Regal Redesign at The Rookery

    By Carling Nolan

    The award-winning Rookery Golf Course in Naples has just finished it $4 million renovation. I had a chance to see the course first hand last week, and it was luxurious! 

    Rookery Golf Course had some fascinating renovations that you don’t normally think of when you hear about a golf course design.

    Architects Peter Jacobson and Jim Hardy began redesigning the course in late April, and they definitely had their work cut out for them.

    First of all, the golf course was completely stripped of all its Bermuda grass. It was replaced by the new and exciting new breed called Paspalum. This type of grass has great durability and almost makes your ball sit up when it’s on the tight fairways. It also does not go dormant, so it will stay green all year long.

    The course also went from 85 bunkers down to 44. The interesting part is that the amount of sand square footage stayed the same. Instead of having multiple bunkers, they brought them together to form magnificently large sand traps. Jacobson and Hardy felt this will help golfers to get fair lies in the sand with less worry about getting trapped in the lip. I second that decision!

    Finally, the holes were redesigned to give a fair but challenging layout. They are masters of the dog-leg at The Rookery, and you will find yourself wanting to cut the corner every chance you get. But with enormous lakes and strong winds, you’re better off aiming for the middle of the fairway and playing it safe.

    I love the layout of The Rookery. The course did not have many trees, but when they did they were placed in strategic spots to make you re-think your shots. The bunkering and lakes make each hole a new and exciting challenge, and the nature was absolutely stunning.

    The word “Rookery” actually means “bird sanctuary,” so you can imagine how much wildlife you can see on the course. I couldn’t walk 10 feet without birds flying by, alligators crawling out of the lakes, and sights of flowers waving in the breeze.  

    While staying in Naples for the week, I stayed at The Marriott Marco Island. With top-of-the-line restaurants, shops, pools, and beach, it was hard to get myself to leave for my teetime. For the perfect vacation this winter, you should seriously consider The Rookery at The Marriott Marco Island.

    If You Go: 

    The Rookery at Marco
    3433 Club Center Blvd
    Naples, FL 34114


    Hit ‘em straight!