Bobby Weed Golf Design was entrusted to design the personal golf course of basketball legend, Michael Jordan. The Grove XXIII sits on a former citrus grove adjacent to Atlantic Ridge State Park in Hobe Sound, Fla. Featuring the Roman numeral “23” which Jordan wore during his NBA Hall of Fame career, The Grove XXIII was named one of the top courses in America almost immediately after its opening.
In an era when nearly every new course bears a naturalistic or faux-historical aesthetic, The Grove XXIII skews clean and contemporary, all short grass and sophistication. With low-profile contours, wispy native broomsedge and laurel oak trees, The Grove XXIII has a distinctive texture to its terrain.
2020-21 golf magazine
Best Courses in Florida, No. 9
Transforming an old, flat, sandy and landlocked agricultural property into a world-class golf course was a monumental undertaking. Bobby Weed, Chris Monti and Joey Graziani teamed together to create the overall land-use plan with all amenities.
Jordan’s primary requirement was that his layout play firm and fast, with unique features that produced dramatic matches.
He also sought the world’s best practice facility with state-of-the art technology.
Jordan became arguably the greatest player in NBA history by how he pushed himself in the practice arena. BWGD was asked to design a practice facility so advanced that it would replicate or exceed the most challenging shots in the game.
The golf course design twists in an ingenious double-helix routing that can be played in four nine + nine combinations, and in shorter three- to six-hole loops. This flexibility stems from the clustering of greens and tees. A unique “crossover” at the 5th and 14th tees allows members to play continuous internal circuits. The two nines encircle the site in opposing rotations, with the ever-visible, elevated clubhouse in the background.
A plethora of “half-par” holes demand intelligent risk taking, especially in the finishing stretch, where players encounter a deliberate sequence of short and long par 3s, 4s and 5s.
Rife with hollows and shallow scoop bunkers, The Grove XXIII’s collection areas celebrate the centripetal force of gravity. Two deep irrigation / drainage canals bordering the property were also creatively repurposed for some of the rarest features in American golf: long, dead-straight hazard lines.
Every square foot of the 20-acre practice area was also methodically developed.
A 400-yard, double-sided driving range offers two distinct corridors and scaled target greens, constructed in 25-yard increments. Teeing grounds, practice greens and target areas were engineered to exact dimensions.
The short-game area features an innovative semi-circle ‘wedge tee,’ where 35 to 90-yard shots can be practiced toward pins cut into the lobes of an amoeba-shaped target green.
A separate, four-acre wing of the practice area is a science and data-driven concept that incorporates the PGA TOUR’s ShotLink data into precisely measuring and calibrating performance metrics.
Bobby Weed Golf Design’s imaginative and awe-inspiring work at The Grove XXIII may very well influence a new era of golf course designs.
“There’s no place in the world I’d rather be than right here.” -Michael Jordan
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