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Seminole

Seminole

Juno Beach, Florida
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Larry Lambrecht
01/09
Larry Lambrecht
ArchitectBadgeDonald Ross
Juno Beach, Florida
Rankings
  • Address901 Seminole Blvd, Juno Beach, FL 33408, USA
  • Championships hosted

Donald Ross originally designed Seminole in the 1920s and it was the first outstanding course to be built in America’s deepest South. Situated on the Atlantic side of Florida’s coastline, Seminole Golf Club is considered by critics to be one of the finest examples of golf course routing. With small greens and serious trouble lurking beyond the flagstick, this is not a course to attack.

The site chosen for the course features a number of sand dune ridges that were carefully brought into play with some fairways directed towards elevated green sites while others drop down from sandy peaks to flatter terrain. Both nines set out from the clubhouse on level ground before veering into the 40-foot dune ridge that runs alongside the western edge of the property.

GalleryLarry Lambrecht
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Larry Lambrecht
01/09

The greens at Seminole are the main line of defence for the course and many of them are cleverly angled, narrowing towards the back, which makes rear pin positions a very tough proposition. Fairway bunkers are generally shallow but flash-faced sand traps adjacent to putting surfaces are often deep and troublesome.

The par four 6th is a wonderful hole on the outward half, played to an offset putting surface that’s protected by bunkers on both sides of a long, narrow green. Holes 11 and 14 are memorable for the uphill approach shots to be played to the pin and the all-carry second shot to the par four 12th is another highlight on the inward half.

Seminole was one of 18 “Gourmet’s Choice” courses selected for The Confidential Guide to Golf Courses Volume 2 – The Americas (winter destinations). Tom Doak commented as follows:

“The faces of the bunkers, flashed up by Dick Wilson in the early 1950s, were returned to grass by Brian Silva a decade ago to cut down on the washouts from summer rains here, but the club keeps the faces mowed tight so that a ball that finishes short of the green (or rolls back off) will roll down into the sand. Only one new tee has been added: and extension of the 1st and 10th tees that connects the two back by the prop shop, which Ben Crenshaw had noticed on Ross’ original drawing for the course.

Otherwise, there has been no concern for adding length to the course. At 6,800 yards, the coastal breezes make Seminole plenty for any golfer to handle. Unlike many clubs, the members here understand that the professionals are their guests, and you don’t build new features for the guests.”

Architects Bill Coore & Ben Crenshaw were engaged in 2017 to carry out a three-year renovation of the course which focused on rebuilding bunkers, removing trees and restoring sandy expanses between the holes.

A few extra yards were found for the TaylorMade Driving Relief event in aid of Covid-19 charities in 2020. The Seminole card measured 7,265 yards for the skins fundraiser and the layout proved to be a decent challenge when Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson needed to win a nearest-the-pin tiebreaker to beat opponents Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff.

The club hosted the 48th Walker Cup Match in 2021, with the United States winning a closely-fought contest against Britain & Ireland by 14 points to 12.

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Course Architect

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Donald Ross

Donald Ross worked with Old Tom Morris at St Andrews in 1893 then spent part of the following season at Carnoustie before returning to serve under the Dornoch club secretary John Sutherland.

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