The Ponte Vedra Inn & Club is giving its Ocean Course a much-anticipated makeover. The club hopes to improve many aspects of the course, from the practice facility to the back nine holes, with the 10th being fully redesigned.
“It was time to change,” said Jim Howard, director of golf at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club. “It’s the (standard) that we want to be for our property and for our members.”
The renovation will address the greens, fairways, tees, bunkers, irrigation, drainage, grassing, bridges/bulkhead and landscaping, along with substantial improvements to the course’s driving range and practice facilities. While the first nine holes will essentially be the same, changes to the back nine will occur as well as the elimination of the 10th hole. A new hole will be designed at the north end of the property. The renovation is currently underway and is slated for completion by August of 2020 with the hopes that the updates will address new issues with the sport.
“Trying to make an interesting golf course for golfers is number one,” Howard said. “There is a challenge with golf right now that golf balls, combined with the new equipment, fly farther than they ever have.”
The Ponte Vedra Inn & Club welcomes back renowned course designer Bobby Weed to head the design. Weed worked on the course’s last renovations in 1998 and 2008. Weed, who is responsible for many of the TPC’s best venues, got his start apprenticing under golf legend, Pete Dye.
“We are very fortunate that he lives in the neighborhood and he is a club member,” Howard said. “I think Bobby is really known to design some interesting green complexes. A lot of that is almost just like an artist…. It will be interesting to see what he comes up with.”
Debuting in 1928, the Ocean Course has been a cornerstone amenity at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club for more than 90 years. First designed by renowned golf course architect Herbert Strong, the Inn’s signature course has undergone two major renovations since its opening, first in 1940 and later in 1998. The $8 million Ocean Course renovation project is part of a larger $40 million commitment to upgrade and modernize the resort as it approaches its centennial anniversary. Over the last 18 months, enhancements have been made to several of the resort’s amenities, including renovations to the Golf Club Dining Room and Golf Pro Shop, expansion of the club’s locker rooms and a remodeling of the resort’s family pool. By summer 2020, Ponte Vedra Inn & Club will reintroduce the historic Ocean House, offering 41 new guest rooms and suites.