Normandy Shores Golf Club by Arthur
Hills, Florida Golf Magazine Winter 2017©
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, MIAMI BEACH
Normandy Shores Golf Club
2401 Biarritz Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33141
Architect: Arthur Hills - 2008
18 Holes, Par 72
Rating / Slope
73.6 / 140
72.3 / 131
69.4 / 124
75.1 / 131
70.2 / 122
The Legendary Normandy Shores Golf Club
Written for Florida Golf
Magazine by Golf Course Architect, Arthur Hills
Our firm was hired by the City of Miami
Beach in 2007 to redesign the Normandy Shores Golf Club. The
legendary course had a long and very colorful history. The land
for the golf course was donated to the City of Miami Beach by
M. C. Gryzmish on January 4, 1928. A year later the City took
position of the land.
From that point on, the City of Miami Beach
worked hard to dredge and haul in fill to create the man-made
island for the golf course. On July 28, 1937, Howard Toomey and
William S. Flynn were employed as the golf course architects.
By 1939, the dredging efforts had successfully created Normandy
It was at this time that the first plans
for the golf course were drawn up. It only took a couple of years
for the golf course and new clubhouse to be completed and, with
great pride, the City of Miami Beach held the dedication ceremony
on December 18, 1941.
Shortly thereafter, most of Miami Beach
was transformed into a training camp for the U.S. ArmyAir
Forces during World War II with 85% of the hotel rooms leased
by the military to serve as barracks. The years of the Post-war
Boom were Normandy Shores Golf Club's heyday. Around 1956, the
City of Miami Beach hired Mark Mahannah to redesign the golf
Once the renovation was complete, Normandy
Shores became a hot spot for both the famous and infamous. The
famous: Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, and Peter Thompson were just
a few of the now legendary professional golfers that played Normandy
Shores on a regular basis. Some of the other regulars went by
names like Stork, Charlie the Blade, and Three-Iron Ward.
For the last 50 years, the golf course
has been maintained by the City and, because of the easy access
off the 79th Street causeway, Normandy Shores became the perfect
spot for Miami Beach, Miami, North Miami and Miami Shores golfers
to enjoy a round.
Perceived as being an easy hole
because of its short length, the 369-yard, par four, 6th hole
is one of the favorites with the members at Normandy Shores Golf
Fast forward to 2008, the City of Miami
Beach has spent over $9 million to renovate the now spectacular
Normandy Shores Golf Club. The City hired my golf architectural
design firm, Arthur Hills / Steve Forrest and Associates to redesign
the aging course and bring it back to its current state of glory.
We removed every blade of grass and most of the invasive species
of trees at Normandy Shores. The tees, greens, fairways, and
bunkers were all rebuilt and reshaped. The lakes were drained,
redesigned and refilled, and a modern irrigation system was installed.
We re-grassed the entire site - fairways,
tees, greens and rough with environmentally friendly Paspalum
and the newly re-envisioned course that we built on the site
is very traditional and looks like its been there a long
Normandy Shores Golf Club co-hosts the
annual South Beach International Amateur Tournament every year,
and the superintendent says that he gets the greens stimping
at a lightning fast 11.
Signatures Holes at Normandy Shores
Semi-private but open to the public for
daily fee play, Normandy Shores is a stalwart of the Miamis
golf resort district. When asked about signature holes, its loyal
members will most often tell you that holes #6, #9 and #17 are
their collective favorites.
Perceived as being an
easy hole because of its short length, the 369-yard, par four,
6th hole is one of the favorites with the members at Normandy
Shores Golf Club.
Hole #6, 369 yards, par 4
Perceived as being an easy hole because of its short length,
the 6th hole is one of the favorites with the members at Normandy
Shores Golf Club. Most golfers don't play from the back tees
and, therefore, only have around a hundred yards to the green
for their second shots, making this short par four a real birdie
opportunity for most golfers.
With a couple of pot bunkers guarding the
left side of the fairway off the tee, the smart play is to hit
your tee shot toward a landing area just right of the first bunker.
You will be left with a second shot of about 100 yards into a
slightly elevated and well-contoured green protected by a bunker
on the right. Much like a classic, 19th-century punchbowl design,
the sixth green sits in the surrounds of amphitheater-shaped
But remember, there is water 25 yards past
the green, so be careful not to hit too far or you'll get wet!
The 9th and 18th holes
run side by side back toward the clubhouse and share an expansive
tee box for their back tees.
#9, 450 yards, par 4
Rated the 7th hardest hole, the 9th hole is a strong finishing
hole for the front nine at Normandy Shores. The 9th and 18th
holes run side by side back toward the clubhouse and share an
expansive tee box for their back tees. Both holes do, however,
have their own multiple sets of forward tees and are very much
in accordance with the USGAs Play It Forward
The ninth hole at Normandy Shores is a
long and narrow par 4 that will require your best tee shot. There
is water on the right side of the fairway, just ahead of the
ninth tee, but you must also watch out for the water hazard which
can come into play on the left side of the landing area. And,
oh, be careful not to go right off the tee because much of the
right side of the fairway is bordered by very dense and very
tall pine trees that are difficult to get out of!
A tee shot hit even with the fairway bunkers
will leave a second shot of about 150 yards into an elevated
green that is protected by three greenside bunkers.
The ninth is also one of the hardest greens
to hold on the golf course due to the fact that everything runs
back to front, with a bit of a run-off into a collection area
on the right side of the green.
The 17th is a tough par 3. An
accurate tee shot is required to hit this green that is guarded
by three bunkers and water hazards to the right and behind the
#17, 240 yards, par 3
Framed by towering pines to the left and right, the beautiful
17th hole is everyone's favorite signature hole at Normandy Shores
Golf Club. For most golfers, it is the hardest par three on the
golf course because of the water hazards. There is a small pot
bunker guarding the right front of the green and another pot
bunker guarding the left side of the green. There is also a larger
bunker guarding the right side.
Playing at a very long 240 yards, this
green is very hard to hit from the back tees. Though rarely used,
you will see better golfers going back there to play this hole
from the tips. There is a water hazard in front of the back tee
and there is also water guarding the right front of the green.
And if that isnt enough, there is also water behind the
right side of the green.
Thankfully, the 17th green itself is fairly
large, but it can be tricky to hold with long iron or wood approach
shots. The front half of the green is sloped back to front and
the back half of the green is sloped left to right, making #17
a tough par three even from the forward tees.
The 18th green at Normandy
Shores Golf Club is seen here in the foreground and the 9th green
is in the background.
Hole #18, 529 yards, par 5
Playing at 529 yards from the back tees, #18 is a short par five,
making it a birdie hole, but also an appropriate finishing hole
for the back nine at Normandy Shores Golf Club.
Start this hole by hitting your tee shot
left of the long fairway bunker. A ball hit just left of the
bunker will kick left into the fairway. Anything slightly right
of the bunker will either kick into the sand or into water.
This is very much a risk-reward hole. Longer
hitters may want to challenge the fairway bunker. A tee ball
hit over the bunker will leave less than 200 yards to the green.
Three well-placed shots on this hole will leave you with a good
opportunity to finish your day with a birdie.
Located on a secluded island in Biscayne
Bay, Normandy Shores Golf Club is surrounded by the serene residential
community of Normandy Isle, just off 71st Street, on the northern
end of Miami Beach.
At 6805 yards from the tips and 5082 from
the forward tees, its soothing breezes and tropical wildlife
provide the backdrop for an enjoyable round of golf for the novice
or the pro at the legendary Normandy Shores Golf Club.
- Arthur Hills, 2016
Florida Golf Magazine Winter 2017©
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