The transformation of the Joe Lee-designed course in Hallandale Beach, Fla. will be part of a massive $220 million rebranding of the Diplomat Golf & Tennis Club, which first opened in 1956, into the SLS Resort Residence & Marina Hallandale Beach. The renovated course is scheduled to reopen in the summer of 2019 and the overall project, which will produce 290 hotel rooms, including 50 condo/hotel units, 250 branded apartments and sbe’s Katsuya and S Bar food and beverage concepts, is scheduled for completion in 2022.
CLUB+RESORT BUSINESS / By Rob Thomas
Greg Norman Golf Course Design (GNGCD) will lead the redesign of the famed South Florida resort course on the property in Hallendale Beach, Fla. previously known as the Diplomat Golf & Tennis Club. The property is currently undergoing a massive, $220 million rebrand by sbe and PPG Development that will see it reemerge as the SLS Resort Residence & Marina Hallandale Beach.
The new SLS Resort Residence & Marina Hallandale Beach will mark the 12th sbe resort and 4th SLS branded property in South Florida. Set for completion in 2022, the overall project will result in 290 hotel rooms, including 50 condo/hotel units, 250 branded apartments, and sbe’s Katsuya and S Bar food and beverage concepts. The property will also include sbe’s mixology lounge and a 3-meal restaurant concept.
The golf course project headed by Norman’s company involves the remastering of the Diplomat’s old Joe Lee-designed golf course, along with a new driving range, short-game area and practice putting green. The golf and club operations at the new SLS Resort Residence & Marina Hallandale Beach will be managed by Troon.
GNGCD broke ground in late 2018 for the golf course project. At completion, slated for the summer of 2019, the new resort course will stretch 6,500 yards, surrounded by the tropical native vegetation of South Florida, including coco palms, sabal palms, gumbo limbo, black olive and massive ficus trees lining the corridors.
Greens, tees and bunkers have been designed with a geometric character, to create more defined golf features for better strategy and decision-making visual cues, while integrating into the natural surrounds.
While maintaining existing corridors was an important consideration, the course is being completely reimagined, with many holes playing in reverse from the previous design. The existing 2nd hole, which is the iconic island green in front of the clubhouse, will be repurposed and modified to play as the par-4 finishing 18th hole.
The new design will offer risk-reward opportunities creating strategy and challenge for skilled players, while providing safer avenues to the hole for the novice golfer. Additionally, significant grading and lake expansion will occur to create a no-net-loss of water storage for the entire site.
“It has always been important for me to have a design footprint in my ‘backyard,’ so I am honored to have the opportunity to reimagine an iconic South Florida property,” said Greg Norman. “Ari Pearl and his team at PPG have been wonderful partners and we are thrilled to have the Greg Norman brand alongside the inimitable SLS brand and to provide a world-class golf and resort experience at the intersection of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Aventura.”
Added Ari Pearl, Principal at PPG Development: “I have been a fan of Greg Norman since I was a kid. It is a true privilege to be able to work so closely with Greg and his team to be able to create the best golf experience in South Florida.”