Jupiter Island Club (Jupiter, Florida) opened its first nine golf holes in 1916 and today features 18. A renovation project led by Jan Bel Jan, ASGCA (Jan Bel Jan Golf Course Design), called for a balance; respecting a century of tradition, while providing improvements to set the table for the next hundred years.

Golf Course Architecture paid a visit to Jupiter and reports on the success of the long-term project that is already having a positive impact on play, and the environment.

The result is an environment that is bursting with flora and fauna, and a haven for wildlife. The landscaping work particularly shines on the short walks from green to tee, such as after the first hole and in the area around the fourth, thirteenth and seventeenth tees – these are now tropical nature trails where golfers will want to stop and smell the flowers, both figuratively and literally.

Water provides both a backdrop and strategic feature to the golf course. The Indian River, which separates Jupiter Island from Hobe Sound on the mainland, is in full view on almost half of the course’s holes. The back tees on the fourth, thirteenth and fourteenth all require carries over inlets from the river. On the eleventh, a reachable par five, golfers will need to skirt the water’s edge to reach in two.

There is also a collection of ponds and lakes on the course that come into play on several other holes, and provide vital water storage. One major objective of the renovation was to expand the capacity of these. Excavated soil was used to raise the grade on several fairways, allowing Bel Jan to create interesting fairway contours which also improve drainage, enabling the club to collect water for recycling onto the course and grounds.

The golfing aspects of the renovation have seen notable changes to the playing experience, particularly in relation to the bunkering and greens. Bel Jan has improved the visibility of the bunkers, while reducing their sizes and making them physically easier to access and exit.

The complete GCA article can be found here.