Golfers are taking advantage of subtle
but important changes to two
popular PGA-owned golf courses
open to the public in PGA Village in
Port St. Lucie.
“It’s a beautiful course,” said Dave Gilliland
of Toronto as he returned to his cart from a
green on the Wanamaker, formerly called the
South course. “We played it three years ago and
we just love it. I like the general layout, there’s
a lot of variety and the course is in great shape.
It’s challenging for sure. I just missed a putt.”
Improvements include better grass on the
greens, changes in elevation, enlargements or
slight shifts of some greens, better drainage and
bunker sand improvements.
“The courses are 10 years old this year and
we decided it was time to make some improvements,”
said PGA Director of Golf Bud Taylor.
The work is part of a multimillion-dollar
long-term improvement plan.
The first thing returning players notice is that
the North and South courses were renamed the
Ryder course and the Wanamaker course
respectively, tying in with some familiar PGA
and golfing history. The courses were designed
by Tom Fazio.
The Ryder course was re-named to honor
Samuel Ryder, founder of the Ryder Cup. The
Wanamaker course was named for Rodman
Wanamaker, the New York City department
store magnate who, in 1916, inspired the birth
of The Professional Golfers’ Association of
During last summer’s renovations, grass on
the greens was replaced with Champion Ultra
“This is a premier putting surface that all
golfers will enjoy putting on,” Taylor said.
“This grass creates a very smooth roll of the ball
and can be kept at a lower height which creates
optimum putting conditions on a year-round
PGA Pro Kevin Stanton said the PGA put a new mesh
liner in the bunkers to help hold sand in place. As a result, a
ball hit into a bunker usually rolls to the bottom instead of
sticking into the sand partway up a vertical face.
The third hole on the Ryder course was significantly
changed when the elevation of the green was reduced.
Paul Bijou, who has a home on the 13th hole of the
Wanamaker course, said he thinks the Ryder course is better
than it was, well conditioned, and “the quality of the greens
is better and a lot truer, and the pin placements are tough.”
The course consistency is outstanding, player Ray
Notarantonio said. “If the goal was to make very subtle
changes, then they did an outstanding job.”
PGA GOLF CLUB
Where: Perfect Drive in PGA Village in Port St. Lucie; Exit
121 off Interstate 95, go west
Courses: Three 18-hole courses, one six-hole course
Who can play: Open to the public
Summer Fees: $30 Monday-Thursday. $40 Friday-Sunday.
$20 after 2p.m.
Renovations completed: Wanamaker - 18-hole Floridastyle
course; Ryder - 18-hole Carolina-style course; and
the six-hole Short Course.
Renovation to come: The Dye Course - 18-hole linksstyle
Director: Bud Taylor
PGA golf pros: Kevin Stanton and Rich Woolever
Web site: www.pgavillage.com
Phone: 800.800.GOLF (4653)
PHOTO BY GREG GARDNER
Above, an aerial view of one of the courses. Opposite page, a view of some
holes on the Wanamaker course shows new green improvements.