The houses in the historic district of St. Mary's, GA, are awash in pastel colors, but there is nothing fancy about the fish served at Lang's Marina Seafood Market Restaurant.  At dinner last night, I ordered the "Captain's Platter" and was rewarded with some of the freshest fish I've tasted in recent memory.  The huge platter, delivered grilled as requested, included rock shrimp and medium-sized shrimp, scallops, a generous piece of snapper and a half dozen nice-sized fried oysters (even though I ordered the platter grilled, we understand that's no way to treat an oyster).  The frying was expertly done.  At just under $18, the platter was a bargain. 
    Other items on the menu are fish house typical, and although all dishes are offered grilled or blackened, as well as fried, most scream out for breading.  This is the low country, after all.  A blackboard at the front counter included a list of fresh fish of the day, those not on the menu.  There was even an 8 ounce lobster tail for just $22 -- that's a half pound of lobster meat, almost -- which you could pair with a ribeye steak for just over $30.  I was disappointed our waitress said nothing about the alternative choices and, indeed, the service was the low point of the meal.  But she was cheery and returned to the table often to check on my status -- and, once, to attempt to take my half eaten plate of cole slaw.  No way I was going to give up the slaw, which was crisp and much enhanced by a modest amount of mayonnaise.  The hush puppies, by the way, the often leaden deep-fried dollops of corn meal, were as good as they get.
    The restaurant itself was clean, with nice views out to the inlet and the adjacent boat docks.  We were impressed that it wasn't overly nautical in its decor.  The food is definitely the focus at Lang's.  The waterfront park next door is a good place to walk after dinner; a few local coffee shops offer dessert options (we passed on dessert at Lang's, not wanting to tempt fate).
    The Lang family appears to own the waterfront in St. Mary's.  Not only does the name adorn the restaurant, but also the local marina and a seafood retail store.  The restaurant has no excuses for less than the freshest seafood possible, and it does not disappoint.
Address: 307 W. St. Marys St., near the waterfront park, St. Marys, GA.  Phone: 912-882-4432



Golf Course Review:  Cooper's Point 

    When a course layout engenders praise and complaint in about equal measure, count on it to provide an interesting four hours. During our round at Sapelo Hammock, in the central coastal region of Georgia, one of our playing partners labeled one par 3 as “the worst designed in America,” a few holes before claiming another hole as “The worst designed par 5 in America.”  Yet Golfweek magazine has called the course’s par 3s and par 5s “spectacular.” Offered another of our playing partners: “[It is] a great course to walk, and fun to play every day.”
    Sapelo Hammock is Rusty Simmons’ solo design effort. We could not find another course he has designed on his own, although he was project manager at the respected public golf complex Crosswinds, near the Savannah International Airport, and was an apprentice earlier in his career in the firm of Davis Love III.
    If Sapelo Hammock was to be his only effort, it was a good one indeed.  Given 200 acres of rolling terrain flanked by marsh, live oaks and loblolly pine, Simmons didn’t screw it up and, indeed, crafted a layout that is easy on the legs, if you decide to walk, as well as easy on the eyes. Houses are kept well back from the course, and out of bounds markers are few. We played on a windy day, and many of Sapelo Hammock’s holes seemed to play downwind. The fairways, which had not been over-seeded during the winter, were firm and provided extra roll. However, that advantage was neutralized by greens that we found daunting to read; a few of our rolls broke the opposite of how they read. The speed of the putts, though, was consistent throughout the round.  The slope from the men’s tees, at just over 6,300 yards, is a fair 129. Women’s tees are either 4,900 or 5,400 yards.
    Sapelo Hammock is a bargain for members and the public alike. There is no initiation fee, with annual dues just $1,800. Daily green fees for walk-ins are $47 on the weekend, $37.50 weekdays. At nearly an hour from Savannah, Sapelo Hammock’s tee sheet is not often crowded with names. The owners are clearly hoping that the adjacent Cooper’s Point development will come alive and provide the members the club needs to thrive.
    Cooper’s Point has a nice inventory of marsh and river view properties at prices half of what you will pay farther up or down the coast. Houses at Cooper’s Point cost $100 per square foot to build -- $125 if you really want to get fancy -– also about half of what it costs to build similar houses in Savannah, just an hour away. Less than a mile down the road is Shellman Bluff, a tiny, quaint fishing village that time forgot. Get to know the shrimp boat captain, and he will take your order by phone from his boat and deliver it to you at the dock.
    For those with a little patient capital and an intrepid spirit, an investment in Cooper’s Point will provide the instant gratification of a beautiful marsh-view home at a bargain price, about 10 miles from I-95.   And the golf, despite the un-heralded designer, is more than enjoyable.  Contact Cooper’s Point Land Specialist Sharon Brooks at 1-877-266-7376 (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).  The web address is