superior quality, having hosted major amateur and professional tournaments, and for being venues that attract golfers from around the world. Jemsek Award winners are industry greats that represent to the golfing and non-golfing public the pinnacle of achievement as outstanding venues. Most recent winners have included Troon North Golf Club (2014), The Homestead Resort Cascades Course (2013), Monterey Peninsula (2012), Congressional Country Club (2011), and Firestone Country Club (2010).
The NGCOA’s Annual Conference, held in conjunction with the Golf Industry Show, is the golf industry’s largest gathering of owners and operators of daily fee, private, resort and municipal courses.