The back tees of the
553 yard par five, Ninth Hole at Trump International Golf Club
in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Palm Beach County:
The 2013 Editor's Choice For Florida's Best Golf Course
by Joe Stine, Editor
(Photos courtesy of TIGC)
International Golf Club in Palm Beach County Florida is rightfully
being proclaimed by Florida Golf Magazine as the 2013 Editors
Choice for Floridas Best Golf Course. Those who play
it know that TIGC is much more than that. In the words of its
designer, Golf Course Architect and Renaissance Man
Jim Fazio, Trump International is a pure golf experience.
Florida Golf Magazine recently returned to West Palm Beach to
play the Championship Course (built in 1997-99) at Trump International
Golf Club we found that the greens which were re-grassed less
than two years ago with MiniVerde® bermudagrass had matured
to perfection. Undoubtedly one of the best maintained golf courses
in the world, Trump International Golf Club is actually a 27-hole
facility, and all of its greens have always been lightning fast,
but with the new turf they are as fast and true as any tournament-ready
greens in Florida.
at Trump International Golf Club
Shown in this aerial photograph,
the 17th Hole at Trump International Golf Club is partially encompassed
by the 18th fairway.
(Photos courtesy of TIGC)
of hole designs, as well as the golf courses conditioning
and beauty were major considerations for Fazio during his design
process at Trump International, but its just as certain
that coupling playability with challenge
was also a top priority in his thinking.
Dr. Gary Wiren, Sr. Director of Instruction for all Trump Golf
Properties, said, Conditioning might be considered a major
portion of the beauty factor, but don't kid yourself, a great
deal of the beauty at Trump International is by design. In fact,
what makes this the single greatest golf course I have ever played
is its unending variety-by-design.
Towering Royal Palms separate
the 1st Tee and worlds best practice tee at
Trump International Golf Club.
of the design, said Wiren, one test of a great golf
course is the ability of the players to not tire of ever playing
it. At Trump International that feeling starts on the panoramic
elevated practice tee that entices you to want to stay and hit
balls. But then, when you get on the course youre glad
you didnt because there you find such inspirational beauty.
The landscaping and diversity of the vegetation is tremendously
The view from atop the
highest of nine elevated tees, five stories above the split fairway,
on the 561 yard, par five, #15. On this hole you should play
the tee shot left of the creek and the lay-up to the right of
the creek. Accuracy is important on the approach into the shallow,
the states most beautiful golf hole, the par five, 15th
hole at Trump International has nine different tee boxes, and
plays 561 yards from the back tees to 401 yards at the forward
tees. The most impressive is the tee box pictured above at 535
yards. Towering more than five stories above the fairway, this
tee box could easily double as a helicopter landing pad.
Looking back from the
bridge, beside #15 green
15th hole is a gorgeous challenge that has a water course meandering
down what appears to be almost the middle of the fairway. There
is adequate room to hit your tee shot but any attempt to reach
the green will most assuredly tighten up your swing. Thats
because the "wee wandering water" will get you if the
dense stand of palms to the left doesn't. This hole makes you
gasp in awe of its beauty. As Dr. Wiren said, Esthetics
add a tremendous amount to the enjoyment of a round of golf and
you get it in spades here.
The 7,350 yard Championship
Course at Trump International Golf Club (Photo courtesy of The
Variety of Hole Designs
interesting design feature at Trump International, said
Dr. Wiren, is that there is water on 14 holes of the Championship
Course. This means you had better be on your game if you are
trying to take the shortest route on your drive, or when you
want to attack a flagstick for your approach shot. Also, because
of the size of some of the greens and their contours, the location
of the flag can add considerably to the decision making process.
Putting your shot on the green, but in the wrong place, may test
your ability to two-putt, let alone make it.
Jim Fazio has also provided much variety in the design of the
holes at TIGC, continued Dr. Wiren. No two holes
even slightly resemble one another in their look or in the challenges
they present. Though its one of the most beautiful golf
holes you will ever play, the 15th in no-way overshadows the
beauty and challenge of the three closing holes. When you conquer
16, 17, and 18 you leave with a great feeling of love for the
game and the course.
#16 at TIGC
Back tees of 413 yard
par 4, Hole #16 at Trump International Golf Club
Shown in this aerial photograph,
the 16th Hole at Trump International Golf Club is in the middle
foreground & the 10th Hole is in the background. (Photo courtesy of TIGC)
#16 is a tricky 406 yard par four that requires not only a partially
blind tee shot, but also an intimidating approach shot over water
to a two tiered green which is also guarded from behind by two
menacing bunkers on the right.
Dr. Gary Wiren hits an approach to the difficult Hole #16.
#17 at TIGC
The 219 yard par three
17th Hole at beautiful Trump International Golf Club (Photos courtesy of TIGC)
finishing holes at Trump International are very strong, particularly
Hole #17, a 219 yard monster shot to an island green that requires
accurate distance in order to avoid the water in front and behind
the green. There is no room for error here and the number of
balls per foursome that play this hole that end up submerged
is roughly three.
The view from behind the green of the par three 17th Hole at
Trump International (Photos
courtesy of TIGC)
#18 at TIGC
Mr. Trump is seen here teeing
off from the back tee of the 18th Hole of the Championship Course
at Trump International.
something special about playing from a mountain top tee down
to an attractive landing area. On the home hole at TIGC you get
that opportunity. Hole #18 is a 469 yard par four, with water
down the right of the elevated tee coaxing golfers to keep their
tee shots left. This in turn leaves a longer approach shot into
a well-guarded green, all within view from the clubhouse.
The view from the clubhouse
veranda of the 18th green of the Championship Course at Trump
The consummate golfer, Donald J. Trump, is seen here teeing off
on the 413 yard par 4, 14th hole at Trump International Golf
regard to construction, designer-builder Jim Fazio said, We
started the job and it took us one year just to transplant 5,000
trees, move 3 million tons of dirt and build the lake system.
The Department of Environmental Resources (ERM) told us we could
only clear 50 acres at a time. It was sketched out into seven
sections. We had to go in and label all the trees and move what
we could. What we knocked down, we had to mitigate. We also relocated
over 60 gopher tortoises. It was a long drawn out process, the
longest one I've ever been involved in.
at Trump International Golf Club
started building the golf course after that. Jim explains.
I was actually in charge of the shaping and finish grading
on that project. I was there every day with my son, Jim, who
was operating the dozer and doing the detailing after we got
it roughed in. Together, we actually built all the greens, bunkers
and tees. That's how the golf course was built, day by day.
concluded by giving his assessment of the holes. The three
closing holes, 16, 17 and 18, are really great golf holes. During
the LPGA tournaments, depending on the wind, they were always
two out of three of the toughest holes on the golf course throughout
the tournament. One year, three days out of the four day tournament,
the 16th hole was the toughest, because of wind changes and the
water hazards. The wind is what really affects play for golf
pros. If there is no wind they will eat you up. The wind is the
equalizer for the golf pro. You start thinking about the three
closing holes when you're on 13. You want to be three up by the
time you get to the 16th tee, so you don't lose the match.
spectacular design features of the Championship Course at Trump
International make it extremely challenging, yet it can arguably
be called Floridas most scenic and enjoyable golf course
to play. With six sets of tees, the Championship Course measures
7,326 challenging yards from the par 72 back tees, and 5,314
very playable yards from the par 73 forward tees, making it very
much in line with the new PGA and USGA Tee it Forward
regard to the playability of his design of the original 18 holes
at Trump International, Designer Jim Fazio said, Something
else that a lot of people really like about Trump International
is that it is very playable. It's rated hard from the back tees,
but it's not rated hard from the front tees. They may not know
that, but they know they enjoy it.
the trees, creeks and the rocks and the tinkling sound of the
water, Fazio said, I've never heard anybody say anything
negative about it, or that it's too hard. There's always a place
to play golf. If there's water on one side of the fairway there's
always another place to go. You don't have to airmail the ball
over a lake unless you missed something. The angles are always
there to play the golf course and keep the ball going forward
even if it's on the ground.
The island green of the
153 yard, par three 8th Hole of the the New Trump Nine
at Trump International Golf Club.
New Trump Nine
at Trump International Golf Club
in 2006, the third nine holes at Trump International Golf Club,
which were also designed by Jim Fazio, are referred to as the
New Trump Nine. Though unique in its own right, this
newer par 36, nine holes course measures 3,605 yards from the
back tees and is every bit as challenging as the original 18
holes. Though very much a formidable challenge from the back
tees, the forward tees of the New Trump Nine are
also designed with playability for golfers of all skill levels
in mind. Beauty and nature also abounds on the third nine holes
and its signature hole is a spectacular island green that rivals
any in the world and must be seen to be believed.
is evident that Jim once again put his heart and soul into his
work on the New Trump Nine. Jim Fazio is a true master
artisan of golf course design. Back in the 60s, he and his younger
brother Tom Fazio were originally trained in golf course design
and construction by their uncle George Fazio, who was a famed
professional golfer. Tom became the most sought after golf course
architect in the world, but he would be the first to tell you
that his big brother Jim is every bit as good as he is.
Donald J. Trump in front
of the 215 yard, par 3, 17th hole at Trump International Golf
Club in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Mr. Trumps impromptu dissertation, I asked, What
is thatch? Hesitating but a moment, he replied, Well,
the grass doesnt just grow out of the top; it grows down
in the soil too. And, whats growing in your soil is your
thatch. When you mow grass, the only thing youre mowing
is the leaf. But, theres more to a grass plant than just
the leaves. There are the roots and the stems which make up the
Has Its Privileges at Trump International Golf Club
as I was saying, said Trump. Soil tests tell the
superintendent how much potassium, phosphorous, and other nutrients
and additives are needed for the plants health, but on
the putting green, nitrogen is what makes things grow. You want
to put enough down so the grass is healthy, but not so much that
it slows your putting speeds down. And that, said Mr. Trump,
is the fine line the superintendent is always walking.
If he uses too much, the greens get slower. Everybody knows that
nitrogen makes plants grow. Thats what makes it green.
But, on the other hand if you put too much down, then the greens
get too slow.
is the artistic part of what my superintendent does, its
not like a recipe where you do this, this and this. It depends
on the weather, it depends on the temperature, how wet it is,
Speaking of superintendents, Mr. Trump, I said, your
superintendent, Andy Kjost (pronounced-Joast) is pretty good,
isnt he? Andy is great, said Trump. He
has been with me for over 10 years. He is the very best!
International Golf Club is a club for golf purists, and its members
are by far some of the most affluent golfers in the world. And
at Trump International, as the saying goes, Membership
definitely has its privileges.
lucky members of Trump International Golf Club also enjoy reciprocity
at over a dozen different Trump Golf Properties worldwide, including
Mr. Trumps most recent Florida golf course acquisitions,
Trump Doral Resort & Spa and Trump National Jupiter.
true, Florida is and always will be a great golf destination,
and theres certainly no shortage of great golf courses
here, nor great architects. But, it is also equally true that
there is no finer golf course to be found in the Sunshine State
than Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, nor is
there one that exemplifies a purer golf experience.