The member-owned Naples National Golf Club is located a couple of miles to the east of downtown Naples and some draw a parallel between Naples and Pine Valley, Pinehurst No.2 and August National. Rugged, blow-out sand scrub waste areas border meticulously manicured fairways and the design philosophy of Dr Michael Hurdzan and Dana Fry, who first designed Naples National in 1992, is that “the best golf is played in the most natural surroundings and on golf courses that are sustainable in the environment of which they are a part.” Hurdzan and Fry’s vision for Naples National was to achieve perfection.
It’s hard to understand how a parallel between Naples and Augusta can be drawn as the Naples National site is topographically flat, whereas the elevation changes at Augusta are dramatic. Nevertheless, similarities have been drawn and from a conditioning perspective there is a real parallel. Naples National is polished to perfection and the immaculate playing surfaces blend nicely with waste areas and native terrain, which includes mature stands of pine and cypress trees.
The overall design at Naples National is based on the tradition of golf’s “golden age” so do not expect to find any gimmicks here at Naples. Some earth moving was required to create varied but gentle elevation changes of the tees and greens, which invariably depict a clear view of each hole when standing on the tee. Fairway mounding creates further shape and definition with light but strategic bunkering focusing the mind.