The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club in Southwest Florida has completed the dramatic renovation—almost reinvention—of its championship golf course. The total redesign of the AAA Four-Diamond beachfront resort’s course was done with input from golf icon and acclaimed course designer Jack Nicklaus in collaboration with noted course architect John Sanford. The Jack Nicklaus redesign of the course began in April, and the course is now open and fully operational, according to the resort’s General Manager Jason Parsons.
This major $9 million project follows $50 million in impressive renovations and enhancements at the resort over the last few years. Set on 125 lush acres, complemented by seven miles of pristine white sandy beach, The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club is Southwest Florida’s only resort directly on the beach with an on-site championship golf course, a world-class spa, and an award-winning tennis center.
Notably, in redesigning the course Jack Nicklaus helped to celebrate his past and that of The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club, as he has a unique historical tie to the resort. It was in 1951, on a family vacation to Naples, and a friendly round of golf alongside his father, that the Ohio native accomplished the very impressive feat of first breaking 40 over nine holes on the resort’s course, shooting a 37. At just 11 years old, he came within a shot of shooting par, and just one year after he picked up golf clubs for the first time. This round, in particular, is what drew Nicklaus to the project–the scorecard is even archived in the Jack Nicklaus Museum, the 24,000-square-foot facility on the campus of The Ohio State University.
“Being back at The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club is like a walk down memory lane for me,” Nicklaus 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. At the same time, I am enjoying the opportunity to work with John (Sanford) on this rebirth, if you will, of a wonderful layout.”
Nicklaus added, “I think those who have played The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club before are in for a pleasant surprise. I believe the golf course has been transformed into a fun, exciting, aesthetically pleasing layout, largely due to hard work of John Sanford and our own David Savic. I think the end product is something people will enjoy and have fun with in the Naples area for many years to come.”
“We are very proud and excited about the opening of our dramatically renovated and redesigned championship golf course,” said Parsons. “The redesign is a unique collaboration between the greatest player of all time Jack Nicklaus, who also is one of the world’s most distinguished and celebrated golf course designers, and the very talented John Sanford. It really has been a pleasure to see them collaborate on this new, par-71 course, which features five tees, ranging from 4,800 yards to over 6,900 yards. Our guests, groups, and golfers of every skill level will absolutely love the truly beautiful new course, which is now in line with the rest of our AAA Four-Diamond resort. The new course is a terrific addition to the experience for our guests.”
Golf Course Architect John Sanford said, “The course has been redesigned to challenge the best players but also be enjoyable for all golfers. The redesign takes advantage of the sandy soils so the course will play ‘firm and fast.’ The ball will roll out so tee shots will be longer and approaches are open to accept running shots to the greens. The greens are gently contoured to allow for multiple hole locations but have continuous movement that will challenge all skill levels. Many of the large trees were cleared to ‘open up’ the course and various types of palm trees have been planted to extend the beachfront character of the resort. The course has ‘grown in’ beautifully and is 100% ready to open which is rare in our industry. The greens are rolling nicely and the landscape has matured amazingly well this summer and fall. We are very excited about the reopening of the course.”
Sanford added, “We have a number of great new holes at the resort course, which includes the ‘signature hole’ #16. It is a medium length ‘Redan’ par 3. The green is a peninsula with water in front, on the right and behind the green. It’s not long but will require accuracy to hit the green.”
In addition to the new course, the resort has added a 300-yard practice and teaching range, and has new golf carts with GPS tracking systems to aid golfers with yardages on each hole, thus helping pace of play.
A great way to experience the resort and the new course is by taking advantage of the resort’s new “Golf by the Gulf” package. Available December 1, 2016-April 30, 2017, the package is available for one golfer, two golfers, or for one golfer & one non-golfer. The package includes: greens fees on the newly redesigned championship golf course, cart rental, bag storage, range balls, and golf gratuities. Note that a two-night minimum is required, and the cart rental is shared for the “two golfers” package. Also, the “one golfer & one non-golfer” package includes a 50-minute massage at the resort’s full-service spa for the non-golfer. Also of great appeal: guests at the resort always benefit from no resort fees, complimentary valet parking and self-parking, and complimentary access to the resort’s fitness center.
The “one golfer” package starts at $399 per night. The “two golfers” package starts at $553 per night. The “one golfer & one non-golfer” package starts at $555 per night. Note that the package is based on availability, and blackout dates may apply. The package may not be combined with any other offer, and is not applicable to groups. For more information or for reservations, call (800) 237-7600 or (239) 261-2222 and ask for the “Golf by the Gulf Package.” Or, visit NaplesBeachHotel.com , specifically https://naplesbeachhotel.reztrip.com/classic/en/offers (or http://tinyurl.com/zel99g4). For golf rates and tee time information, as the course is open to the public, contact the resort’s Golf Pro Shop at (239) 435-2475.
Rich in hospitality and tradition, The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club has been part of the Naples community since 1946. Owned and operated by the Watkins family for three generations, the resort also features: 1,000 feet of soft white-sand beach; the world-class spa; the fitness center; the Mary C. Watkins Tennis Center with six Har-Tru courts; Beach Kids Club, a complimentary daily recreational program for children ages 5 to 12; retail shops; beach rentals; 34,000 square feet of meeting space; and a variety of picturesque outdoor venues for receptions and events.
In addition, the resort features multiple restaurants and lounges. The selection includes: the signature beachfront restaurant HB’s on the Gulf; Broadwell’s, serving breakfast daily and providing panoramic views of the golf course; and the Seminole Store, which serves deli sandwiches, ice cream, gourmet coffees and desserts. The Sunset Beach Bar & Grill has been recognized as the “Best Place To View A Southwest Florida Sunset,” and was named “Naples’ Best Beach Bar” by Travel Channel.
Guest rooms and suites feature cool tropical-colored linens, fabrics and carpeting; flat-panel televisions; patios or balconies (with a view of the Gulf, the golf course or the lush resort interior); coffee makers; and refrigerators.
Among the recent enhancements was the November 2015 replacement of the brick balconies in the main Tower Building with beautiful glass balconies to showcase the gorgeous Gulf views.
Situated just blocks from Naples’ renowned shopping districts of fashionable 5th Avenue South and historic 3rd Street South, the resort is also within minutes of shopping at Venetian Village, Waterside Shops, Bayfront and Tin City.
Guests can further experience the area by taking tours of the Everglades, Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens, Corkscrew Swamp, The Botanical Gardens, or the Conservancy Nature Center. Boat and fishing trips can also be arranged at the hotel. Other leisure-time activities can include Naples’ outstanding museums, theatres, and art galleries.
Providing a comfortable and friendly atmosphere, the resort is an exceptional tropical getaway. The resort is located at 851 Gulf Shore Blvd. North in Naples, Florida. For reservations or for information about rates, contact the resort’s Reservations Department at (800) 237-7600 or (239) 261-2222, and visit NaplesBeachHotel.com . For golf rates and tee time information, as the course is open to the public, contact the resort’s Golf Pro Shop at (239) 435-2475.