PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL – South Florida’s world-class golf, vacation, culinary, events and spa destination will open its dramatic and innovative new Andy Staples-designed “Match Course” on September 10, 2021. Few golf course openings in recent years have been as highly-anticipated as The Match Course, with its exciting goal of encouraging “match” versus “stroke” play.
Built on the land of the legendary resort’s former Squire Course, the 18-hole layout is inspired by classic golf course design principles while specifically using the “template hole” concept for inspired ideas. The stunning result from Staples creates a unique golf experience and is sure to foster a spirited conversation among course design enthusiasts.
A reflection of popularity of the formats used for the Ryder Cup, which PGA National hosted in 1983 on its famed Champion Course, The Match Course is a throwback to a different era where winning a match against an opponent (or opponents) was the primary goal. The intention is for players to engage in match play games including best ball, foursomes and skins as well as a host of additional non-stroke play formats.
The Match Course’s scorecard won’t reference par or have specific tee-markers. For example, the winner (or loser, if specified) of a previous hole will determine the spot from where the group will start the next hole on the “contiguous” tee boxes which are notated on the scorecard only by minimum and maximum distances between which the hole may be started.
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PGA National’s “House Rules” dictate that players “out of the hole” are expected to pick up, meaning quicker rounds of less than four hours. The Match’s turf grass will be cut to fairway height, placing an emphasis on the ground game often used on the famous courses of Scotland and Ireland. Creative approaches and strategic chipping areas also present multiple options for different shot trajectories around the greens. Penalty areas are minimal with fewer than 20 natural rough-hewn, irregular-edged bunkers throughout.
“Our concept for The Match Course was to design 18 holes where maximizing playability for all skill levels, fostering a faster pace of play as well as creating a unique golf experience where having nothing but fun and more fun, was paramount,” says Staples. “The new layout is also an exciting reflection of how most non-professionals enjoy the game at their respective home courses where winning the predetermined ‘match’ is the main goal without the stress of having to post a score.”
The Match Course joins the new nine-hole Andy Staples-designed “Staple Course” which opened for play on July 1 to rave reviews. Both are part of an ongoing $100 million capital revitalization touching every aspect of the celebrated property and join the resort’s four “traditional” 18-hole layouts: The Champion, The Palmer, The Fazio and The Estate courses.
“Both our new Match and Staple courses will be extremely attractive to ‘golf buddy’ groups visiting us at PGA National,” says Jane Broderick, director of golf. “They can play where the pros play annually during the Honda Classic on The Champion Course in the morning, testing their mettle on The Bear Trap, and then tee it up on our two brilliant Andy Staples-designed layouts in the afternoon and have an absolute blast.”
A golf lover’s dream location, PGA National Resort also features extraordinary instruction at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy, Dave Pelz Scoring Game School, and the world’s first science-based and statistical data-driven golf training center, Full Process Golf. PGA National Resort also offers state-of-the-art club fitting. The popular resort also offers an array of special golf-centric stay-and-play packages including rounds on both The Match and Staple courses.
Resort guests can also enjoy the high-tech 33,000-square-foot Sports & Racquet Club featuring a wide array of fitness activities and classes, including pickleball and tennis on the 18 Har-Tru tennis courts (11 lit for night play). Not to be missed in early 2022 is a visit to the completely reinvented Spa at PGA designed by VStarr Designs and offering the latest in soothing wellness treatments.
For more information about PGA National: visit www.pgaresort.com or call 800.863.2819.
About PGA National Resort
Located in South Florida’s Palm Beach Gardens, PGA National Resort is a legendary golf, vacation, culinary, events and spa destination. The resort is currently undergoing a stunning $100 million capital investment revitalization resulting in a dramatic transformation touching every aspect of the celebrated property. Few golf courses have a pedigree as storied as the resort’s famed Champion Course. Its lauded resume includes hosting the 1983 Ryder Cup, 1987 PGA Championship, and two decades of the Senior PGA Championship. Currently, it hosts The Honda Classic – a wildly popular stop on the PGA TOUR’s “Florida Swing.” The layout is best known for its renowned “Bear Trap” – a series of three demanding holes many consider the toughest stretch in the game.
As part of the inspiring reimagination, this celebrated South Florida destination has added two new bold and innovative Andy Staples-designed layouts in 2021: The Match (18 holes) and The Staple (nine holes). The Match showcases some of the most innovative concepts in modern golf design while encouraging “match” versus “stroke” play. The Staple is an exuberant take on modern par-3 courses where enjoyment is paramount. Along with The Champion, they join the property’s celebrated “traditional” 18s – The Palmer, The Fazio, and The Estate courses – for 99 holes of extraordinary golf. An industry leader in golf instruction, PGA National has partnered with leading U.S. golf schools including the David Leadbetter Golf Academy, Dave Pelz Scoring Game School, and the world’s first science-based and statistical data-driven golf training center, Full Process Golf. PGA National also offers state-of-the-art club fitting.
PGA National Resort additionally boasts a state-of-the-art sports and racquet club as well as an exclusive membership club — all in the heart of a luxurious resort community. The property is 15 minutes from Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) and one-hour from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL). Additionally as part of the substantial investment, the resort will launch seven new culinary concepts showcasing signature restaurants including “Top Chef” alumni Jeremy Ford of Stubbon Seed in Miami and Lindsay Autry of The Regional Kitchen in downtown Palm Beach. Both “Top Chefs” will spearhead the major culinary offerings. Guests will also enjoy a new high-end chocolatier, ice cream shop and brand-new “Kids Club” experience to name just a few of the new offerings throughout PGA National Resort.