A new 18-hole par-three course at the municipal Sandhill Crane Golf Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, is set to open next month.
“The goal was to create a fun course with as much variety as possible,” said Chad Goetz, senior designer at Nicklaus Design, who led the project. “Combined with the elevation changes, we mixed length, angles, types of shots, dry holes and wet holes to arrive at a very nice overall variety and flow between holes.”
The city acquired an additional 115 acres alongside its existing 18-hole course and originally planned a new practice area and nine-hole course. “After exploring some options, we persuaded the city that an 18-hole par-three course might better complement their existing facilities,” said Goetz.
A single 35-acre lake was excavated to provide material to shape the course and create elevation changes of over 20 feet – a rarity for a South Florida course, according to Goetz. “The course really unfolds throughout the round as you cannot see the entire lake or course from any one location,” he said.
The Nest offers four sets of tees with holes ranging from 100 to 256 yards from the back tees and 70 to 156 yards from the front. The course is lightly bunkered for a Florida course, with Goetz highlighting the five bunkerless holes as possibly the most interesting on the course, and has been designed to be played in several ways depending on how players use the slopes.
“Almost every green has been designed with a bowl or other well-contained area to help hold shots and create possible hole-in-one pin locations,” said Goetz. “Plus, we purposefully designed some luck into the course to help unsuspecting golfers get a few more kind bounces and rolls.”
An island green nineteenth hole gives players a chance to settle bets, and practice facilities have been overhauled. They include 18 indoor practice bays with a Trackman system, target greens and bunkers designed to help players visualise shots, and a teaching area with two large tees, three USGA greens and practice bunkers. Additionally, a new 30,000 square-foot putting course has been developed, which will be open for play day and night.
“South Florida is starved for public golf – especially during the busy seasonal months, so this will be a welcome addition to local and visiting golfers,” said Goetz.