One of the best things about living on Florida's east coast is all of the great golf courses available within a short drive of home. One of my favorite is the Greg Norman Signature Golf Course at Jupiter Country Club.
One of Norman's newest designs opened just five years ago and has filled its private membership at a record pace. This past weekend I, along with a few colleagues, headed to Jupiter to see for ourselves just what the attraction is. From the moment we entered the property through the Tuscan-inspired entrance and its hints of the charming Italian village atmosphere beyond, we knew why.
This Toll Brothers jewel, a 480-acre community, is situated conveniently just west of Florida's Turnpike on Indiantown Road in Jupiter. The centerpiece of the community is its 18-hole Greg Norman Signature Golf Course.
The course features five sets of tees to properly challenge and entertain golfers of all abilities. From the tips the course plays to a very stout 7,228 yards. However, short knockers should fear not. The other tees can play as short as 5,289 yards. Some members have taken to using different combinations of tees during their round to get the right fit for their game or their mood. In some cases they do this to make the course play entirely different from day to day.
Known for using the natural topography of the land he's given, Norman moved just the right amount of dirt around for his course here. Incorporating nature preserves and more than a dozen lakes into his design, the course was given an overall native character, with large wetland preserves in the center. It features generous fairways defined by large, sweeping bunkers. Orange coquina shell waste bunkers add definition and character to several holes. Landscaping draws from native plants including Pine Flatwoods, Oaks and Sabal Palms.
"I think Greg Norman had some help from Lawrence of Arabia," quipped one member of our group. "I enjoyed a lot of time in the sand today."
While the bunkers can snatch a wayward shot, they also help to frame each fairway and green. I did find it odd that Norman seemed to save the narrowest fairways for the par-5s. For the most part there is a lot of room off the tee. I was also pleased to find the fairways playing hard and fast. I have never enjoyed the kind of roll on drives that I did here. I likely hit some of my longest drives in years, as did everyone in our group.
The greens are surprisingly excellent considering the odd winter weather that we experienced this year. Kudos to the maintenance staff as these are as good as any I've played in quite some time. They roll true and have just enough undulation in them to make every putt require your full attention.
The course has a solid variety of holes, including a short par-4 to tempt you to roll up your sleeves and drive the green. There is one par-5 that only the longest hitters will reach in two, and another that most everyone has a chance of reaching in two.
The 18-hole course, which is the centerpiece of this community, has exceeding members' expectations. Toll Brothers serves a sophisticated market that knows the difference between a great course and a mediocre one.
Our group also knows the difference and as we walked off the 18th green, the thumbs-up was unanimous.
Other amenities at Jupiter Country Club include a Grande Clubhouse with a main dining room, private dining area, men's and women's locker facilities with card rooms, and golf pro shop. In addition, a separate health and fitness center have a casual outdoor dining area to serve golf, tennis and pool patrons; family swimming pool and adult-only swimming pool; fitness area; separate aerobics room, and men's and women's locker facilities; sports shop with fitness and tennis merchandise; and six lighted clay tennis courts.
At Jupiter Country Club, every home overlooks the golf course or have lake or nature preserve views. Toll Brothers is offering detached single-family luxury homes and attached, two- and three-story townhomes.
To visit the Jupiter Country Club, from Interstate 95 take Exit 87B West to West Indiantown Road. Continue past Florida's Turnpike. The entrance is on the left. Or, take Florida's Turnpike to Exit 116. Turn right onto West Indiantown Road and then a left into the community.
For further information, call 561-743-7900 or visit www.theJupiterCountryClub.com.
James Stammer has been an avid golfer and golf enthusiast for nearly 40 years. He hosts the Thursday Night Golf Show on WSTU 1450-AM. Contact him at email@example.com.