Emerald Dunes emerges from Fazio facelift

Emerald Dunes
Courtesy of Emerald Dunes
Two decades after he designed Emerald Dunes, celebrated architect Tom Fazio returned for a makeover.

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Monday, September 10, 2012 | 1:06 a.m.

The Emerald Dunes Club in West Palm Beach, Fla., has completed a $15 million renovation led by original course designer Tom Fazio. Back in 2011, club officials asked Fazio to return and polish up the facility, which Fazio had built back in 1990 and was listed as one of the best 100 courses in the United States and rated in the top five of all Florida clubs.

As part of Fazio’s makeover, Emerald Dunes added new championship tees and expanded or redesigned many other tees. Also, fairways were widened on several holes, some new greens were created and others reshaped, bunkers were added to increase their number to more than 100, and two holes were reconfigured. In addition, a state-of-the-art irrigation system was installed.

"Tom Fazio took the gem of his original design and perfected it," said Emerald Dunes Executive Vice President Ken Green. "While we've added length for scratch golfers, the course remains playable for all skill levels."

The practice facilities at Emerald Dunes are as vast as any. The eight-acre, 310-yard, double-sided driving range includes more than 28,000 square feet of tee surface and provides five target greens, each framed with shallow sand bunkers, four mini chipping target greens and a USGA regulation putting green.

The separate Tom Fazio Short Game Area includes a par-3 19th hole that plays from 85 to 135 yards. Two dedicated target greens, a chipping green and an additional putting green are all built to USGA specifications with identical turf conditions as the course, and six practice bunkers and a grass pot bunker complete the practice amenities available for members.

Appriximately 2,000 mature palms and other trees were planted around the course's perimeter to screen any visible outside architecture and to serve as privacy buffers. In addition, the old cart paths were replaced with crushed shell paths and pavers, and terraces with a Tuscan influence and a verandah overlooking the Tom Fazio Short Game Area and 18th green add to atmosphere.

"Emerald Dunes has always been one of my favorite courses and I was pleased to be invited back to make some strategic enhancements to one of the most highly regarded clubs in Florida," said Fazio. "Emerald Dunes is truly a gem and with the recent improvements it's an even more dazzling jewel. To take something that originally was so well received and make it substantially superior is a special achievement."

For more information on Emerald Dunes, visit, www.emeralddunesclub.com.