Plans Set for New TPC Track in Florida

The planning and design work is nearly complete for a new Tournament Players Club in Naples, Fla. If all goes well, construction will begin in late August or early September 2004 on the TPC at Treviso Bay, a new golf community that will feature a private Arthur Hills-designed course.

The gated community is a co-development of the PGA Tour and V.K. Development of Wisconsin. Headed by Vincent Kuttenperoor, V.K. Development was founded in Brookfield in 1978. The company has earned a solid reputation for developing residential and mixed-use projects all across southern Wisconsin. V.K. Development will be making its initial foray into the golf business with the TPC at Treviso Bay.

“Believe it or not, this is our first golf course, and it’s going to be the best in the world,” Kuttenperoor promised Wisconsin Golfer magazine. “We believe that if we put our hearts and minds into it, we can exceed anybody that’s out there.”

Treviso Bay will become the 26th TPC facility. The target opening date is in late 2006. Besides the Hills-designed course, the development will include 1,200 residential units consisting of a mix of mid-rise condominiums, carriage homes, detached villas, and single-family and estate homes. Also planned are extensive retail and commercial spaces.

The 1,050-acre site is located five miles south of the upscale residential and retail areas of Old Naples. The property is next to the Rookery Bay Estuarine Preserve. This area is part of the National Estuarine Research Reserve, which encompasses 110,000 acres of coastal lands and waters (not 25,000) and is managed by the State of Florida Department of Environmental Protection in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). As with all Tournament Players Clubs, Treviso Bay will be designed to accommodate a Tour-sanctioned tournament (PGA Tour, Champions Tour or Nationwide Tour), although no event has been designated for the facility.

According to Kuttenperoor, it was Hills who referred V.K. Development to the PGA Tour. “They came to know us through Arthur Hills,” Kuttenperoor said. “We started to talk and then we invited the PGA officials to come and see for themselves what we have done in Wisconsin. They found in us a perfect fit. The PGA made a statement that for 20 years they have been looking for a perfect partner in Naples and they couldn’t find anybody. We thought that was a great compliment to us and who we are.”

Under the agreement, V.K. Development will finance the golf course and clubhouse and develop and sell the residential properties. It will own the course and clubhouse for a period of several years, then turn the property over to the PGA Tour. The PGA Tour will operate the facility, which is a plus for Kuttenperoor.

“That’s one of the advantages of our early involvement with the PGA, because from A to Z, they are involved in it,” Kuttenperoor told Wisconsin Golfer. “The best thing you can do, especially when you haven’t done something before, is listen to the experts. We want to tap into their knowledge and make sure we don’t make even the minutest mistake.”

According to Tim Hawes, vice president for development of the PGA Tour, the TPC at Treviso Bay will be a tournament-ready facility when it opens. “We are developing this club with the expectation that at some point in the future it will host an event. At this point, there is no event specifically identified for play on this particular course.”