Jack Nicklaus, above, inspects the Santa Lucia River Club during a visit to Port St. Lucie on March 30. Nicklaus, who designed the original course,
oversaw its redesign, completed this spring. The third hole, opposite page, received a new green and a bunker in front.
The Golden Bear puts finishing touches on his redesigned
course at Santa Lucia River Club at Ballantrae
BY SUSAN BURGESS
PHOTOS BY GREG GARDNER
Sending a drive whistling down the first fairway of his redesigned signature course at
Ballantrae in Port St. Lucie, Jack Nicklaus at 67 looked anything but retired.
Intense blue eyes sparkling, he said, “It’s a totally new life for me. I went from playing
golf to quitting to then expanding beyond (competitive) golf.”
The Golden Bear found a new passion two years ago when he dove full-time into designing
and redesigning golf courses around the world.
He was standing on a sample of his handiwork in March when he came to Santa Lucia
River Club at Ballantrae in Port St. Lucie.
“I got a kick out of re-doing the Santa Lucia course,” Nicklaus said. “It was a chance to
re-do what I did 15 years ago. These things are fun for me. I’d be bored to tears otherwise,
because now I don’t spend all my time preparing for the next event, I only play once or
twice a month.”
At Santa Lucia, the golf course that bears Jack Nicklaus’ name is now 300 yards longer
than it was during its first 15 years – a change that is typical of what he does when he