Medalist Golf Club - Tour Pro Mecca PDF Print E-mail
Written by BRUNO   




It's hard to find a place to start when the feature subject is Medalist Golf Club in Hobe Sound,

Florida. Medalist is not only a haven for established tour veterans (including Tiger Woods), but also

young aspiring professionals. In the early days of the club - nearly twenty years ago, Medalist was

known as the impossibly difficult layout that was the love child of Pete Dye and Greg Norman. In 1995,

Shell's Wonderful World of Golf presented a match at Medalist between the two best players in the

game (at the time): Norman & friend Nick Price. The winner was clearly the course, with neither player

breaking par (with a few train wrecks, and even fewer birdies). Over the years the Medalist evolved

and perhaps the golf course became more member friendly, but that wasn't necessarily a good thing

. . . which leads us to the saga of The Shark vs Medalist President Mr. De Mudd.




The drama had been going on for awhile, and reached it's climax in

December of 2012. Disagreements between Norman and the club hierchy

led to the Aussie leaving the club for good back in December, and taking

all of his possessions (including Claret Jugs, memorabilia and the Great

White Shark that adorned the walls of the club).






The biggest bone of contention with Norman was the hiring of Bobby Weed (once a protege to Dye) to

restore the original Dye/Norman design. I personally find it strange that Norman is no longer part of the

club he created . . . could you imagine if the Green Jackets showed Bobby Jones the door at Augusta

many years ago. The end result is that Norman requested his name and Pete Dye's no longer be

associated with the course design in any way shape or form, the club honored that request and is

planning on moving forward with the Bobby Weed Re-design.

If you want more detail on the whole Norman/Medalist saga, Geoff Shackelford has a full account of

the blow by blow at:


The Clubhouse at Medalist



7th at Medalist (behind the green) - check the gorgeous Loblolly Pine that frames the fairway

The Palm Beach/Jupiter area is the epicenter for the world's best players right now, with Ernie Els, Luke

Donald, Rory McIlroy (and Michael Jordan) at the Bear's Club. Tiger Woods, Ricky Fowler, Dustin Johnson

& Keegan Bradley are all members at Medalist. Next door to Medalist, many Tour Players are members at

Nick Price's exclusive MacArthur Golf Club. Just a few miles south in Palm Beach Gardens is the PGA of

America, PGA National - home of The Honda Classic and Raymond Floyd's Old Palm Golf Club, the U.S

headquarters of Chubby Chandler's clients: Charl Schwartzel, Louis Oosthuizen & Lee Westwood, who

just relocated from Woksop, England.


Par 3 - 8th has Pete Dye's imprint all over it, bulkhead frames the angled water line.

11th at Medalist is a good example of the green complexes at Medalist, large undulations with runoffs

that repel even a marginal approach. this is where Norman's largest influence on the design is present.

The topography at Medalist is fairly ordinary for the region if compared to some of the other great

courses in the area, the ones that immediately come to mind are Jupiter Hills, and Seminole that

share the same elevated ridge that runs along North Palm Beach thru Juno Beach to Jupiter Island.

Medalist is for the most part - flat, and is carved out of Florida Slash Pines, Loblolly Pines and Palmetto

Palms on a sandy base just west of the Atlantic shore line. The green complexes and strategic hole

designs are certainly the strength of the course. The practice facility is as good as it gets, and the

atmosphere in and around the clubhouse that is nurtured by Director of Golf Buddy Antonopoulos, is

just what you'd expect from an establishment with the membership of the Medalist Club. "Our little

area of Florida is such a great place to live, that a lot of the Tour guys have moved here," Buddy

Antonopoulos said. There are so many wonderful places for these guys to play golf and work on their

games. The fact that quite a few of them, including a player of Tiger's stature have chosen to become

members here, says a lot about our club and our membership.

The 452 yard - 9th hole

As Medalist member & Golf Magazine panelist Jeff Lewis summed up: "I have played a few hundred

courses I would rather play than Medalist, but I don't know a club I'd rather belong to".