Construction work is in progress on Greg Norman Golf Course Design’s renovation of The Diplomat course in Hallandale Beach, Florida, for new owner SLS Hotels.
Lead designer Jeff Danner says the new layout will have a classic feel, reminiscent of the courses of Seth Raynor. “Greens, tees, and bunkers will have a hint of geometric character to create more defined golf features for better strategy and decision-making visual cues, while seamlessly tying in the natural surrounds,” said Danner.
The golf course renovation will see most of the existing hole corridors remain intact, although many will be reversed so that sliced balls stay inside the property.
Some holes will be rerouted to make space for two new tower blocks.
“The new layout, with its reduced footprint, will play as a 6,500-yard par-70 with great par-three holes and plenty of risk-reward opportunities,” said Danner. “Where we lost length, we’ve made up for in creating a layout that has plenty of strategy and challenge, while providing safer avenues to the hole for the novice golfer.
“The existing second hole, which has the iconic island green in front of the clubhouse, will be repurposed and modified to play as the par-four eighteenth.
“A great duo of holes would be the short, risk-reward par-four fourth hole and the par-three fifth, which play around a large lake that has been expanded from the original Joe Lee design. These holes also serve as a great entry feature being visible from the Diplomat parkway and entrance to the property.”
Lake expansion will contribute to the site having no-net-loss water storage.
Danner is working alongside Chris Campbell of GNGCD and Ron Despain of Troon. Quality Grassing & Services began construction in mid-November 2018 and work is expected to be complete by July 2019.
The golf course renovation is part of SLS Hotels’ $220 million transformation of the former Diplomat club into the SLS Resort Residence & Marina Hallandale Beach. The completed development is scheduled to open in 2022 with 290 hotel rooms, 50 condo units, 250 apartments, 10 tennis courts and a 48-slip marina.