Courtesy The Cabot Collection
Cabot, the golf development company founded by Canadian businessman Ben Cowan-Dewar and Bandon Dunes developer Mike Keiser, has unveiled its most unorthodox design yet: a 21-hole course featuring 14 par-3s, six par-4s, and one par-5.
Set to open toward the end of the year at Cabot Citrus Farms in Central West Florida, roughly midway between Tampa and Orlando, The 21, as the course is called, will combine a 10-hole executive layout with an 11-hole par-3 design. The executive course, The Ten, will wrap around the par-3 course, The Ace, creating a unique venue for golfers of all abilities.
Word of the unconventional design represents the latest news from Cabot. Since its birth, in 2011, with Cabot Links, in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Cabot has become one of the foremost names in the industry, with a fast-expanding global portfolio. The company is currently designing and building more than 110 holes in four countries. In addition to Citrus Farms, the next 18 months will see new Cabot courses open in St. Lucia, Western Canada and the Scottish Highlands.
Citrus Farms sits on a 1,200-acre site that was formerly home to World Woods Golf Club, a 45-hole destination that long ranked among the finest public facilities in Florida. After acquiring World Woods early last year, Cabot renamed the property and set about reimagining its two 18-hole courses, Pine Barrens and Rolling Oaks. Those courses, which have been renamed Cabot Barrens and Cabot Oaks, are being redesigned by Kyle Franz.
The 21 will be an entirely new course, designed by Mike Nuzzo, a former aerospace engineer who turned to architecture at the age of 31 and is best known in golf circles for his work at Wolf Point Ranch, an acclaimed private club in Texas.
In sketching his concept for The 21, Nuzzo drew on elements from his favorite holes — Royal Troon’s postage-stamp green; the sweeping 5th fairway at Merion; the green complex on the 9th hole at Cypress Point. But he says he mostly let the terrain dictate the routing and design. The course will be designed to play firm and fast, a departure from the typical Florida design.
Variety is Nuzzo’s biggest goal. To that end, holes will range in length from 85 yards to 560 yards and allow for multiple angles of attack. The Ten will have four sets of tees, maxing out at 3,000 yards. The Ace will be illuminated at night. Golfers will have the option of playing just The Ten or The Ace, or to combine them into a 21-hole, par-71 loop that tips out at 4,160 yards.
GOLF Magazine’s architecture editor Ran Morrissett will work as an advisor to both Franz and Nuzzo.