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Palm Beach Par 3

 

Palm Beach Par 3

A Priceless Beachside Pearl

By Mike May


When one thinks about what to do and where to go in Palm Beach, Florida, shopping on Worth Avenue and staying at The Breakers immediately spring to mind. Playing golf on an oceanside par three golf course does not immediately top many lists, but for golfers, it will....and deservedly so.

The Raymond Floyd Golf Course at Palm Beach Par 3 (2345 South Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach, FL; 561­547­0598; par3@townofpalmbeach.com) was originally designed by golf course architects Dick Wilson and Joe Lee. The course opened for play in 1961 and it was privately owned until 1973, when the Town of Palm Beach bought it for $5 million. The course was then redesigned in 2009 by Hall of Fame golfer/three ­time major champion Raymond Floyd.

"I am excited to work for the Town of Palm Beach and run one of the premiere golf properties anywhere in the world," says Palm Beach Par 3 head golf professional/manager Tony Chateauvert.

The spirit of Palm Beach Par 3 is best represented by its website: www.golfontheocean.com. Very few golf courses are as close to an ocean as Palm Beach Par 3. Kudos to the civic leaders in Palm Beach for having the foresight more than 50 years ago to realize that this community deserved and needed a golf course and not another beachside mansion. The original design of this course by Wilson and Lee was great, but the efforts of Floyd and his redesign team have taken Palm Beach Par 3 to a level of excellence which many golfers thought was never possible. If you want to test your short game - where the holes from the back tees range from 81 yards to 211 yards - get a tee time at this course. When there's a strong wind present, it can influence club selection by two or three clubs. At Palm Beach Par 3, you might need all 14 clubs on a windy day, which is nearly every day.

Strategically placed between the Atlantic Ocean (to the east) and the Intracoastal Waterway (to the west), Palm Beach Par 3 is situated on one of the most scenic parts of real estate in south Florida, as you can see either the Atlantic Ocean or the Intracoastal Waterway - which locals call the Lake Worth Lagoon - on every single hole. While playing six holes (12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, and 18th), you can see both bodies of water. Just as the 13th, 14th, and 18th holes hug the beach along the ocean, the 4th, 5th, and 6th holes are just steps away from the Intracoastal Waterway. On those holes, any shot that drifts left of the fairway will find a watery grave. By the way, nobody has ever saved par from the bottom of the Lake Worth Lagoon!

As great as the scenery is at Palm Beach Par 3, the condition of the entire course is even better, especially the greens which are receptive, fair, consistent, true, and very well maintained. Kudos to golf course superintendent Tim Campbell and his staff at Palm Beach Par 3 which must battle the constant side effects of the salt spray which is forever present on this seaside strip of real estate. It was a wise decision to use drought/salt water tolerant Paspalum turf on the course.

In addition to the presence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Lake Worth Lagoon, Palm Beach Par 3 has two lakes on the course which come into play on five holes - 1st, 3rd, 4th, 15th, and 16th. It's fair to say that a water hazard seems to loom on nearly every shot at Palm Beach Par 3.

The locals are not the only fans of this course as Golf Digest has named Palm Beach Par 3 as "The Best Par 3 in the U.S." on two occasions.

Even though real estate is in somewhat short supply at Palm Beach Par 3, this course has enough space for a driving range, a practice putting green, and a two­story clubhouse (opened in January of 2014) which features a full­service pro shop and Al Fresco's Pizzeria/Ristorante/Bar (561-273-4130), which overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. The view of the Atlantic from the veranda at Al Fresco's, as you gaze to the east, is priceless and peaceful. It helps put the game of golf - and your three­putt experiences on the course - in their proper perspective. Al Fresco's is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Also, inside the clubhouse, golf aficionados will enjoy getting a glimpse of a reproduction of Floyd's 1986 U.S. Open trophy.

'Golf on the Ocean' now sounds enticing and irresistible. Do you agree?


 

Revised: 11/16/2015 - Article Viewed 19,342 Times - View Golf Course Profile


Written By: Mike May

Mike May Mike May is a Wellington, Florida-based freelance golf and sportswriter, who is also a 25+ year public relations and communications executive in the sporting goods industry. He is also a veteran high school soccer official, an experienced high school basketball coach, an avid athlete, a part-time personal trainer, and a passionate golfer who is forever in pursuit of Old Man Par. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America.


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