West Palm Beach, Florida, United States: Greg Norman Golf Course Design (GNGCD) has announced the redesign of the famed South Florida Resort Course, slated for completion this summer.
The resort previously known as The Diplomat is currently undergoing a massive rebrand by sbe and PPG Development to continue expansion of the SLS brand in South Florida with SLS Resort Residence & Marina Hallandale Beach.
The US$220 million project includes the remastering of the old Joe Lee-designed golf course along with a new driving range, short game area and practice putting green. The golf and club operations at the new SLS Resort Residence & Marina Hallandale Beach will be managed by Troon, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.
GNGCD, a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation, broke ground in late 2018 and at completion the new resort course will stretch to 6,500 yards surrounded by the tropical vegetation native of South Florida including coco palms, sabal palms, gumbo limbo, black olive and massive ficus trees lining the corridors.
Greens, tees and bunkers have been designed with a geometric character to create more defined golf features for better strategy and decision-making visual cues, while seamlessly integrating into the natural surrounds.
“It has always been important for me to have a design footprint in my ‘backyard,’ so I am honoured to have the opportunity to reimagine an iconic South Florida property,” said Greg Norman. “Ari Pearl and his team at PPG have been wonderful partners and we are thrilled to have the Greg Norman brand alongside the inimitable SLS brand and provide a world-class golf and resort experience at the intersection of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Aventura.”
While maintaining existing corridors was an important consideration, the course is completely reimagined with many holes playing in reverse from the previous design. The existing second hole, which is the iconic island green in front of the clubhouse, will be repurposed and modified to play as the par-four 18th hole.
The new design will offer plenty of risk-reward opportunities offering strategy and challenge for skilled players, while providing safer avenues to the hole for the novice golfer. Additionally, significant grading and lake expansion will occur to create a no-net-loss of water storage for the entire site.
“I have been a fan of Greg Norman since I was a kid. It is a true privilege to be able to work so closely with Greg and his team to be able to create the best golf experience in South Florida,” said Pearl, Principal at PPG Development.
SLS Resort Residence & Marina Hallandale Beach will mark the 12th sbe resort and fourth SLS branded property in South Florida. Set to open in 2022, the project will offer 290 hotel rooms including 50 condo/hotel units, 250 branded apartments, and sbe’s award-winning Katsuya and S Bar food and beverage concepts. The property will also include sbe’s mixology lounge and a three-meal restaurant concept.
GNGCD has opened 105 courses internationally, six of which are included in the 2018-2019 Golf Digest ‘World’s 100 Greatest’ rankings: New South Wales Golf Club (Australia, 18th), Ellerston (Australia, 31st), The Bluffs Ho Tram Strip (Vietnam, 35th), Jumeirah Golf Estates Earth Course (UAE, 82nd), Danang Golf Club (Vietnam, 94th) and The National Moonah Course (Australia, 98th).