Design Notes

Hazeltine turns to Davis Love III for renovation

Nick Faldo resumes plans for a clifftop course on the Portuguese island of Madeira; Nicklaus Design opens Florida’s newest short course

Ryder Cup
In 2016, Davis Love III captained the U.S. Ryder Cup team to victory at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota.

Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, has announced a long-term partnership with Love Golf Design for the purpose of developing a comprehensive master plan. The design team is led by PGA winner and Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III and is based in Sea Island, Georgia.

The partnership follows the club’s year-long process of thoroughly exploring, conversing with and interviewing the country’s leading architects. The extensive portfolio of Love Golf Design work includes both new course designs such as the Dunes Course at Diamante in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; Kinderlou Forest Golf Club in Georgia; and the Love Course at Barefoot Resort in South Carolina. Additionally, the firm has done major renovations at Atlantic Dunes at Sea Pines Resort in South Carolina and at Sea Island Golf Club's Retreat and Plantation courses in Georgia.

"My brother Mark, our architect Scot Sherman, and I are thrilled to be working with Hazeltine National Golf Club to reimagine the golf course and get ready for the 2029 Ryder Cup,” Love said. “I’ve played major championships here and while serving as the captain of the 2016 Ryder Cup, the support we got from Hazeltine for our Ryder Cup Team was incredible. We’re excited to help Hazeltine move into the next chapter of their major championship life.”

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Love Golf Design has been tasked at Hazeltine with examining and master planning the golf course and the entirety of the surrounding property — everything from greens, bunkers, fairways, playing distances, irrigation, drainage, trees and routing plan. The master plan will also identify infrastructure improvements needed to deliver consistent championship playing conditions every day.

"For us to have success in our mission of hosting major championships and delivering exceptional experiences, we need a leading golf course architect to shepherd our master planning process. Selecting the right team was extremely important to the board and our architectural selection committee,” club president Dan Mulheran said. “Not only were we looking for a partner but also a team who has the right background to ensure our championship course continues to be one of the best in golf.”

Love Golf Design has over 25 completed projects in its portfolio and has garnered numerous design awards. Sherman has been involved in over 50 designs during his 35-year career, working on courses in the U.S. and Europe — most notably The Ocean Course at Kiawah Resort. Sherman began his career with the Dye family where the value of designing in the field became a guiding principle of his work.

"We appreciate the opportunity to work on such a grand scale here at Hazeltine," Sherman said. "Hazeltine is blessed to have plentiful land, which gives us the room to create some thought-provoking strategies, so we are excited to have the master planning process underway. Davis, Mark and I believe the variety of the site lends itself for timeless character and we’re pleased to be working with the storied property that’s situated along Lake Hazeltine."

Hazeltine, opened in 1962, is a vintage design of Robert Trent Jones. Over the next two decades he undertook a partial redesign of the golf course, most notably rerouting the 16th and 17th holes. The club subsequently benefitted from the design input of his son, Rees Jones, through various incarnations of work.

The club was founded on a commitment to championship golf and seeks to preserve and grow that legacy moving forward. The club has previously hosted the U.S. Open (1970, 1991), U.S. Women’s Open (1966, 1977), Ryder Cup (2016), PGA Championship (2002, 2009), U.S. Senior Open (1983), the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship (2019), U.S. Amateur (2006) and the U.S. Mid-Amateur (1994), among other significant events. In the coming years, Hazeltine is set to host its second U.S. Amateur in 2024 and is the first U.S. venue selected to host the Ryder Cup Matches for a second time when it returns in 2029.


Nick Faldo and his Faldo Design team have resumed work on Ponta do Pargo, after a hiatus of 11 years. A project of the Regional Government of Madeira, a Portuguese archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean northwest of Africa, the golf course began construction in 2009 and stopped in 2012. Work began again this past May, with the first phase slated for completion in 2024. A second phase will likely take another 18 months, with a projected course opening of 2026.

"We are now going to move forward with one of the most beautiful courses in Europe — I am not afraid to say it — which will be located in a parish in the west of the island, next to a promontory over the sea," said Miguel Albuquerque, president of the Regional Government of Madeira. "It will be one of the iconic courses at European level and be an anchor project for the whole area."

The new layout, the fourth on Madeira and the first since Seve Ballesteros opened Porto Santo in 2004, is draped atop a cliff edge overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The par-72 course will be complemented by a driving range, chipping and putting greens, a nine-hole short course, plus clubhouse, restaurant and hotel. A state-of-the-art irrigation system will be installed on the 120-acre site as one of several measures to conform to Madeira’s sustainability requirements.

The City of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, cut the ribbon on the Par 3 course and practice facilities at The Nest at Sandhill Crane Golf Club on July 10, in anticipation of a soft opening during August.

“The goal was to create a fun course with as much variety as possible,” said Chad Goetz to Goetz, senior designer at Nicklaus Design, who led the project, further stated, “Combined with the elevation changes, we mixed length, angles, types of shots, dry holes and wet holes to arrive at a very nice overall variety and flow between holes.”

Excavating a 35-acre lake provided the fill dirt to create the elevation changes of more than 20 feet, unusual for south Florida. Holes range from 100 to 256 yards from the  back set of tees and from 70 to 156 yards from the forward tees. Five holes are entirely without sand bunkers and golfers are invited to experiment using the grass slopes to guide their ball towards the hole.

A brand new practice area graces the facility, which includes an island green 19th hole, indoor hitting bays with Trackman, target greens and bunkers and a 30,000 square-foot putting course, which has been illuminated for night play. “South Florida is starved for public golf — especially during the busy seasonal months, so this will be a welcome addition to local and visiting golfers,” said Goetz.