MGS Experiences: Panther National
News

MGS Experiences: Panther National

Support our Mission. We independently test each product we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.

MGS Experiences: Panther National

Justin Thomas has been interested in golf architecture since he was a little kid mapping out golf holes on napkins.

But he wisely prioritized his playing career over one in course design, which has worked out pretty well so far for two-time major winner and 2017 FedEx Cup champion who boasts more than $55.1 million in career earnings.

It wasn’t until Dominik Senn wanted to reimagine and reinvigorate the Florida golf experience that Thomas was able to live out his childhood dream.

Senn, a former Swiss professional alpine skier, is the founder of 4SENN, 4sports & Entertainment AG and Centaur Golf International AG. He reached out to Jack Nicklaus, who then contacted Thomas. After moving almost two million cubic yards of earth to create a links-style layout in Palm Beach Gardens, Panther National was born.

“We created a course unlike any other in South Florida,” Thomas said. “That was our goal. If you play here, the elevation changes stand out more than anything since most courses here are relatively flat. But it’s also how the green complexes, bunkering and water areas create the flow. There was a lot of dirt moved.

“Panther National is just a different golf experience than anything in this area.”

Opened last November, Panther National is the first new private golf club in Palm Beach County in two decades. Featuring an 18-hole course designed by Nicklaus and Thomas, Panther National can play as long as 7,864 yards from the “JT” tees down to 4,492 yards.

The property also features a challenging nine-hole par-3 short course (“Panther9”) with holes varying from 60 to 200 yards, a nearly one-acre putting course (“The Cub”), a performance training facility with fully air-conditioned bays chock full of technology, a warm-up and practice range with multiple targets with Trinity Zoysia grass, and a short-game area.

“It was a learning experience for me more than anything,” Thomas said. “The further along we got in the design process, the more comfortable I became voicing my opinion. To put my name alongside Jack with how incredible this course turned out is something I am very proud of and a milestone of my golf career.”

Playing Panther National

Barely a month after christening Panther National with an exhibition match between Thomas and pals Rickie Fowler, Xander Schauffele, Morgan Hoffmann, Erik van Rooyen and Lexi Thompson, I arrived on the property … after a minor navigational snafu: my rideshare driver didn’t know where to take me. The course was so new it wasn’t yet geocached on Google Maps but no harm, no foul, as I still found it plenty of time before my tee time. This won’t be an issue in the future because a) Panther National reps said they were working on remedying the issue and b) it’s a private club so members will be more than familiar with navigating the property.

With construction of 200-plus estate homes and more amenities still in progress—more on that later—the route in wasn’t the prettiest but that completely changed once I got onto the course.

In typical Nicklaus fashion, Panther National begins with a “relatively fast, simple start” with a par-4 that plays 402 yards from the black tees. Sandy waste areas and/or water come into play over the next eight holes, highlighted by the par-4 fifth and its island green. Even though it’s one of the larger greens on the course, being surrounded by water still makes it very intimidating and nerve-wracking.

At 143 yards, the par-3 eighth is the shortest on the course but deep bunkers and hollows await wayward tee shots, making it a favorite of Thomas.

“It’s a great little green complex where you can make a 2 with how short it is but can easily make a 4 or end up playing army golf, going back and forth up around that green with how severe it can be,” he said.

On the back nine, holes No. 10 and 12 exemplify Panther National’s uniqueness. The par-4 10th (461 yards) features a big downhill tee shot playing into a valley followed by a significant uphill second shot while the par-4 12th (390 yards) features a downhill tee shot into wind from the highest point of the property.

So, courses in South Florida can have significant elevation changes!

The final holes make for a memorable concluding stretch, starting with the par-3 15th (232 yards) which features a 70-yard-long green surrounded by water. You have to drive over water again on the par-4 16th (306 yards) and avoid getting wet along the right side of the par-5 17th and left side of the par-4 18th.

Building a Community

While the focal point of Panther National is the golf course, the project itself is much larger. Surrounding the course will be 218 homes divided into one-third, one-half and one-acre sites ranging from 4,500 to more than 10,000 square feet and from three to six bedrooms. Protecting the course and estates is the Avenir Conservation Area, a 2,400-acre nature preserve with trails.

Resort amenities at this private golf club community include 24-hour onsite security with two entry gatehouses, concierge, The Lifestyle Club with everything from a fitness center to tennis and pickleball courts as well as The Clubhouse, featuring Michelin-inspired cuisine, locker rooms and a juice bar.

Located near the North Palm Beach County Airport, a convenient option for private travel, and 20 minutes from Palm Beach International, what Panther National lacks in coastal access, it certainly makes up for (and then some) with everything else available to members and residents.

MyGolfSpy Experiences: Final Thoughts

Panther National presents itself as a unique experience in South Florida and, boy, does it deliver. With plenty of sand and water throughout, the course’s significant elevation changes are a welcome reprieve from the typical flatness that defines—and may hinder—golf throughout Florida’s more than 1,450 courses.

While Nicklaus has more than 400 course designs to his name, it’s certainly a memorable debut for Thomas, who learned from the best.

I’m excited to see the Panther National project continue over the years and relish the opportunity to play it again.

For You

For You

Carbonetti Carbonetti
Putters
Apr 11, 2024
Toulon Golf Small Batch Meadow Club Putter
News
Apr 11, 2024
Tackling the 12th at Augusta – Amateur Edition
News
Apr 11, 2024
MyGolfSpy Forum Highlights – March Edition
Michael LoRé

Michael LoRé

Michael LoRé

Michael LoRé is a freelance journalist (and very average golfer) based in New York City. With more than 15 years of experience in the industry, Michael has worked for daily newspapers, pro sports teams/leagues and online media startups. Bylines include: PGATOUR.com, GOLF.com, PGA Tour Essential Guide to Golf, AZ Golf Insider, Forbes SportsMoney, Robb Report, Boardroom, and Travel + Leisure.

Michael LoRé

Michael LoRé

Michael LoRé

Michael LoRé

Michael LoRé

Michael LoRé





    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    No comments yet. Start the discussion!

    Leave A Reply

    required
    required
    required (your email address will not be published)

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Carbonetti Carbonetti
    Putters
    Apr 11, 2024
    Toulon Golf Small Batch Meadow Club Putter
    News
    Apr 11, 2024
    Tackling the 12th at Augusta – Amateur Edition
    News
    Apr 11, 2024
    MyGolfSpy Forum Highlights – March Edition
    ENTER to WIN 3 DOZEN

    Titleist ProV1 Golf Balls

    Titleist ProV1 Golf Balls
    By signing up you agree to receive communications from MyGolfSpy and select partners in accordance with our Privacy Policy You may opt out of email messages/withdraw consent at any time.