Miami Beach Golf Club by Arthur
Hills, Florida Golf Magazine Winter 2017©
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, MIAMI BEACH
Miami Beach Golf Club
2301 Alton Road, Miami Beach, FL 33140
Tel: 305-532-3350, miamibeachgolfclub.com
Architect: Arthur Hills - 2003
18 Holes, Par 71
Rating / Slope
74.2 / 138
72.0 / 134
69.4 / 126
65.6 / 114
75.2 / 141
70.7 / 124
Miami Beach Golf Club
Written for Florida Golf
Magazine by Golf Course Architect, Arthur Hills
In 2002, the City of Miami Beach hired
me and my golf architectural design firm, Arthur Hills / Steve
Forrest and Associates, to lead a program for the comprehensive
rejuvenation of the municipalitys legendary Bayshore Golf
Course. Bayshore originally opened in 1923 as part of pioneering
developer Carl Fisher's ambitious Alton Beach subdivision that
was designed to lure wealthy winter residents from New York,
Indianapolis and Detroit. Being only a few blocks from the beautiful
and famous beach, Fishers development and the golf course
were destined for success.
In its early years, the course enjoyed
the prosperity of the Roaring 20s, but then suffered through
The Great Depression. During World War II, the U.S. Army rented
the course for $1 a year as a training ground, and helmeted,
rifle-toting soldiers ran through the course's palm trees amid
the smoke from exploding grenades! Following its recovery after
the war, the course provided city residents with a solid municipal
track in a convenient location for years and years.
The 360-yard, par four 7th hole
at Miami Beach Golf Club is a demanding hole with a strategic
array of fairway bunkering and a large, uniquely-shaped green
which is protected on the left by water and on the right by two
bunkers which are separated by an intriguing fairway collection
The Birth of a New Classic
Now that we have finished our work, the
once tired and under-utilized Bayshore Golf Course
has become the elegant and highly-regarded Miami Beach
Golf Club. The result is a beautifully restored landmark
that will be enjoyed by South Florida residents and visitors
from around the world for years to come.
In keeping with the original design, the
new course we built is very traditional and looks like it's been
there a long time. It's an exciting course in a vibrant, star-studded,
The City of Miami Beach invested ten million
dollars in the renovation effort which included building a tasteful
and stylish Art Deco-themed clubhouse with a wonderful outdoor
On the golf course, eighteen new green
complexes were built. The playability and strategy of each and
every hole was improved through the addition of multiple tees
and the placement of sand bunkers to relate to the modern game
and its technological advances in balls and equipment.
Many of the lakes were reshaped and reconfigured,
not only to improve the storm-water drainage, but also to add
beauty and challenge, particularly on the finishing holes. A
modern practice facility was also created. The landscape was
further improved with the removal of many aggressive Australian
Pines, a non-native tree species that can displace native beach
plant communities that provide critical wildlife habitat for
threatened and endangered plant and animal species.
An Environmental Win
Saving the rare urban green space from
being developed was a win for both man and the environment. However,
the environmental responsibility didn't stop there. We covered
the entire golf course, including tees, fairways, greens, and
rough with Paspalumthe so-called grass of the future
at the time.
The advantages of Paspalum are significant.
It doesn't turn brown in winter and can be irrigated with poor-quality
brackish water that has a higher salt content. This is a big
advantage in some locations, and especially near the ocean.
Paspalum provides a very good playing surface
for fairways and greens. It is a grass type that can be used
everywhere, thereby simplifying maintenance considerably. Healthy
Paspalum requires reduced quantities of herbicides and other
chemicals. That characteristic is good for the environment as
well as the maintenance budget.
It has been rewarding to see what was once
a forgotten gem in the historic community of Miami Beach, now
become an outstanding recreational and environmental asset.
Signature Holes - 16, 17,
We took great care to preserve this spectacular
natural oasis that provides a splendid escape from an otherwise
highly-urban setting. Its fairways wind through carefully preserved
mangroves, gumbo limbo trees, Jamaican dogwood, tropical palm
and many other native species.
Measuring anywhere from 5,039 yards to
6,813 yards, this par-72 course is a good test of golf. There
are many holes at Miami Beach Golf Club that are worthy of being
called signature holes, but the three finishing holes
are especially noteworthy.
16th hole at Miami Beach Golf Club is a beautiful short par four.
Playing at 347 yards from the back tees, its a classic
risk / reward hole for long hitters.
#16, 347 yards, par 4
The 16th hole is a beautiful and fun, short par four. The player
can survey the options from the tee complex that overlooks one
of the largest lakes on the property.
Playing at 347 yards from the back tees,
its a classic risk / reward hole for big hitters. With
a favorable wind, the longest hitters can carry the entire water
hazard and reach the putting surface with one swing. The generous
open approach to the green from that angle entices players to
have a go at it. An eagle putt is the reward. Re-loading for
ones third shot is the risk!
For the shorter hitters, or perhaps the
"smarter golfers", the proper play is to completely
avoid the water to the right and position the tee shot between
the two bunkers that guard the left hand side of the fairway.
A well-struck tee shot will leave a short,
but somewhat scary approach over a gaping bunker that guards
the entire left side of a shallow green that slopes significantly
from back to front.
A straight hitter doesnt have to
hit it long to birdie this short par four, but precision with
the approach is definitely required!
Three is a great score on
the 183-yard, par-three 17th hole at Miami Beach Golf Club in
beautiful Miami Beach, Florida.
#17, 183 yards, par 3
Considered a true signature hole by the members and the marketing
department alike, the par-3 seventeenth is a stunning, highly-photogenic
charmer at Miami Beach Golf Club.
It plays at 183 yards from the back tees,
but has five teeing areas for maximum enjoyment in all kinds
It requires a bold tee shot over water
to an island-like, elevated green that is further protected by
one large horseshoe-shaped bunker that wraps around the green.
(Actually, the bunker serves to keep marginal shots dry!)
The two-tiered putting surface is deep
and has a large ridge running through the middle of its two distinct
plateaus. A par is a very good score on the beguiling 17th hole.
back into the clubhouse, the 430-yard, par-four 18th hole at
Miami Beach Golf Club has an Old Florida look that
serious Florida golfers love.
#18, 430 yards, par 4
The final hole at Miami Beach Golf Club provides a classic, strategic
finish as it works its way back to the inviting clubhouse terrace.
Rebuilt with traditional principles at
the forefront, the hole has that Old Florida look
and feel that is admired by many.
Framed by stately mature palms and flowering
tropical varieties, the tee shot must successfully avoid a large
fairway bunker on the left side of the landing area if the preferred
angle of approach to the green is realized.
The safer alternative off the tee leaves
a challenging second over a large bunker that successfully guards
the right side of the putting surface.
This straightforward par four allows for
smart, but aggressive play as players have one last opportunity
to post a good number.
Miami Beach Golf Club sits quietly
nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, minutes
from South Beach and scores of world class hotels and restaurants.
Open to the public, the resort-like
course is a big hit with both local golfers and tourists. The
course has also delighted Miami Beach hotel owners and business
people who benefit from their connections with the cherished
facility. We, too, were thrilled to have the opportunity to be
involved with the revival of an important part of Miami Beachs
famed South Beach neighborhood. It was very exciting.
Im proud of the way Miami Beach Golf Club turned out. What
was once a forgotten gem in the historic community of Miami Beach
is now an elegant and highly-regarded golf experience that is
enjoyed by visitors from all over the world!
- Arthur Hills, 2016
Florida Golf Magazine Winter 2017©
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