The Breakers oceanfront hotel at Palm Beach is one of America’s legendary destinations. More than 100 years have passed since the Breakers was founded by oil magnate Henry Flagler and it’s as popular today as it was back then. In 1904, rooms at the Breakers started from $4 per night, including three meals a day. You can expect to pay a little more for the experience today.
There are two golf courses attached to the Breakers. The Ocean course is considered to be Florida's oldest 18-hole course which was redesigned by Brian Silva in 2000. This 6,100-yard track is located next to the main resort. The second course at the Breakers was originally laid out in 1969 and is located inland in a gated community some ten miles due west of the main resort. It was formerly known as Breakers West but we’re not entirely sure who originally designed it. However, the course underwent a serious makeover by the “Open Doctor” along with his co-designed Steve Weisser in 2004. If you’re staying at the resort you’ll receive free transportation to and from the course, which is now called Breakers Rees Jones.
The renovation project included rebuilding tees, redesigning green and fairway bunker complexes and realigning several holes. Par was also increased from 71 to 72. The new Rees Jones course now measures 7,100 yards and it was awarded “Renovation of the Year 2005” by Golf Inc. magazine.
Key to a good score on the Breakers Rees Jones course is to keep out of the water. You will be reminded that you’re close to the Everglades as you play around and over a series of lakes and marshes, which often intimidate, especially on the one-shot holes. The 9th – the doglegged par four signature hole – is a great watery example which requires a tee shot over water and an approach shot over more water to an elevated green. The safe drive is down the right side but that will leave a longer knee trembling approach shot with water beckoning.
The first hole is welcoming with a large landing area. It gets noticeably tougher on the par 4 2nd. Slight dogleg left with a well protected green with bunkers and water left. Of the tee favor the right side for the best approach. The 3rd, 8th and 11thh are the obligatory Florida par 3s that are protected by water and a boatload of bunkers behind the green. The par 5 6th has very small landing areas. For your second shot favor the left to avoid the water hazard right. It is a 3 tiered green so club accordingly. The par 4 7th is a long demanding dogleg left. With bunkers on the outside of the elbow adding to the difficulty. The dogleg left par 4 9th is the #1 handicap hole and with good reason. Both the tee shot and the approach must carry water. To add to your misery this is one of the smaller greens and it also has 2 bunkers right and left.
The 10th is an S par 5 with narrow landing areas. Like the 6th it also has water right. The par 5 12th is eerily similar to 6th and 10th except it also has water right off the tee box. The 13th is a fun hole, yes I birdied. The 15th is a great birdie oppty. Short with water right off the tee that should not come into play and water on the left. All you really need to do is hit a drive 200+ straight and have a wedge to the green, Sounds easy. Enjoy 15 because 16 is a long tough par 4. Dogleg left with bunkers on both sides of the elbow and water right on the approach. The 17th is just a long 200+ par 3. The 18th is a good finishing hole. This long dogleg left features bunkers on the inside elbow. The approach shot is to a small, elevated green surrounded by sand.
Overall a good resort course with challenging carries, greens surrounded by water and strategically placed bunkers, with wide open landing areas.