Tiburon – Greg Norman’s 36 Hole Naples, Florida Masterpiece
Southwest Florida is one of the country’s premier golf and resort destinations and Tiburon is one of the finest in the area.
Tiburon is a WCI Community development that features a Ritz Carlton Resort as well as luxurious family homes on some of the finest manicured grounds you will ever see. While the 295 room Ritz and the phenomenal 27,000 square foot Mediterranean inspired clubhouse are impressive to say the least, the anchor here is the two championship Norman golf courses.
Tiburon is home to the annual Franklin Templeton Shark Shootout. Every December an elite group of only 24 PGA Tour players compete for over $2 million in prize money. Both the Gold and Black courses are challenging to say the least. The tournament hosting Gold Course measures over 7,200 yards with a rating and slope of 74.7 and 137. The Black course is certainly no slouch and just over 7,000 yards and with a 74.2 rating and a mind blowing slope of 147.
Both courses are somewhat typical of golf in southern Florida. Elevation changes are at a bare minimum while water, sand and waste areas are ever present hazards. The geography is similar to many of its neighboring layouts like Jack Nicklaus’ new championship layout at Old Corkscrew or the Raptor Bay Golf Club located at the Hyatt Coconut Point resort. What is not similar is the incredible beauty of the community. From the flower lined lanes, soaring palms and all the way to the impressive circular drive at the clubhouse you know no expense has been spared. I felt like a visiting pro being led to an amazing sanctuary of golf and relaxation.
What Norman brought to Tiburon’s courses was a natural routing through and around an assortment of marshes, forestd, lakes and an ever changing assortment of wildlife. Other unique features are to be found throughout the 36 hole layout. Bunkers may have sod walls and waste areas are made from crushed coquina shells. The rough is generally not very rough as it has been replaced greenside with tightly mown areas like we see at Augusta National. This makes for very tricky short game play with plenty of options for running the ball on the ground if needed.
Ritz Carlton Resort guests have the use of the nearby Ritz Naples beach property as well. For those who have never been to the Naples area, it has some of the nicest sand beaches, best restaurants and enough outdoor activities to satisfy everyone. Golfers and non-golfers alike have endless choices for fun. From fishing, snorkeling and paddling the ocean to spa days, beach running and shell hunting; this area is an outdoor enthusiast’s mecca.
From Sanibel and Fort Myers to the north to nearby Bonita Springs and then Marco Island to the south, the Naples area of southwest Florida will keep you coming back not only for Tiburon’s golf but for the areas amazing array of vacation possibilities. It truly is a place worth visiting.