Nicklaus Design and Justin Thomas team up on Panther National project

  • Panther National
    Panther National

    Justin Thomas and Jack Nicklaus attended the ground-breaking for Panther National, a new golf course the pair have designed in Florida

  • Panther National
    Panther National

    A rendering of the proposed clubhouse

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Nicklaus Design has partnered with Justin Thomas, a major champion and seventh-ranked player in the world, on the design of Panther National, a new golf course set within a luxury community planned in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

The 18-hole course will form the centrepiece of the community, along with a nine-hole par-three short layout, 15-acre driving range and four-acre short game area.

Panther National will be Thomas’s first golf course project. “To begin my golf course design endeavours with someone like Jack Nicklaus is a dream come true,” he said in a statement at yesterday’s ground-breaking ceremony. “It’s an absolute honour to work with one of the icons of the sport, not only as a player but as an innovative golf course designer

“I started drawing golf holes on napkins as a kid, so this is something I have wanted to do for a long time. The opportunity to work with Dominik Senn [founder of developer Centaur US Holdings], who is a true visionary, as well as Mr Nicklaus, made this the perfect opportunity.”

Nicklaus said: “Golf course design is my personal expression into creating something special for others who love our great game to enjoy for generations. And I am thrilled Justin has decided to take on this rewarding challenge and I’m confident this venture will serve him well, both on and off the course.”

The site for the course was previously a cattle pasture, with only a small amount of elevation change. However, the development of the surrounding community has generated a substantial amount of fill which will be used, according to a press release, to give Panther National “elevations and features unlike any course in the state”.

Read more: GCA spoke with Chris Cochran of Nicklaus Design in 2020 about the Panther National site and plans.

The course, which is scheduled to open in late 2023, will cover 400 acres and be surrounded by a 2,400-acre conservation area and 218 property sites costing between $3.5 and $12 million each. The community plans include incorporating infrastructure and amenities powered by energy from Tesla.