“Jack Nicklaus decided to help with the redesign of the golf course because it was the first course where he had ever broke 40 over nine holes.”
Meeting planners who plan golf meetings can look forward to the debut of the golf course renovation at the 319-room Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club in Florida. The course is being redesigned with input from golf icon and course designer Jack Nicklaus, who played on the course as a child, and course architect John Sanford.
The 125-acre resort course will reopen on Nov. 17 after seven months of construction. Jack Nicklaus decided to help with the redesign of the golf course because it was the first course where he had ever broke 40 over nine holes, shooting a 37. The significant moment in the golfer’s professional history happened when he was 11 visiting Naples on a family vacation. This round of golf that he played with his father was so key that the scorecard from this specific 1951 round is archived in the Jack Nicklaus Museum at Ohio State University.
“Being back at The Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club is like a walk down memory lane for me,” says Nicklaus. “Returning to the same course where I broke 40, with my father by my side, brings back a lot of very special and very fond memories. At the same time, I am enjoying the opportunity to work with John (Sanford) on this rebirth, if you will, of a wonderful layout.”
The 18-hole, par-71 championship golf course features five tees, ranging from 4,800 yard to more than 6,900 yards for all skill levels. “The course has been redesigned to challenge the best players but also be enjoyable for all golfers,” says Sanford. “The course will play ‘firm and fast’ and will drain well, so the ball will roll, adding distance to drives and allowing golfers to play running shots into the greens. The greens are open in front for this purpose, and they have gentle contours to allow for multiple hole locations while challenging each player.”
For groups that don’t have enough time to play a full 18 holes of golf, the resort also added a 300-yard practice and teaching range. New golf carts with GPS tracking systems will also help golfers figure yardage on each hold and be more efficient with their pace of play.
The $9 million redesign of the course follows the $50 million in renovations at the resort that debuted over the last few years. One of those renovation highlights include the replacement of the brick balconies in the resort’s main tower building with glass balconies that overlook the Gulf of Mexico.