Ballantrae Golf and Yacht ClubWant to play a course that gives you an interesting mix of all the good things Florida has to offer? Play a round at Ballantrae Golf and Yacht Club.

This Jack Nicklaus signature golf course is a Florida links course, which winds its way among tehwetlands and pine uplands that skirt the St. Lucie River just north of Stuart. Only in Florida can you find the unique blend of moss-hung oaks, pines and cabbage palms preserved in abundance here. 

On a site so lush with outstanding natural characteristics, the task facing designer Jack Nicklaus was to fit into this setting a course that is challenging yet fun to play. The result is a venue that offers an enjoyable day for a residential developments.

"Golfers will find that Ballantrae is a bit of a departure from most Florida courses," says Nicklaus. "The presence of the St. Lucie River and numerous wetlands provided us a challenge in designing the course, but it also presented us a luxury. With such variety, including pine uplands, Ballantrae should be as aesthetically pleasing as it is enjoyable to play. From the tees, this is a strong golf course. But with five sets of tees, the golf course should be playable for all levels."

Don't be fooled however- this is a Nicklaus course. While landing areas are generous and the course itself creates the mood of spaciousness, approach shots to the green must be well-placed if you're going to be happy with your scorecard. Nicklaus has a real talent for placing bunkers in crucial spots!

Lending to the feel of spaciousness for the course as a whole is the presence of water; which comes into play on 11 of 18 holes. The combination of water and bunkers is nowhere better seen than on the fifth, the number one handicap hole. From the tips, the tee shot must carry a large lake. Water skirts most of the left side of the fairway, separating it from the green. Across the water from the fairway is a large bunker guarding the green, making the accuracy of the approach shot critical.

"The front nine plays in and around preserved wetlands and many large lakes," explains Nicklaus. "The site allowed for the preservation of the native vegetation and many exiting trees, including some beautiful centuries-old live oaks. This allowed us to use these features as part of the design strategy for many of the holes."

Short par-4s, says Nicklaus, force a player to think on the tee, and he loves to include them in his designs. A good example is the eighth, a short 354-yard par-4 surrounded by native vegetation. You can try to drive the green, but if you miss the fairway, you'll be enjoying a close encounter with the pines and oaks!

Not only are water bunkers used to make play interesting, waste areas lend a special touch to several holes. The 14th may be a par-3, but the tee must carry a large waste area.

"The entire hole is framed by existing pines that almost make the golfer feel as if he has ventured into the Lowcountry of the Carolinas," says Nicklaus. His use of mounds makes the 16th both challenging and pretty. And all over the course, the greens are gently sloped, giving the golfer a fair chance at a good roll.

The Grand Finale

As you stand on the tee at the 18th, the view is stunning; here, you finally come to the river. While the St. Lucie River plays such an important role in the character and design of the course, you only see it when you arrive at the final hole. The 18th green sits right at the edge of the river and it's one of the most beautiful holes in this part of Florida. Beyond the green, sun rays play tag across the expanse of water; boats drift serenely in and out of the scene; green limbs reach down from the surrounding trees, and waterfowl seeking a meal skim gracefully across the shining surface of the water. It's hard to stop looking and concentrate on your tee shot.

Concerning the finishing hole, Jack Nicklaus says, "As the golfer approaches the 18th, he or she enters a vastly different playing environment. The second shot plays over a river wetland, while the green sits along the St. Lucie River. The combination offers spectacular views of the Intracoastal Waterway. Hopefully, golfers will walk away from the 18th with a lot of good memories of the round and reasons to return to Ballantrae."

Indeed there are many good reasons to return to Ballantrae. The grace and beauty of the resident wildlife lends serenity to an already tranquil setting- even the 18th green. Views of the Intracoastal Waterway, with all its water sport activity, can be enjoyed from all corners of the banquet facility in the well-stocked snack bar - the Putter's Grill is conveniently located at the convergence of the first and the 10th near the practice range.

Ballantrae is a gated community, located just east of the Florida Turnpike and conveniently to shopping, schools, hospitals and plenty of great restaurants. Annual memberships as well as Social memberships are available at affordable prices.

Ballantrae is South Florida's only Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course open to the public. Take advantage of every chance to experience it. For more information, call (561) 337-5315.


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