Bill Bergin oversees transformation of Santa Rosa layout in Florida

  • Santa Rosa
    Bill Bergin

    Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club in Florida has reopened following a renovation by Bill Bergin

  • Santa Rosa
    Bill Bergin

    Bergin exposed natural sand deposits throughout the property (pictured, the par-three second hole)

  • Santa Rosa
    Bill Bergin

    The par-three sixteenth hole at the rejuvenated course

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club in Florida has reopened following a comprehensive renovation by golf course architect Bill Bergin.

The relationship between Bergin and the club began with a short-game area project, which led to the architect developing a master plan for the golf course.

“Unique to the Santa Rosa course were the fourth and fifth holes that stretched out to the iconic 30A highway along the beach,” said Bergin. “These two holes wrapped around a sandy scrub-like dune area that was not really in play. We knew the material under this section of the course was the same sugary white sand found along the beach area of the gulf coast. The back nine consisted of a tight, overly treed, routing with lots of ponds. These two areas of the course looked nothing alike from a topographical and vegetative state.”

During the development of Bergin’s master plan, it was decided that the beach aesthetic would be woven through the course, to create a consistent style throughout.

“We opened things up and exposed the natural sand deposits throughout the property,” said Bergin. “Tree removal, pond expansion and exposure, and manufactured sand dunes combined with a full golf course renovation to create the all-new Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club.

“While the routing has not changed, it was pushed and pulled in many directions. During one member tour, a long-time member even asked which hole they were on, the changes were so dramatic.”

The architect was assisted on the project by Medalist Golf for construction, and the club’s golf course superintendent Kelly Barker, who “knew all along that this transformation was possible,” said Bergin.

Bergin said the changes, which were unveiled to members in October 2021, have “turned this quiet little semi-private course into a highly sought-after private club with a waiting list”.