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Banyan Golf Club

Banyan Golf Club

A South Florida Sensation

By Mike May


At the Banyan Golf Club (www.banyangolfclub.com) -- a private, par-72 layout in suburban West Palm Beach, Florida -- the setting for this Joe Lee design might best be described as 'Mother Nature and Mankind Existing in Perfect Harmony.'

As you enter Banyan's premises, which are located on the western outskirts of West Palm Beach, its entrance is marked by a small wooden sign that simply says Banyan Golf Club. The sign is roughly the same size as the signs outside two other well-known private golf clubs in the American South -- Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia and Seminole Golf Club in nearby Juno Beach, Florida.

Once you pass through Banyan's front gate, you will follow a winding road to the clubhouse that lets you know that you are entering a very well-maintained and manicured paradise for golfers. You will quickly discover that the attention to detail at Banyan is second to none. It's also not a bad place to call home if you are a squirrel, rabbit, heron, eagle, osprey, flamingo, bass, or a frog. At Banyan, the shrubs and bushes are in full bloom, the grass is an attractive hue of green, the fairways are meticulously maintained, the trees are trimmed, the bunkers are filled with pure white sand, the greens look perfect (and they always are), and the lakes look like tropical fishing destinations.

If first impressions are important, then the Banyan Golf Club (1393 Lyons Road, West Palm Beach, Florida; 561-793-0177) passes the eye test with flying colors. It's a wonderfully designed and maintained golf course that rivals any course in the world. It's a pleasure and a joy to play golf at Banyan - on any day of the year at any time of the day. All credit should be given to Banyan's superintendent and his staff for their daily attention to detail. A sign of their quality control is how crisp and clean the cups are cut on the greens....as well as the condition of the sand bunkers, which are always smooth and raked.

"We are very fortunate to have such a great club," notes David Eby, Banyan's director of golf. "Deron Zendt, our golf course superintendent, and his golf maintenance staff do a terrific job in maintaining the golf course. The unique characteristic of this club is we have a terrific membership and board of directors that are committed to making Banyan the best it can be. We are also blessed to have a course free from homes. The whole feel of Banyan is that it's a very calming and relaxing course to play. It's a very fair and challenging course without being tricked up or a very difficult torture test. I would best describe our course as "Our little slice of golfing paradise."

The Banyan experience starts with the driving range which has balls waiting for you at every single 'stall.' There's also a first-class chipping and putting green which allows you to work on your short game which is a necessity as you make final preparations to play Banyan's rather large, undulating, and perfectly maintained greens. Escaping Banyan without a three putt is a worthy achievement, but highly unlikely.

As you approach Banyan's first tee, there are five tees to choose from - starting with the green tees (5,277 yards) and extending as far back as the black tees (7,107 yards) - so finding your comfort zone at Banyan should not be difficult. If in doubt about selecting the right tee for you at Banyan, play it forward, as golf legend and nearby resident Jack Nicklaus suggests.

Both the front and the back nine at Banyan start with 500+ yard par fives and conclude with 400+ yard par fours. If you can finish and end both nine-hole experiences with a par, then you will do well on Banyan's other 14 holes. Three of the most exciting tee shots to hit at Banyan are at the par three sixth, the par four 11th, and the par three 13th. At the sixth, pay attention to the pin position before you select your club. When the pin is back right, a high power fade (for right handers) is necessary to give yourself a chance for a deuce. If in doubt, take another club as your tee shot at the sixth is often hit into the wind. At the 11th, you must make a decision on how much of the lake you want to cut off with your tee shot on this 90-degree right-to-left dogleg. Since this hole is less than 400 yards long, with the exception of the back tee, it's always best to take a more conservative line of flight with your tee shot. At the 13th, this is a wonderful downhill par three where it's fun to watch the ball flight from tee to green, especially on a well-struck tee shot. The raised tee gives you a vantage point which will allow you to see your ball drop in the cup, if you are fortunate to record an ace.

So, if you ever get a chance to play the Banyan Golf Club on your next trip to south Florida, take it. It will be your chance to cast your vote on whether or not you think that Banyan is a place where 'Mother Nature and Mankind Are Existing in Perfect Harmony.'


Revised: 09/20/2016 - Article Viewed 29,244 Times - View Course Profile


About: Mike May


Mike May Mike May is a Wellington, Florida-based freelance golf and sportswriter, who is also a 25+ year public relations and communications executive in the sporting goods industry. He is also a veteran high school soccer official, an experienced high school basketball coach, an avid athlete, a part-time personal trainer, and a passionate golfer who is forever in pursuit of Old Man Par. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America.



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