St John’s Golf and Country Club

When designer Clyde Johnston was given the piece of land between St Augustine and Jacksonville, Florida, he was given an empty, clean piece of canvass. It would have worked too easily if he were a painter. The thing is, he’s a golf course architect and a little bump on the terrain every here and there would have been helpful; an outright flat and plain piece of Florida lot seemed more a liability. But his genius was tested, and he has successfully turned the handicap into a full asset. And the result is a premier golf vacation destination, and what most golfers consider as Johnston’s best creation yet: St John’s Golf and Country Club.

Sitting next to tons of other golf courses in the area, the St John’s Golf and Country Club could easily be ignored, considering they share the same South Florida natural wetlands and wildlife. What sets this golf vacation haven apart is what Johnston do and did not do. Instead of putting in too much intervention into the apparently flat land, Johnston made use of what is already there, thus bringing out the best that nature can offer. He complimented it with a good helping of water hazards and sand traps, adding up to the challenge that the natural wetlands provide.

In totality, it is as similar to its neighbors as it is as different. These golf trip favorites share the same Florida goodness, but Clyde Johnston’s balanced mix of beauty and challenge, nature and his own creativity, make the St John’s Golf and Country Club outstanding. The course stretches to a good 7,236 yards from the back tees, and plays at a par of 72. A masterpiece by all means, it is rewarded by consistently being ranked among the nation’s best.

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