WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 16, 2019) – Banyan Cay Resort and Golf was one of 11 courses honored in the seventh annual American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA) Excellence Recognition Program, each of which were cited for their work in addressing unique design challenges.  

According to the ASGCA, the Design Excellence Recognition Program highlights the innovation and problem-solving skills required of today’s golf course design — from new layouts to renovations, to updated practice facilities. The nominations are reviewed by a panel of golf industry leaders including the Club Managers Association of America and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

“This is an impressive group of golf facilities, and I congratulate them and the architects that worked with on these projects,” ASGCA President Jeff Blume said in an official statement. “Each year, the Design Excellence Recognition Program illustrates the art and science of golf course architecture that leads to facilities better-serving their communities and golfers. I have so much respect for what is shown in these projects.”

“Mr. Nicklaus and his team at Nicklaus Design delivered for our development and the finished product exceeded all of my expectations for our golf facility,” said Domenic Gatto, founder of Banyan Cay Dev, LLC. “Working closely with Jack and Chris was a treat and truly a remarkable experience. We are proud to be Jack’s 300th design.”

The recognition celebrates the work of many individuals — first and foremost being Jack Nicklaus — but also Senior Nicklaus Design Associate and ASGCA member, Chris Cochran. Further, it highlights the effort of the project manager, John Sanford, a past president and fellow ASGCA member who has worked with Nicklaus Design on several projects over recent years.

In its writeup, the ASGCA outlined the remarkable transformation work that took place at Banyan Cay, as the team moved more than 300,000 yards of previously unusable material on property to the golf course. The transformation saw a reduction of a former 36-hole private club into a successful 18-hole resort course, now with a world-class package of an improved practice facility, hotel and residences.

“The 100-acre development was full of highly organic soils not suitable for building and development,” noted the ASGCA. “This unsuitable soil was used to fill and build the practice range thus saving significant expense. The final quantity of poor soil was utilized to raise and provide better definition on the practice range.”

The Nicklaus Companies team couldn’t be prouder of the finished product at Banyan Cay.

“Banyan Cay is a shining example for many courses around the United States of how to effectively and successfully turn around a troubled club and make it vibrant and profitable,” explained Nicklaus Companies CEO, John Reese.  

“Jack and Chris did a remarkable job converting this average property into a stellar course that can challenge the top Tour player as well as provide a truly enjoyable experience for the regular member or resort guest.  And for Domenic, an accomplished golfer himself turned developer, the course is the centerpiece to market his real estate, memberships and resort as well as helping to revitalize the area. If U.S. golf course developments are looking for a turn-around success story, Banyan Cay is it.”


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