Complete Course Renovation - 2018
Valencia is seemingly a minority player in Naples - one of only a handful of golf facilities there that are open to public play in a market that is otherwise completely dominated by private clubs.
The course first opened for play in 1997, originally designed by Gordie Lewis. The layout features great variety and ample width, which is a big reason why so many golfers enjoy playing here - there's plenty of room! The greens are rather small, actively contoured and judiciously bunkered. There are five sets of tees that provide good variety, with the back tees stretching out to over 7100 yards.
When we initially became involved with ownership here, there was a strong, motivating desire to convert the grass from 419 bermuda to a newer variety, Celebration. As we surveyed the experience and conditions, however, we agreed that there was also a need to soften some of the green contours, while also resurfacing them to an improved variety of ultradwarf bermudagrass, TifEagle. But what became even more focal was the bunkering - and we created a new vision for the bunkers that reduced their size and numeracy, all while enhancing the positioning, specific intent and aesthetic of each bunker that was built/rebuilt.
The overriding goals at Valencia were to play off the course's strengths (mainly its width) and improve the presentation and condition of the course to make it more maneageable as a public facility and to address all matters concerning the aesthetics, playability and strategic architectural qualities of the golf experience. We've come to embrace that most players enjoy being able to see the hole that lies before them, understand the challenge and then play without constant fear of losing golf balls!
Since the completion of our work, the course has not only upheld its favor and reputation among the golfing public, it has become even more popular and successful, even being recognized anually now as the Best Public Course in Naples by readers of the Naples Daily News.