MIAMI BEACH GOLF CLUB:
A MIAMI-DADE DELIGHT
Story by: Mike May
The Miami Beach Golf Club (2301 Alton Road, Miami, Florida; 305-532-3350) has come a long way, baby! This golf course, which opened for play in 1923, was originally called the Bayshore Golf Course. The property, which featured an ornate Mediterranean clubhouse, was part of developer Carl Fisher's ambitious real estate project, which was designed to lure wealthy winter residents from the Northeast and the Midwest. While Fisher oversaw the project, he hired an expert to design the golf course – England’s Willie Park. To add some sizzle and star power to the grand opening of this golf course, golfing legend Gene Sarazen was invited to play the inaugural round in November of 1922. This golf facility – now one of the 53 golf courses that is part of the Florida Historic Golf Trail – remained one of Miami’s leading locations for golf until the U.S. entered World War II.
During World War II, the golf course experienced a transformation as the U.S. Army rented the course for $1 a year and used it as a training ground, where rifle-toting soldiers ran through the course's palm trees as they prepared for combat.
In 1944, investors from Chicago attempted to buy the golf course in order to build 650 upscale homes on the property. Instead, disapproving neighbors successfully persuaded the City of Miami to buy the land and keep the golf course.
In 1954, a new clubhouse was built.
In 2002, this golf course experienced another transformation – a $10 million renovation transformation. The City of Miami Beach hired Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest and Associates in order to bring this course into the modern era. Simply put, it was a case of ‘out with the old’ and ‘in with the new.’ All of the grass and many of the trees were removed and replaced; the lakes were emptied, redesigned and refilled; the irrigation system was replaced; bunkers were reshaped, redesigned, and replaced; and a yet another clubhouse was constructed.
After the changes were made, the old Bayshore become the new Miami Beach Golf Club. Now, the ‘new’ Miami Beach Golf Club is a venue which south Florida residents and visiting golfers are enjoying today and will continue to do so for years to come. Currently, this 18-hole par-72 layout features four sets of tees that measure from 5,000 to 6,800 yards.
|The Miami Beach Golf Club today. One of Florida's Historic Golf Courses that is a "must play."
“We at Miami Beach Golf Club and Professional Course Management are delighted to be the featured course along the Florida Historic Golf Trail,” said Jeff Hunt, Director of Marketing, Miami Beach Golf Club. “The club is consistently ranked as the top public course in the area and has prominent standing in the world golf community from hosting the South Beach International Amateur, the world’s 5th ranked amateur championship.”
In 2011, the Inaugural South Beach International Amateur was played the week before Christmas at Normandy Shores and Miami Beach Golf Clubs. In 2011, the first year of the tournament, U.S. Amateur Champion and current PGA Tour player Kelly Kraft won the 72-hole event. The South Beach International Amateur has become the 5th ranked amateur tournament in the world behind the U.S. Amateur, British Amateur, Western Amateur and NCAA Division 1 Championship.
After golf, there’s no need to venture off-property to satisfy your appetite and quench your thirst as the on-site restaurant offers the complete package ranging from breakfast to brunch to lunch to appetizers to sandwiches to snacks to salads to soups to desserts.
BACK TO LISTINGS OF FLORIDA HISTORIC GOLF TRAIL.
The author of this story is Mike May, a south Florida-based golf writer, who can be reached at email@example.com