Tiburón Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples’ Black Course reopened last month to rave reviews by members and guests after a seven-month “remastering” project. The project was led by the Greg Norman Golf Course Design team and Tiburón Golf Club’s Director of Agronomy Jeff Cathey. The Greg Norman-designed Black Course originally opened for play in 2001.
During the seven-month project, Tiburón’s Black Course underwent extensive greens, turf, irrigation and bunker renovations. Green surrounds and approaches were reconfigured to create more strategic shot options for players and were also re-grassed with Celebration Bermuda grass. Greens are now Tiff Eagle Bermuda. In addition to the renovation work, Tiburón Golf Club and all of Southwest Florida, endured 142 mph winds during Hurricane Irma, the most powerful storm ever to hit the region, in early September. Damage from the powerful storm delayed the reopening of the Black Course by only a few days.
As part of the remastering project, Family Tees were added, giving members and guests with children another option to play the course at approximately 4,000 yards. With the addition of the Family Tees, golfers now have six tee options to choose from when playing the Black Course – from 4,000 yards from the Family Tees to 6,949 yards from the Championship Tees.
“We are thrilled with newly remastered Black Course at Tiburón,” said Kevin DeDonato, PGA, general manager, Tiburón Golf Club at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples. “Hats off to the Greg Norman Design Team, Jeff Cathey and the construction crews for a job well done. They were tested by Mother Nature with Hurricane Irma and persevered. The result of their efforts is a spectacular layout with outstanding playing conditions.”
Tiburón Golf Club’s Gold Course underwent a similar remastering project in 2016 that was also led by the Greg Norman Golf Course Design team. During the Gold Course remastering, crews reconstructed many of the original stacked sod wall bunkers with a striking new synthetic sod wall bunker system by Durabunker. Tiburón is the first LPGA and PGA TOUR venue to use the new Durabunker product. Durabunkers will not be used on the new Black Course; instead bunker faces will be lowered with a more gradual pitch, creating a distinct look between the two courses.
Tiburón, which is Spanish for shark, is home to the LPGA Tour’s CME Group Tour Championship and the PGA TOUR’s QBE Shootout. The CME Group Tour Championship has been hosted at Tiburón since 2013 and the Shootout has been played at Tiburón since 2001.