Review: PGA National (The Staple)

Reading Time: 5 minutes


  • Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
  • Public — Daily Fee
  • Andy Staples (2021)

PGA National annually hosts the PGA TOUR on their Champions course, but in recent years, the resort has diversified their portfolio. That includes the creation of The Staple, a nine hole short course from two holes of the old Squire golf course. Andy Staples, hot off the success of both Meadowbrook and Olympia Fields renovation, converted these holes into a figure eight par 3 routing. The shortest hole is 48 yards; the longest 130.

The golf course begins with a 119 yard one-shot hole to a rather devious green complex. Off the jump, it is fairly obvious this is a rather experimental golf course for a resort as bland as PGA National.

The details around the greens are pretty fun, which can provide some unique options for recovery shots or creativity. There were multiple people using this place as a warm up/practice place of sorts, hitting shots all over the place and testing themselves. There is a cool vibe here.

The 2nd hole is 87 yards on the card, but like The Match also from Staples, you could tee it up wherever you wanted. Some nice rolls in this green, although more subdued than the opener.

The third is a funky green shape, and at 90 yards, can produce a wide variety of touchy shots. Boomerang? Lions Mouth-esque? Whatever, it is fun… although do not go long; there is water!

A better look at the surrounds:

This is also the first crossover in the routing, where we now go from the east side of the property to the west.

The 4th is a delicate ~78 yard par 3.

Sure, they are just par 3’s and realistically, you shouldn’t miss too many greens. But, the green surrounds are the star of the show here. For mini tour players who hangout in West Palm, junior golfers, or passionate golfers looking to get better, coming out here, trying out shots, having fun, maybe even a game of HORSE or up and downs with friends would be a blast. As evident below, the green surrounds are extremely varied and enjoyable.

The 5th is the second shortest hole on property at 61 yards, but features a cool green that funnels in. I remember reading some of the press releases and early articles, and they all highlighted the ability to tee off from bunkers. The 5th has a bunker directly left of the tee, which allows that possibility.

As mentioned, the green funnels, especially to the pin we had.

After the 5th, we turn south and head home with the short 48 yard par 3, 6th. This is a sneaky tough shot. The green is slightly perched above the surroundings, and with my L bounce 4 degree wedge off bermuda, I had the heebie jeebies on this one.

The green is absolutely SICK. I want to play that back right flag.

The 7th is back to full swings at 120 yards with some cool rock wall detailing, although not in play.

I have said it too many times—a good thing, no doubt—but the greens are pretty wicked. The 7th is no exception.

After the 7th, we meet again at the 3rd tee and head back to the west side of the property to finish. At the 8th, a 69 yard wedge shot awaits, with a green that is long and hides partly behind a mound on the left.

Exhibit A, looking back:

In the spirit of Riviera, the finishing hole on “The Staple” ends with a bunker in the middle of the green. 130 yards, this is the longest hole, and I would also say the most conceivable chance to hit one in the water.

A closer look at the bunker in the middle. We had a pretty cool pin to explore:

I find par 3 courses extremely difficult to evaluate, especially against their competitors. How does it stack up against Bandon Preserve or The Nest? It is extremely difficult to say because they are all fun and a welcomed addition to any resort. While I do not think “The Staple” is a must-play or someone should make the journey to PGA National in itself to see it, I would love to have something like this at my disposal. Alongside the Champions and The Match, it rounds out a fairly good three-course lineup at a resort I would not have even considered before Staples split the Squire into two separate courses.

This is a blast with some excellent greens, and if I lived in Palm Beach Gardens, I would be here practising funky shots all the time. I am a fan!


  • Andrew Harvie

    Based in Toronto, but having lived in Alberta, British Columbia, Montana, Arizona, and Texas, I have been lucky enough to see over 400 golf courses and counting!

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