The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club in Southwest Florida renovated its golf course with the help of a legend in the field. The course at the AAA Four-Diamond resort was redesigned by course architect John Sanford—with input from Jack Nicklaus, who first broke 40 over nine holes at The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club in 1951.
The $9 million project follows $50 million in renovations and enhancements at the resort. The total redesign of the 125-acre resort’s course began in April.
“Being back at The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club is like a walk down memory lane for me,” Nicklaus said in a statement. “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 Details of Design
With the redesign, the golf course now has a totally new, par-71 course with five tees, ranging from 4,800 yards to over 6,900 yards.
“The course has been redesigned to challenge the best players but also be enjoyable for all golfers,” Sanford said. “The redesign takes advantage of the sandy soils so the course will play ‘firm and fast.’ The ball will roll out so tee shots will be longer and approaches are open to accept running shots to the greens. The greens are gently contoured to allow for multiple hole locations but have continuous movement that will challenge all skill levels. Many of the large trees were cleared to ‘open up’ the course and various types of palm trees have been planted to extend the beachfront character of the resort. The course has ‘grown in’ beautifully and is 100 percent ready to open, which is rare in our industry. The greens are rolling nicely and the landscape has matured amazingly well this summer and fall. We are very excited about the reopening of the course.”In addition to the new course, the resort added a 300-yard practice and teaching range, and has new golf carts with GPS tracking systems to aid golfers with yardages on each hole, helping pace of play.”
“I think those who have played The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club before are in for a pleasant surprise,” Nicklaus said. “I believe the golf course has been transformed into a fun, exciting, aesthetically pleasing layout, largely due to hard work of John Sanford and our own David Savic. I think the end product is something people will enjoy and have fun with in the Naples area for many years to come.”
The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club is Southwest Florida’s only beachfront resort with an on-site championship golf course, spa and tennis center. The 319-room resort also has 34,000 square feet of meeting space and outdoor venues, including the 6,283-square-foot River of Grass Ballroom, Gulf-view The Everglades Room ballroom, 2,457-square-foot Mangrove Ballroom, and scenic outdoor venues.
Among the recent enhancements was the November 2015 replacement of the brick balconies in the main Tower Building with glass balconies to showcase the Gulf views.