Muni in Stuart, Florida, wins environmental award

By Dave Daubert

Formerly known as the Martin County Golf Course, the facility had two 18 hole golf courses that needed some TLC. Ron Garl designed the newly named Sailfish Sands 18-hole course in 2007 that plays to a par 72 featuring 4 sets of tees with a slope/rating of 124/69.3 to accommodate all levels of players.

The back tees play to a yardage of 6,221 and the forward play to 4,979 yards. The layout features tight fairways, small bermudagrass greens, and water on every hole.

It’s been a long time coming but good things are happening at this muni in Stuart. Martin County sought to reduce the second 18 hole footprint, remove golf holes from the adjacent airport’s Runway Protection Zone and reduce costly inputs required to maintain a second 18-hole course.

The solution was a nine-hole reversible course that has 18 unique holes.  ASGCA  designer John Sanford was brought in to rework the original 18-hole course that was built in the 1920s. Native trees and palms were preserved while nuisance vegetation was eradicated.

The new reversible course cut back the overall area reducing maintenance costs by 40 percent. Site drainage was improved by raising low areas and removing plants that were preventing runoff from reaching critical outfall points.

Twenty acres of unirrigated areas were preserved to further reduce the actively maintained area. The American Society of Architects presented Sailfish Sands with the 2021 Environmental Excellence Award.

The Sands 9 Black course plays clockwise while the Sands 9 Gold plays counterclockwise. They measure 3,368 yards and 2,868 yards from the back tees respectively. Each hole has 5 sets of tees, providing an enjoyable experience at every level for the young and old.

Sailfish Sands’ practice range has also been redesigned to double as a modern “Golf Entertainment” venue. The driving will be powered by Toptracer Range that tracks ball speed, accuracy, distance, and trajectory of every shot and lets you play a variety of exciting game modes which can be enjoyed individually or alongside friends–ideal for golfers of all ages and skill levels. More