Justin Thomas, Jack Nicklaus collaborating on new golf-course design in South Florida
Justin Thomas — major champion, 14-time PGA Tour winner and seventh-ranked player in the world — now has another title to add to his resumé: golf course architect.
At a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., Thomas was on hand to mark the start of construction on his first design project, a collaboration with Jack Nicklaus called Panther National. (Nicklaus Design and GOLF.com are affiliates of 8AM Golf.)
The course, which is slated to open in late 2023, will anchor an upscale lifestyle community of the same name that will feature a range of sustainable initiatives, including infrastructure and amenities powered by energy from Tesla. It is being described as the first golf development in Palm Beach County in nearly 20 years.
I started drawing golf holes on napkins as a kid, so this is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Thomas said in a statement. “To begin my golf course design endeavors with someone like Jack Nicklaus is a dream come true.
The entire venture is the brainchild of Swiss developer Dominik Senn, a former ski racer who went on to become one of his country’s most successful sports marketers. Among other athletes, Senn managed Roger Federer early in the tennis great’s career.
Thomas is 28, roughly the same age Nicklaus was when Pete Dye asked him for his design input on The Golf Club, in Columbus, Ohio. In subsequent years, the two men collaborated on multiple projects before Nicklaus embarked on his own design career.