Jekyll Island Comprehensive Land Use Plan (1983)
Institute of Community and Area Development
University of Georgia

“Golf Course Complex”
“This is a large complex carved out of predominantly pine forest. It is generally located in a broad, low inter-dune area on Rutledge and Mandarin soils. Generally, the seasonal high water table is within one foot of the surface. After heavy rains, ponding is common. A network of lagoons has been excavated for “borrow” and drainage. The largest of the lakes (near Shell Road) used to be the island’s largest fresh-water wetland. It had extensive meadows and was referred to on Jekyll Club maps as a savannah. The millionaires used this area for duck hunting. The pines have weathered drainage alterations quite well. The love oaks have done less well where the water table has been raised or lowered. On the Pine Lakes course, a number of hardwood (swamp red maple) wetlands have been destroyed. This was a rare plant community of Jekyll Island. Where it remains, it is now unique. [p. 66]



Golf-lover’s Guide to Jekyll Island
Ed Fleuren and Steve Baumann (2005)

The 1964 Eighteen-Hole Championship Course [later renamed Oleander]
“The new course was designed and its construction supervised by Dick Wilson, a notable builder of golf courses…. Located on the eastern side of the island, the ocean winds often affect play, and water plays a demanding role on this tough course. Wilson mixed tight and wide fairways and varied lengths. The lakes on the course were dug at the time of construction, and generally followed the tidal creek which had been the center line for the Donald Ross design built there fifty years before. [Fleuren and Baumann, p. 75]

From The Brunswicki News, 1961
“Jekyll will be made into a golfing center with the construction of an additional 18-hole course, Attorney General Eugene Cook announced today. Construction will get underway at once, using state forces and equipment so the new course will be ready by the summer of 1961…. Three lakes will be dug and the dirt used to establish rolls and banks in the fairways and greens…. Some 70 convict laborers will be sued in the construction, Cook said. Two large earth movers of 17-yard capacity, two large bulldozers and a dragline already have been brought to the island by the authority.” [cited in Fleuren and Baumann, pp. 71-72]

From Jekyll Island Authority promotional literature, 1966
“Jekyll’s Championship Course (Oleander) rises from the land of a low sea island setting and it took what was thought to be impossible—the stopping of the tide—to make much of the marshlands playable.
The man who topped the tide is A.J. Hartley, Executive Secretary of the Jekyll Island State Park Authority. Judge Hartley, trained for a legal career, but neither an engineer nor golf course architect, devised a trap-gate system which allows water to escape from the lakes of the lowland layout but turns the rising tides.
At the high-water mark, many of the fairways and even some of the putting surfaces are not more than three feet above sea level. However, there is a challenge of undulation built into this Jekyll course, designed by one of the nation’s best architects, Dick Wilson, but raised from the marshlands and drained by the ingenious Hartley.” [cited in Fleuren and Baumann, pp. 77-78]