New Player-Designed Course Debuts at The Club At Twineagles

The Aerie at The Club at TwinEagles, a new golf course designed by hall-of-famer Gary Player, opened in February with the "Black Knight" playing the ceremonial first round with executives of the project's developer, the Bonita Bay Group. Player presented a Callaway driver from his first shot to David Lucas, chairman of Bonita Bay Group, which is developing the 1,115-acre Twin Eagles community in North Naples.

The Aerie - The Club at TwinEagles' second golf course - compliments Talon, the original course co-designed by Jack Nicklaus and Jack Nicklaus II. This is not only another dot on the map for Gary Player Design in North America, but it distinguishes The Club at TwinEagles as the only private club in Florida with championship courses by both Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus.

Player, who was joined on the course by David Lucas and Brian Lucas, Bonita Bay Group's regional vice president, provided hole-by-hole playing strategy to a gallery of more than 100 members. He often praised the condition of the new greens and the maintenance in general. "I'm amazed the greens can be in this good of shape so early," he said. "They're absolutely perfect."

The Aerie features a low-profile design, large greens and wide fairways. "If you miss these fairways it's your fault," Player joked to members. "Don't give me the blame."

The course also has a proliferation of waste bunkers and four sets of tees, allowing it to be played from 5,210 to 7,428 yards. Salt-tolerant Paspalum turf is used on the fairways and Champions bent on the greens. Player described the course as one that will make players think through their strategy. "I love that you have to think. You can not just charge at the hole," he said. "My other objective was to make people who live on the golf course come out and enjoy themselves."

Player also praised Bonita Bay Group's commitment to the environment. "One must have respect for the wetlands and for nature," he said. "This company has done this and done this well. Look at the people who live on this golf course . . . they might as well be living on their own ranch. This is paradise."

Gary Player made several trips to TwinEagles during construction of The Aerie, including attending a members' reception nearly a year ago, when he provided a progress report and a sneak peek at the design. The new course is woven into the 650-acre Grand Arbors, the newest residential phase of TwinEagles.

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