NAPLES, FLA — Golf icon Jack Nicklaus is redesigning the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club in Southwest Florida, it was announced early this month.
Jack Nicklaus (eighth from left) with the resort team.
The $9 million Nicklaus redesign is being undertaken in collaboration with course architect John Sanford and follows $50 million in renovations and enhancements that have been incorporated into the course during the last few years. The redesign began in April and is slated for completion in December, according to Michael Watkins and Henry Watkins II, co-owners of the 125-acre beachfront resort.
“Being back to Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club is like a walk down memory lane for me,” said Nicklaus. “Returning to the same course where I broke 40, with my father at my side, brings back a lot of very special and very fond memories for me. At the same time, I am enjoying the opportunity to work with John (Sanford) on this rebirth, if you will, of a wonderful layout.”
Planned changes to the course include a new, par-71 routing plan that will consist of five tees, ranging from 4,800 yards to over 6,900 yards. In addition, the reconfigured track will feature a 300-yard practice and teaching range, and new golf carts with GPS.
A consistent recipient of many of the meeting industry’s top honours, the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club is Southwest Florida’s only beachfront resort with an award-winning tennis centre. The 319-room resort also features 34,000 square feet of meeting space and a variety of outdoor venues for receptions and events.
Venue options include the 6,283-square foot River of Grass Ballroom; Gulf-view ballroom, The Everglades; the 2,457-square-foot Mangrove Ballroom, and outdoor venues such as the Watkins Lawn. Recent enhancements include the November 2015 replacement of the brick balconies in the main Tower building with glass balconies.
Owned and operated by the Watkins family for three generations, the resort also features 1,000 feet of white-sand beach; spa; fitness centre; tennis facility; retail shops; and multiple restaurants and lounges.