Soft opening of redesigned Banyan Cay course takes place in Florida

Soft opening of redesigned Banyan Cay course takes place in Florida
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

A soft opening of the redesigned course at Banyan Cay Resort & Golf in West Palm Beach, Florida, has taken place.

The recent work was led by a team from Nicklaus Design, and Jack Nicklaus attended an opening ceremony at the course last week.

Work got underway in November 2016, with Nicklaus working with senior design associate Chris Cochran on the project. John Sanford of Sanford Golf Design, who grew up playing the course, was also part of the project team.

“We basically have taken the golf course and created a lot of really nice strategic golf shots,” explained Nicklaus. “We created a lot of elevation changes in areas where we had the ability to do so, including four holes on the front and four on the back. We also created land forms to play off of, such as the twelfth hole. It is a short par four with a huge area for a green that was about 8,000 square feet. We put a bunker in the middle of the green to play around and, in effect, created three separate green areas to play to with a short club.”

Half a dozen revetted bunkers were introduced to the course in strategic locations, while some additional trees have also been added to provide more screen or accent planting in selected places.

“The original golf course was up in the air, meaning the fairways were high and there was a big difference between the fairways and any surrounding water,” Nicklaus said. “We dropped the fairways down to relate them to the water. We took the dirt and created space. It was low in between the holes before and now it’s high in between the holes. We used it as mounding to turn the holes in most places. In the end, it is a very pleasant golf course.”