Bayside Resort GC Opens with Nicklaus in Attendance

On Monday, August 8, Jack Nicklaus attended the grand opening of the new Bayside Resort Golf Club in Fenwick Island, Del. Also on hand was the course’s co-designer, architect Rick Jacobson.

Bayside is a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course on which Jacobson collaborated with his former mentor. Located on Assawoman Bay, the golf course is the focal point of an 850-acre master planned community being developed by Carl M. Freeman Companies.

"It's always a true honor to work with the greatest golfer ever to play the game," said Jacobson, a senior designer with Nicklaus's firm before starting his own company in the Chicago area in 1991.

"Jack has an almost photographic memory, and his memories of the thousands of golf holes he has played over the course of his life serve as a continual source of inspiration for the golf courses he designs today," Jacobson said.

Jacobson previously worked with Freeman on the award-winning 27-hole Bear Trap Dunes golf course resort community in Ocean View, Del. His strong relationships with Freeman and Nicklaus, along with his track record in the Mid-Atlantic region, made him a natural choice to work with Nicklaus on the project.

Bayside is an 18-hole course that measures an eye-popping 7,545 yards from the Signature Tees. Its four other sets of tees measure 6,835 (Championship); 6,418 (Member); 5,615 (Club), and 5,168 (Forward) yards.

But the course isn't so much about length as it is about strategy that makes every hole interesting to play and aesthetically pleasing. "It's a very interesting course," said Bill Hamilton, Bayside's director of golf. "The big thing is that on every hole there are a lot of options for the golfer. There is a lot of risk and reward on every hole. If you want to play safe off the tee, you can, but your shot to the green will be that much tougher."

Hamilton also praised the flow of the golf course. "The other thing is that there are three signature features on the golf course: marshland, woodland and meadow," Hamilton said. "Some of the holes are in wetlands areas, others are tree-lined, others are open. The routing of the golf course takes you in and out of each of the different areas so each hole has a different style. When some of the officials of the Delaware Golf Association came out to see the course, they couldn't believe the variety."

Bayside is a residential resort community that ultimately will become a private club with play limited to residents and guests. Already 420 of the planned 1,600 homes have been sold along with 100 of the 450 memberships. For additional information, call 877/436-9998 or visit

Jacobson started Jacobson Golf Course Design, Inc. in 1991 as a full-service golf design firm specializing in new course designs as well as master plan renovations and additions to existing facilities. In recent years, he has opened several new courses, including Vista Links in Buena Vista, Va. (2004); Makefield Highlands GC in suburban Philadelphia (2004), Patriot Hills GC in Stony Point, N.Y. (2003), which was rated among the Top 10 News Courses by Celebrated Living Magazine. In 2004, Golf Magazine named Jacobson's Spirit Hollow GC in Burlington, Iowa one its "Thrifty Fifty" – i.e. one of the nation's top 50 courses costing less than $50 to play.