Jack Nicklaus, ASGCA Fellow, and John Sanford, ASGCA are in the midst of a redesign at Naples Beach Golf Club in Florida, one of the first courses to make a positive impact on the playing career of a young Nicklaus “back in the day.”
The Naples (Fla.) Herald reports:
Dating back to 1951, an Ohio father and his 11-year-old son, Jack Nicklaus, would golf at the Naples Beach Golf Club on vacation. That’s when one of the greatest golfers of all-time was born, shooting a 37 for his first sub-40 round of golf ever.
Today, that very scorecard is displayed in the Jack Nicklaus Museum on the campus of Ohio State University, marking a pivotal moment in creating “The Golden Bear.”
Back in Naples, Nicklaus is helping redesign the course where he first found his swing.
“Being back to Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club is like a walk down memory lane for me,” the legend said. “Returning to the same course where I broke 40, with my father by my side, brings back a lot of very special and very fond memories for me.”
With Nicklaus working alongside golf course architect John Sanford, the two visionaries are currently crafting a $9 million renovation that follows $50 million in enhancements at the resort over the last few years. The Jack Nicklaus redesign began in April, and the course overhaul is to be completed in December of 2016.
Co-owners of the 125-acre beachfront resort, Michael Watkins and Henry B. Watkins III said that the redesign of the Golf Club is in the best hands possible.
“We are very excited about this dramatic and complete renovation and redesign of our championship 18-hole golf course,” noted Watkins III. “The redesign is a unique collaboration between the very talented John Sanford and Jack Nicklaus, who is not only the greatest player of all time but one of history’s most celebrated designers.”
According to Watkins III, the newly constructed course layout will consist of five tees that range from 4,800 yards to over 6,900 yards. The grounds will also provide a 300-yard practice and instructional range, and will have new golf carts with GPS.
“I am enjoying the opportunity to work with John [Sanford] on this rebirth, if you will, of a wonderful layout. I think we have some great ideas and people will be excited about the end product,” Nicklaus shared of his part in reshaping history.