first opened in the early 1970s, and soon became recognized as one of the top public
courses in the United States. For the past several years it has hosted the Royal Caribbean
Invitational, a Senior PGA Tour event. Despite its recognition, the years of intensive
maintenance and traffic had concealed the original tactical and visual beauty of the
During the summer and fall of 1993 Kelly Blake Moran designed
and supervised the renovation of all 18 greens and all greenside bunkers.
The most important aspects
of the work were in regaining lost pin areas and creating new ones during the conversion
of the greens to USGA specifications. The project was finished on budget, and
probably more important the construction was completed on schedule so the greens were
grown-in and ready for the Senior Tour when they arrived in February of 1994.
Often committee members, golfers, and managers are unable to
admit that they need to make a serious investment in the total renovation or restoration
of their course because of the funds required to do it properly, and the fear of changing
something dear to them.
However, there is no doubt
that over time the course deteriorates or becomes outdated in many ways, primarily in the
greens and surrounding bunkers, and the infrastructure like irrigation and drainage.
Sometimes the decline is so gradual it is imperceptible. It seems to just happen that one
day the golf course is not what it used to be. Key Biscayne has been open now for nearly 3
years, the number of rounds compared to the two years previous to the renovation, has
increased, and the amount of time it takes to play a round has remained the same. These
are significant achievements for a highly rated course that survives on green fee play.
The renovation so far has
passed the extraordinary test of hosting a major PGA event while stimulating additional
revenue and public interest. It certainly has risen to a position of higher dignity among
American golf courses. The top picture shows the renovation of hole #7. The bottom picture
shows the condition of the green before renovation.