Robert Cupp To Design the First Course at Verandah


Architect Bob Cupp will design the first 18-hole golf course at Verandah, a 1,456-acre master-planned community being developed by The Bonita Bay Group along the Orange River in northeastern Lee County, Florida.

“We knew that working with Bob Cupp on this site would help us maximize the existing character of the property,” said Kitty Green, general manager of Verandah. “He has repeatedly demonstrated his expertise in designing courses in concert with the natural surroundings, while creating a challenging experience for players of all skill levels.”

Cupp, who designed both 18-hole championship courses at Shadow Wood Country Club in The Brooks, another Florida project by The Bonita Bay Group, is creating what he describes as a “distinct design” that will complement the locale. “This location is very different from most areas in South Florida,” explains Cupp. “I don’t know of another golf course (with) the same look and feel of this one, with the numerous old-growth live oak trees and river frontage.”

Cupp described his approach to the design. “Because of the trees, the land forms of the course will be mostly subtle and will reflect a more traditional design that is normally seen up north,” he said. “Regarding strategy and conditioning, this course will be very similar to those at Shadow Wood and strategically, the length, the diversity of the holes and the dimensions will be similar. However, aesthetically, this course will be completely unique from any other course in the area and will reflect the ‘old Florida’ feel of the property.”

Cupp said oak trees will be used on most of the holes, particularly the 9th and 18th. Additionally, the course will finish amid the main oak hammock, with views of the Orange River throughout, he said.

Cupp, chosen Golf World magazine’s first “Golf Architect of the Year” and designated a best-course designer by Golf Digest, grew up in the Miami-Palm Beach area of Florida and spent 14 years as a senior designer with Jack Nicklaus before forming Cupp Design Inc. in 1984. His courses include Pumpkin Ridge, where Tiger Woods won an unprecedented third U.S. Amateur championship; StarPass in Tucson, AZ, a Tournament Players Course; and Old Waverly, a recent site of the U.S. Women’s Open.

“Once again, Bob Cupp is creating a design that illustrates his philosophy that a golf course should reflect the uniqueness of the site, the community and the members who will be playing it,” said Green. “We are fortunate to have him on the Verandah team.”

Located on property formerly known as the Baucom Ranch, Verandah is bordered by 1.5 miles of the Orange River. The central feature in the community will be the river village, a gathering place of the golf pro shop, restaurant, tennis/fitness area and nature center.

Verandah is being planned as a low-density community, with an average of approximately one residence per acre. The plan incorporates pedestrian walkways along the riverfront and throughout the community. At least 65 percent of the property will be open space with natural preserve areas, parks, wetlands, lakes, 36 holes of golf, and a buffer along the river to maintain the riverfront’s character. Verandah will offer a mix of single-family, villa and coach homes initially ranging in price from $150,000 to $500,000.

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