Jack Nicklaus had long harbored a desire to bring a first-rate golf club to his adopted home of South Florida, a destination as fine and reflective of his commitment to excellence as Muirfield Village Golf Club, his masterpiece near his Columbus, Ohio hometown. He made the dream a reality in 1999 with the creation of The Bear's Club and he spared no expense in mind or motion to create another seminal golf experience.
At The Bear's Club, a golf community nestled among 369 immaculate sylvan, sandy acres a mile from the Atlantic, Nicklaus expertly transformed the native environment with his exacting standards of design. The result is an 18-hole championship course...a gently rolling 7,164-yard layout that exudes a Lowcountry feel as it moves through a property rich in native vegetation, old oaks, pines, cypress trees and wetlands areas.
Aesthetically and strategically placed throughout are 102 bunkers, many of them steeply flashed. They were inspired by the bunkers at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia, which Jack visited in 1998 when he was captain of the United States Presidents Cup team. A collection of medium-to-large undulating greens demand precision; they are rounded off at the edges and feed into hollows and chipping areas.
The club possesses a memorable collection of par-5 holes, anchored by the gorgeous home hole, which features an inspiring greensite. The long pear-shaped green is tucked into the elbow of a lake, leaving a generous bailout area to the right. Just beyond the water that guards the green sits the impressive stone facade of the grand Tuscan-style clubhouse.