PGA National Resort & Spa – South Florida’s world-class golf, vacation, meetings and spa destination – has reopened its celebrated Champion Course following a major $1 million renovation by Nicklaus Design.
Significant improvements implemented by Nicklaus Design, led by senior design associate Chris Cochran, include the removal of Palmetto palms on the right side of No. 1 and left side of No. 9 to offer more options for PGA TOUR players on their tee shots as well as approaches into both greens. The removal will also allow for better crowd flow during the Honda Classic as the annual event has become one of the most popular and well-attended on the PGA TOUR schedule.
Additionally, one-third of an acre (14,400 sq. ft.) was recaptured on the putting surfaces, adding an average of 800 square feet per green. Most notably, the putting surfaces will return to the native design Jack Nicklaus and his team implemented 16 years ago. The green complexes were re-built, shaped and grassed with Tif-Eagle Bermuda. This results in seamless transitions from green surrounds to putting surfaces and tighter relationships with respect to greenside bunkers. The changes allow for consistency in a variety of weather conditions and make one of the true “bucket list” courses in the game even more compelling.
The mighty Champion Course has long been feared and revered as one of the most challenging in the game.