Justin Thomas partners with Jack Nicklaus to build new Panther National course in Florida
Justin Thomas is throwing his hat into the course design ring, as the 14-time PGA Tour winner joins forces with Jack Nicklaus to build Panther National in Palm Beach County, Florida.
The new 18-hole layout will be a Jack Nicklaus Signature course, and it will be the first foray into golf architecture for Thomas, 28. It’s not dissimilar to how Nicklaus got his start: Then 28 years old, Nicklaus first worked as a course designer with Pete Dye in 1968 at Harbour Town, which opened in 1969 on South Carolina’s coast at Sea Pines Resort. Nicklaus has since designed more than 425 courses in 45 countries.
“I grew up drawing golf courses in notebooks in middle school when I probably should have been paying attention in class,” Thomas – a Kentucky native who now lives not far from Panther National in Jupiter, Florida – said Tuesday at an event announcing the plans. “To be able to put that dream into reality at a place that I am able to now call home is pretty special.
This being my first course, being involved, first off who I’m doing it with I think speaks for itself, to where I’m going to be watching and observing and learning a lot. But at the same time … a huge reason why it is as great as it is to work with Jack on my first-ever course is that he has been very vocal that he wants me to share my opinions. He wants me to obviously learn as much as I possibly can, and he doesn’t want me to just sit back and just watch the whole thing and then the final product is everything he’s done.
The new golf facility at the planned residential community of Panther National is slated to include a training facility with a nine-hole, par-3 course, a short-game area and hitting bays supported by technology to improve performance.
Timelines for construction and completion were not included with a release that announced the new private course and community. The developers said Panther National will be built on the last remaining parcel of buildable land in Palm Beach Gardens and will be the first new golf course community in the county in nearly two decades.