Panther National, the first new private golf club to open in Palm Beach County in two decades, officially opened its golf course on November 17, designed by legend Jack Nicklaus and PGA TOUR star Justin Thomas, a first-time collaboration for the pair. Envisioned by Swiss developer, Dominik Senn, the highly anticipated club brings a luxury residential enclave and championship golf to South Florida. The 18-hole championship course, playable from up to 8,000 yards, boasts steep elevation changes and dramatic characteristics unlike any other course in the state. The golf course accompanies Panther National’s Signature Estate Homes and Custom Estate Homesites, delivering an elite, best-in-class experience to members and residents.
Panther National celebrated the course opening with a Pro Exhibition Match on November 17 featuring six stars on the PGA and LPGA Tours including Justin Thomas – a partner of Panther National – Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele, Morgan Hoffmann, Erik van Rooyen, and Lexi Thompson. In tandem with the opening, Panther National will soon announce an elite team of brand ambassadors for the golf club, in addition to Thomas, Schauffele, Hoffmann, Villegas, and Thompson. As ambassadors for Panther National, these players will engage with members through a variety of events and activations year-round to showcase this exceptional new private golf community in Palm Beach Gardens.
“Panther National sits on the last parcel of premium, developable land in Palm Beach County, where we are proud to offer a visually stunning and environmentally sensitive golf course as the cornerstone of our modern, lifestyle community redefining luxury in the region,” says founder and president, Dominik Senn. “The opportunity to bring an unprecedented level of elegance to the game in an area where private golf options have been underserved for years is something in which we take great pride, and we look forward to providing current and prospective owners and members a distinctive experience both on and off the links.”
Combining the best of Nicklaus’s traditional design approach with the modern perspective of Thomas, one of the most talented young players in the world, Panther National’s championship course introduces an unparalleled new golf experience to the region. The intricacies of the course will challenge the world’s best players through a variety of risk-reward shot options yet allow playability for members with large landing areas and receptive greens. Design components include double fairways, deep bunkers, and expansive sandy waste areas; downhill tee shots uncommon to South Florida; uphill and semi-blind approach shots. A detailed, 18-hole course description can be found here.
“From the start, the vision was clear – to create a golf experience unlike any other found in South Florida,” said 18-time major champion and course designer, Jack Nicklaus. “Every opportunity to design a golf course brings challenges, but in the case of Panther National, uniqueness triumphs. You won’t find any golf course remotely close to it in South Florida.”
The collaboration between Nicklaus and Thomas represents the first time the two have teamed up on a golf course project and Thomas’ first foray into golf course architecture.
The course at Panther National will be complemented by world class training facilities featuring state-of-the-art ball tracing technology, elite PGA professionals to provide tailored instruction, an indoor simulator, putting room, and high-end fitness training equipment. Flexible enough to accommodate golf’s top professionals and club members, its practice area offers target greens constructed with Trinity Zoysia grass so the ball will react the same as when landing on the championship course’s greens. The targets are sized appropriately for shot length, equal to a PGA TOUR average shot for the specific distance. The short game area is also incredibly unique allowing golfers to train for all the greenside shots found at Panther National or at any course in the world. In addition, members can take advantage of Panther National’s fitting facility with custom fitting, stocked premium clubs, and shafts from all major equipment manufacturers.
Golfers of all skill levels will enjoy playing on the community’s 9-hole, par-3 practice course plus a short game area. Holes vary from 90 to 200 yards with approach shots similar to those players will encounter on the championship course and an island green that resembles the famous 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass. Panther National’s putting course – dubbed “The Cub,” and inspired by the Himalayas Putting Course at St. Andrews – sits on nearly one acre.
Today will prove to be a pivotal and monumental moment in my professional career,” said two-time PGA Champion and course designer, Justin Thomas. “Embarking on this journey with Jack, Dominik and their teams has been an unforgettable and invaluable experience. To see how a project comes to fruition, from the groundbreaking to the grand opening tee shot and all the site visits in between, this was such an inspirational endeavor that would not be possible without the hard-work and countless hours spent by all involved to make this dream a reality.”
Panther National’s team of exceptional professionals and support members include CEO, Frank Weed; Director of Golf, Tom Dyer; Head Golf Professional, Adam Schafer; Director of Agronomy, Steve Ehrbar; Director of Outside Operations/Caddie Master, Jake LaMore; assistant outside operations supervisor, Sam Martin; and assistant professionals, Joe Flynn, Kyle Hargreaves, and Dilan Bartko.
Complementing the golf course, Panther National’s residential offering includes 218 custom, modern estates combined with premium community amenities for an unparalleled lifestyle experience unlike anything else in the country. The private enclave is set on approximately 400 acres surrounded by the Avenir Conservation Area, a 2,400-acre conservation area. Panther National’s residences pair sleek, modern elegance with visionary, environmentally sensitive engineering for a sophisticated and effortless residential destination.
Panther National’s expansive, contemporary Clubhouse will feature Michelin-inspired cuisine with captivating European influence and a premium, curated selection of wine and spirits; expansive men’s and women’s locker rooms; an event lawn; and courtyard with a fire pit. The Lifestyle Club is designed to provide an elevated experience for the entire family and will include a state-of-the-art fitness center, tennis complex, and resort-style pools.