Golf Course Architecture - Issue 74, October 2023

73 cubic yards – to build a course that is by no means flat. “Creating a lot of elevation change added an extra dimension to the design,” says Cochran. “Significant uphill, downhill and sidehill shots are in play. How the golf ball reacts from these lies greatly determined the placement and types of hazards we used. “From a playability standpoint, the scale of elevation change provided Jack and me with a more natural way to present a truly effective ground game. More than half of the greens have strong contours to help feed the ball towards the pin.” There are seven sets of tees: making the layout playable from 4,563 to 7,840 yards (from the ‘JT’ tees). Almost 30 acres of bahia grass and numerous bunch grass beds have been planted to provide a contrast to the Bimini bermuda fairways and rough. Grassing was completed in August, and the course is expected to open in mid-November. “The playing experience will be exceptionally fun and memorable,” says Cochran. “There is a lot of positional strategy off the tee to gain the best angle into a green. There is also a nice balance of doglegs and green angles, what side of the hole water is on, the occasional forced carry, and so on – all of which adds variety to the round. “What people can’t see from the routing map, but will discover when playing the course, is that variety of lies, and how the wind, hazards, visuals and setup affects each shot.” There are over 200 home sites at Panther National, all positioned to preserve the core golf experience. “I have worked on countless golf and residential projects and I cannot think of one where the client was so pro golf,” says Cochran. “Dominik knew how many homes he needed and a good idea of the clubhouse and maintenance area. For the main course Jack and I were given an area to stay within and we developed multiple routings. We would adjust them and sometimes the property lines too, so we could create the routing that works best. The extensive lake system around the course was developed to provide a barrier to the homes, which still have course views.” The design team has also created a nine-hole par-three course. Earthmoving Photo: Jim Mandeville/Nicklaus Design The par-five ninth at Panther National, where lake excavation allowed the design team to create significant contour