Grab a few short irons and a putter, forget about traditional tee markers, and get rid of any preconceived ideas of what a golf course should be.
Introducing The Staple.
Debuting in 2021, and a bold new take on the modern par-3 course, The Staple is pure enjoyment. The 9-hole course is built on a fun, relaxed environment that allows for interesting slopes, funneling shots, and in some cases, difficult-to-reach shelves. Or as Golf.com so aptly puts it, “From tees in bunkers to putting ramps, PGA National’s new par-3 course is a different kind of test.”
Made out of 2 holes from the old Squire course, the overall design of The Staple provides a casual venue ideal for plenty of after-hours play and practice options, while keeping the design fresh and always fun to play (especially when welcoming groups of 8 golfers at a time). Plus, with the course’s unique figure-8 configuration at the crossing holes of 2-3 and 7-8, you can look forward to social interactions with other players at an outdoor seating experience — complete with firepits and a café/bar area.
And with each hole playable by using only a putter, not only can you pack the woods away, but you can leave your long irons behind, too.
When’s the last time you only used a putter on every hole and stopped off for a drink at the firepits in the middle of a 9-hole course? (And no, your cousin’s backyard course doesn’t count).
Originally designed as The Squire in 1983 by the design duo of Tom and George Fazio, the reimagination plan by Andy Staples of Staples Golf Design was to completely renovate the course, while looking for ways to expand its appeal to both the avid golfer and casual player, as well as beginners and even non-golfers.
“I intend to take The Squire to another level in terms of strategy, playability, and most importantly, the fun factor,” says Staples. “I’m focusing on the three most innovative trends in the industry: 1) reducing the time it takes to play; 2) increasing player enjoyment, and 3) instilling classic design principles that spur interest in the game of golf.”
The project was broken into two scopes of work: The Staple and The Match. First, the existing parallel holes #1 and #18 were converted to The Staple, the 9-hole par 3 course. Second, the remaining 16 holes were renovated to create The Match’s 18 heroic holes inspired by some of the greatest strategic concepts in golf from across the globe.
The penalty areas were kept to a minimum, focusing on the expansion of short grass fairways, chipping swales, and grassy hollows. All teeing grounds were modified to accommodate all skill levels of players, and located based on appropriate swing speeds, allowing for a more friendly entry to the game.
The plan focused on expanding the current user group of the course, while providing long-term sustainability for the future. All greens are now generous in size, rebuilt to increase drainage, and planted with TifEagle Bermudagrass. The fairways, approaches, and tees were modified to improve drainage, and planted with Celebration Bermudagrass.
Various areas of existing turf converted to a coquina-styled material to provide a contrast of textures and definition, while reducing overall maintenance. Additionally, all cart paths converted to a coquina-style surface to blend into the new course surroundings. A pallet of native plants and grasses increase the aesthetics surrounding the course, while providing the necessary buffers to the nearby home sites.
Cutting-edge course designer Andy Staples is the visionary of The Staple, as well as our new match play course The Match. His projects have won national awards from numerous major golf publications, and they continue to be listed on the “Best Places to Play” in their respective states.
His company, Staples Golf Design, is a nationally renowned golf course architecture firm based in Scottsdale, AZ. It implements sustainable, efficient designs and management practices on golf courses throughout the US, and is known for its signature development vision, Community Links — a paradigm-shifting approach for community golf integration.
With almost 30 years of design, construction, and long-term maintenance experience throughout the world, Staples has accomplished 25 Master Plans throughout the US, four new golf course designs, and performed over 100 golf course efficiency audits. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA), a member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of the America (GCSAA), and is an active speaker within the industry having presented to the USGA, GCSAA, ASGCA, among others, with regularity.
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