Dye nephew designing latest addition to daily-fee courses in Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - There will be another public access, daily-fee golf course in Jacksonville when Panther Creek opens the first of next year.
The course, designed by Andy Dye, the nephew of famed golf architect Pete Dye, is undergoing construction on the west side of the city, about a 40-minute drive from the beaches of the First Coast.
"We're hoping to open in January," said Kathy Grant, recently hired as the director of instruction. "Nine holes are finished and they're putting down grass on the back nine."
Course developer Kent Curley hopes to have an additional nine holes installed roughly a year after the official opening of the course, bringing the total number of holes to 27.
Although the developers filled in acres of wetlands in order to build the course, and it will have 188 home sites surrounding it, Curley said he tried to be environmentally sensitive.
"Our goal has been to disturb as little as little of the wildlife and existing habitat as possible," he said. "We're not forcing the golf course on the land and we're not forcing the houses on the golf course."
Dye has exceedingly high hopes for the course.
"It's the future of golf," Dye said in an interview on the new course's Web site. "It's quality golf for all levels. It's going to be that true walk with nature."
Dye said the course would not be another typically flat, Florida course. Workers reportedly moved five million cubic yards of earth to form mounds and build elevation changes and undulation.
"It was flatter than a skillet and had a tremendous amount of engineering and work to do to get it to drain, and to get the holes out of the swamp, so we could get some movement and character and drama into the golf holes," Dye said. "Believe me, there's nothing monotonous about Panther Creek."
Dye also said the par-3s will be "six of the most memorable par-3s in all of Florida and the U.S.," and that the overall look of the course will be "rustic."
"It's going to have a rustic look that frames each pristine golf hole," he said. "It reminds me of parts of northern Scotland."
Dye has designed courses in Louisville and Memphis, as well as in the Dominican Republic, Mexico and the Philippines.
Panther Creek will measure nearly 7,600 yards from the back tees, and will offer five different tee boxes, the most forward tees playing at about 4,428 yards.
"It's going to have 27 different golf holes, all complementary," Dye said. "Shared holes, long holes, a balance of right to left, left to right, and it will require a great shot diversity around the greens."
The course will be marketed as an affordable option. Rates aren't set in stone yet, but Grant said they would probably be in the $25-$50 range.
"That $50 rate is going to be your prime, Super Bowl rate," Grant said.
The course also plans to have discounts for junior, seniors, military and frequent golfers.
"Golf has really turned into really trying to retain customers instead of trying to get new customers," Grant said. "They want to keep the ones they have and keep them happy."
The course will offer a double-sided, 450-yard practice range and eventually, a 30,000-square foot clubhouse.
It will be managed by Links Management Co. of Jacksonville, of which Curley is president. Links Management currently manages Sherman Hills Golf Club in Brooksville.
August 13, 2004