Andy Staples reimagines Squire course at PGA National

Andy Staples reimagines Squire course at PGA National
Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Construction work has started on Andy Staples’ ‘reimagination’ of The Squire course at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

“I intend to take The Squire to another level in terms of strategy, playability, and most importantly, the fun factor,” said Staples. “I’m focusing on the three most innovative trends in the industry: firstly, reducing the time it takes to play; secondly, increasing player enjoyment, and thirdly, instilling classic design principles that spur interest in the game of golf.”

Originally designed in 1983 by Tom and George Fazio, The Squire is one of five courses at PGA National. Staples’s plan sees the existing first and eighteenth holes, which play parallel to each other, converted into a nine-hole par-three course. The remaining 16 holes will be renovated and two short holes added to create a new 18-hole layout that plays to 5,744 yards.

The 18-hole routing includes two ‘half par’ holes, a par 4.5 435-yard opening hole and the 252-yard sixteenth, as a par 3.5 hole.

Various areas of existing turf will be converted to a coquina-styled material for both a visual effect and to reduce overall maintenance. All cart paths will be converted to a coquina-style surface, while native plants and grasses will be introduced to improve the aesthetics surrounding the course and provide buffers to the nearby houses.

Hazards will be kept to a minimum, with Staples focusing on expanding short grass fairways, chipping swales and grassy hollows. Teeing grounds will also be renovated to accommodate players of all abilities.

All greens will be rebuilt to increase drainage and will feature TifEagle bermuda. The fairways and tees will be renovated to improve drainage and planted with Celebration bermuda. Approaches to greens will feature TifGrande bermuda.

Construction will be overseen by Nick Mazzella of renovation consultancy firm, Mazzella Partnership. Other companies involved in the project include irrigation designer Sean Hyduk of Aqua Turf International, local landscape architects Insite Studio, general contractor Total Turf Golf Services, and Nutt Irrigation for irrigation installation. Jeremiah Lockhart, the resort’s director of agronomy, will oversee the maintenance planning and grow-in.

“We’re excited to finally get started on this re-imagination of the Squire course at PGA National,” said Mazzella. “These have been particularly challenging times, but this entire team is committed to making something great. Andy’s unique vision coupled with the industry leaders in construction and irrigation we’ve assembled is second to none and we expect great results.”

The project is expected to be completed in early 2021 and the course is expected to be renamed before reopening.