Champion Course Reopens at PGA National Resort & Spa

A $1 million renovation at the Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. property included removal of Palmetto palms and the recapturing of a third of an acre of putting surfaces, adding an average of 800 square feet per green and returning them to the native design originally implemented by Nicklaus Design.

The PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. has reopened its 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, the annual event that has become one of the most popular and well-attended tournaments 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.

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The green complexes were re-built, shaped and grassed with Tif-Eagle Bermuda, to create seamless transitions from green surrounds to putting surfaces and tighter relationships with respect to greenside bunkers. The changes will also allow for more consistency in a variety of weather conditions, according to PGA National Resort.

Nicklaus and his team comprehensively redesigned The Champion in 2002 as well as a 2014 redesign of its par-4 14th hole, which leads to the famous “Bear Trap,” a series of three demanding holes (Nos. 15, 16 and 17).

“We are honored to have worked on a course with such a storied history with both Jack Nicklaus and his design company,” said Cochran. “We took the advice of the best players in the game and made one of the great layouts in the U.S. even stronger.”

Next to its first hole, The Champion Course’s driving range was significantly upgraded last year and now includes a secluded section for PGA TOUR pros to practice their short game as well as greenside and fairway bunker play.

“As the home of a PGA TOUR course as well as being an iconic golf resort and private membership club, we continue to invest significantly in our brand assets,” says Greg “Coach” Saunders, PGA National’s Vice President and Managing Director. “The time was right to restore the greens and we are excited to announce the completion of this major project on our distinguished Champion Course.”

PGA National Resort & Spa also features four additional courses: The Palmer, The Fazio, The Squire and The Estates. The transformed Palmer Course, originally designed by legendary Arnold Palmer, reopened last November after undergoing a comprehensive renovation.

Additionally, PGA National offers the David Leadbetter Golf Academy and David Pelz Scoring Game School for individual instruction and group clinics; Every Ball Counts – the world’s first science-based, statistics-driven training system for golf improvement offered at its off-site Estates Course; and club fitting at the PGA National Club Fitting Lab.