Location: Jupiter, Florida
Tiger Woods had long hoped to have his own practice facility to hone his short- and mid-range game. When he purchased property on Jupiter Island in 2006, he decided to make his dream facility a reality. Once he began thinking through the design, he did it with one goal in mind: to replicate tournament-level playing scenarios, similar to those he has faced on courses all over the world. Practice makes perfect, and this facility would allow for targeted and efficient practice every week.
Tiger started with the flat, 3.5-acre area and with the help of the Tiger Woods Design team, he personally directed the layout and shaping of this family-friendly practice facility. The result is 3.5 acres of tournament-conditioned turf and bunkering to recreate the look, feel and playability of various major courses. Further, 360-degree sightlines allow this facility to provide Tiger with the opportunity to fine tune his short- and mid-range golf game.
Using a variety of turf species common on the PGA TOUR, the design of the facility allows almost any conceivable shot 150 yards or less to be recreated and practiced. From several locations, shots of varying distances can be played to any one of the four distinctively different greens. Such flexibility allows different wind and shot-making conditions to be tackled in an efficient, yet entertaining manner from single locations. In addition, the facility has a "wedge range," where shots with distances ranging from 85 to 145 yards can be repeated again and again to improve precise distance control from both fairway and rough heights of cut. Further flexibility in the design allows the four putting greens to be used as a series of different par-3 short courses to simulate practicing for score.
Tiger also designed the four greens complexes and surrounds to provide many different opportunities to work on a variety of putting and recovery shot scenarios. Each green has a unique contouring to create many options to practice long, short, straight and breaking putts. Advanced technologies have also been incorporated into the construction of each green so that green speeds can be micromanaged to present a variety of tournament-like conditions.
The green surrounds have been shaped with subtle contours and strategically placed swales and hillocks to help hone the creativity that is needed for world-class shot-making. Tiger chose different grass types, varied grass lines, and employed multiple heights of cut in the design of these surrounds not only to add variety to the shot-making possibilities but also to further simulate authentic on-course situations. Shorter cuts with firm and fast conditions allow the practice of many different shots, including bump and runs, traditional and non-traditional pitches and putting from off the green; while higher heights of cut with softer conditions allow the practice of more aerial shots from troublesome lies. Tiger designed each greens complex with a different style of bunker, and the bunkers themselves are laden with different types of sand specifically chosen to replicate what might be faced at major tournament venues around the world.
The putting greens each incorporate the latest technologies that will help replicate tournament conditions, improve maintenance and aid in turf management. All greens are equipped to use SubAir, which moves air through the green profile to improve maintenance conditions. One green uses hydronics, which is a tubing system that heats or cools the temperature of the green profile and can be used as an aid to improve ground conditions during extreme weather. These tools will help create the ability to replicate tournament conditions, when necessary.
Furthering Tiger Woods Design's goal to employ environmentally friendly techniques, the Jupiter Island Practice Facility was designed and built to take advantage of a surplus of unused brackish water. This non-potable brackish water is pumped from over 1,200 feet below the surface and filtered through an on-site reverse osmosis plant, which in turn makes the water safe for turf grasses and landscape materials. This feature will save millions of gallons of public water a year.