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Heron Bay Golf Club

Heron Bay Golf Club
Heron Bay Golf Club
Designing a golf course that serves a dual - and dichotomous - purpose as a daily fee facility and a tournament venue is perhaps one of the most difficult for an architect - especially when that architect also is a top player in his own right. "You won`t lose a lot of balls...but you will learn how to rake a bunker," said Lee Janzen. How do you temper your contentious strategic tendencies? It`s an exercise in compromise. The course must be long enough and possess enough character to challenge the world best players. But it can`t be too menacing. There must be room for forgiveness so that even high handicappers can maneuver their way around. It is such a delicate balance. Mark McCumber, a rare architect who was designing courses before he joined the PGA TOUR, walked that tightrope successfully in designing the Tournament Players Club at Heron Bay in Coral Springs, FL. McCumber, a 10-time Tour champion, constructed a minefield on a flat, arid, featureless 220-acre Florida tract on the edge of the Everglades. The distinctive characteristic at the TPC at Heron Bay, the home of the Honda Classic, is sand. There are 107 bunkers - many of them large and ominous - cutting into driving zones and guarding greens. Their placement throughout the property adds shot value by working to strategically guide the better player while also acting as a visual deterrent. "They are the predominant feature on the course because there are no other landmarks," said McCumber, who joins Jack Nicklaus as one of two PGA TOUR players who are members of the American Society of Golf Course Architects. "They are there to guide you and to penalize you, but they are not meant to trick you. You can see them all off the tee; none are hidden." But Heron Bay, which opened in 1996 as the centerpiece to a 1,500-acre development, also is a mine field. Despite the preponderance of silica, no one should utter any complaints that the par-72 course, which can stretch 7,268 yards, is too penal. McCumber, a native of Jacksonville, FL, made sure to leave extra room not only to steer clear of the sand, but also to allow for the Florida winds. He built five sets of tees for every level of player. The fairways bob and weave and spectator mounding - subdued mounding, the antithesis of the earth works at the TPC at Sawgrass - has been added for the sake of the annual PGA TOUR event, but the greens, replete with opening for shots along the ground, fit in with the landscape and show only subtle contours; no tiers or humps. More than 1,000 trees were planted to add definition without crowding or obscuring the sight lines. Finally, water comes into play on only three holes. The par-72 course can stretch to 7,268 yards. The par-3 fifth might be the most dramatic of any of the holes, while the par-5 16th and the par-4 18th also have some wet treachery. "You won`t lose a lot of balls out there, but you will learn how to rake a bunker," Lee Janzen said after playing it for the first time. Neither will you lose a sense of place. McCumber is not a fan of contrived courses. If it doesn`t look natural, then it doesn`t look right. He might have moved one million cubic yards of dirt, but it was not for the purpose of creating features that aren`t inherent to the site. "I`m proud of it," McCumber says. "Some of the players will like it and some of them might not like it. That`s the nature of course design. When you have so many different tastes, you can`t make everyone happy. I`m convinced the approach we`ve taken is the right one." Others apparently think he got it right - on a couple of levels. The TPC of Heron Bay was voted by Golf Digest magazine as one of America`s 10 best new public facilities when it opened. It also has been certified as an Audubon Sanctuary Golf Course - one of a number of TPC layouts that boast environmental sensitivity. "I played all my formative years in Florida and I like playing golf here, so I think I know what works," he adds. "You know you`re going to be playing in gusty winds here this time of year, so it  Book tee times below!

Type of Course: Public
Number of holes: 18
Season: Year Round
Year Built: 1996
Designer(s): Mark McCumber
Type of Greens: Bermuda Grass
Water Hazards: Yes
Golf Cart Rental: Included In The Green Fees
Driving Range: Yes, Hitting Balls From Grass
Putting Green: Yes
Chipping Area: Yes
Practice Bunker: Yes
Teaching Pro: Yes
Food Facilities: Beverage Cart, Snack Bar and Grille Room
Bar: Full Bar
Accommodations: On The Premise
Tee Time Reservations: 60 Days In Advance
Reservations Must Be Cancelled No Later Than 24 Hours Before Reserved Tee Time To Avoid Penalty
Green Fees: Search Tee Times for Pricing
Credit Cards Accepted: Visa, MC, AMEX

Slope & Rating:
BLUE Yardage: 6781.0
BLUE Slope: 128.0
BLUE Rated: 72.6
WHITE Yardage: 6123.0
WHITE Slope: 122.0
WHITE Rated: 69.6
RED Yardage: 4961.0
RED Slope: 113.0
RED Rated: 68.6
GOLD Yardage: 7268.0
GOLD Slope: 133.0
GOLD Rated: 74.9
GREEN Yardage: 5580.0
GREEN Rated: 67.0
GREEN Slope: 114.0

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PAR 44453443536
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Heron Bay Golf Club
11801 Heron Bay Boulevard
Coral Springs, FL 33076