New Stillwater golf course designed with older adults in mind


The new Stillwater Golf and Country Club is officially open, and it became the first 18-hole course constructed in Northeast Florida in the past two decades.

The course was designed by Bobby Weed and will be part of the Lennar Corporation’s latest 549-home active adult gated community located in St. Johns.

According to Weed, because the course is associated with a community for adults 55 years and older, the layout of the holes was designed with that in mind.

“One of the first questions I ask is ‘who am I building the golf course for?’” Weed said. “Once I know that, we can move forward with a much better idea.”

A unique aspect of the course is that the 18 holes can be easily played in three-hole increments, which Weed put created as such for golfers who do not have the time in their schedule to commit to playing the entire course at once.

Several factors were considered by Weed when designing the course to suit players 55 years and older, including where the hazards are placed and plenty of opportunities to run chip shots up on the greens.

“It is challenging, but also very playable,” Weed said. “The two words that I like to have in mind when designing a golf course is fun and interesting.”

The course is also accompanied by a spacious driving range for those looking to warm up before a round or just wanting to work on their game.

One thing that Weed says golf courses have already been doing for years is having multiple tee boxes which can add or reduce the length of a hole depending on which one is used.

The various tee boxes present a built-in way to accommodate golfers of all ages, from older adults to children.

According to Weed, this allow for the community’s residents to be able to play with their nieces and nephews or grandchildren when they visit, creating and outlet for quality family time on the golf course.

“Golf is such a great recreational game,” Weed said. “What’s so nice about it is that you’re out there playing on green space in open air. That environment is still one of the things that makes golf so great.”

Weed stated how the golf course design industry has taken steps over the years to help preserve the natural beauty that ties so much into the game of golf.

One of the ways in which this is managed is that although the course is on 140 acres of land, it consists of only 70 acres that require irrigation.

“The environment is a component of our industry nowadays,” Weed said. “We’re all just more keenly aware about it, and that makes for a much more sustainable product.”

With that in mind, shells are used for cart paths instead of concrete or asphalt.

Although the course opened just opened, it was finished last summer, which meant that the grass had time to grow in and mature as they worked on completing the rest of the property’s development.