Jack Nicklaus & Justin Thomas’ Panther National Golf opens

Jack Nicklaus and Justin Thomas have joined forces to design Panther National, a new golf club now open in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

The championship course Nicklaus has designed with help from Thomas has double fairways, deep bunkers and huge sandy waste areas. The layout also has elevation changes not usually seen in a South Florida course.

The golf course is joined by a 66,000-square-foot clubhouse, state-of-the-art training facilities, a 9-hole par-3 practice course and a 30,000-square-foot putting course named The Cub.

Panther National Clubhouse

The golf complex is attached to Panther National’s new luxury real estate development of 218 residences ranging from $3 million to $50 million, set on 400 acres about 15 miles from the coast surrounded by Panther National Wildlife Refuge.

As a whole, the project which opened in late November, is Palm Beach County’s first new private golf community in 20 years.

About the new golf club, Nicklaus said: “The vision was clear, to create a golf experience unlike any other found in South Florida. Every opportunity to design a golf course brings challenges, but in the case of Panther National, uniqueness triumphs. You won’t find any golf courses remotely close to it in South Florida.”

Nicklaus took on Thomas as part of his design team to advise on some aspects of the layout. For Thomas, it was his first foray into golf architecture. “I would love to design at some point, but I’m a long way away from doing that solo,” the two-time PGA Championship winner said.

Panther opening

“It immediately looks different,” Thomas said about the course which has steep elevation changes up to 48 feet. “It’s open, it has a links-like look and feel. You have zero elevation change anywhere in South Florida.”

The course has a meandering routing with the front side set on the western half of the property, while the back nine sits to the east. The nines only cross over at the 9th and 18th holes. The course tops out at a whopping 7,864 yards from the back tees, but there are six other sets of tees reducing the course length down to 4,500 yards from the front set.

Despite the length, it plays shorter due to the elevated tees and fast-running fairways. The 654-yard par-5 11th, for example, may sound daunting but there’s a huge drop down to the fairway where the ball will run and run. Also, there’s plenty of water but relatively few forced carries. There’s also four par 3s each representing a very different challenge.

The huge diversity in length allows the course to be a major tournament-like test for better players while being a very playable and enjoyable round of golf for all levels of golfer.


The short course, ‘Panther9’, is a par-3 nine-hole test with holes that range from 90 to 150 yards. It features approach shots players will encounter on the championship course. It’s centrepiece is an island green that replicates the famous 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass.

Panther National Golf Club is the centrepiece of an ultra-luxury gated community within a new, 4,752-acre mixed-use development called Avenir on the western edges of Palm Beach Gardens. Its 218 modern homes will start at $3 million.

The whole complex is very high-end. Members can enjoy the Lifestyle Club which has a spa, swimming pool and cabanas, a wide range of exclusive amenities and services, Michelin-inspired dining, a wine cellar and the Panther Lounge.

While along with the modern Panther Clubhouse, there’s tennis courts, indoor and outdoor pickleball and more than 10 miles of tranquil nature trails. 

Panther National Pool
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Related articles