This Gil Hanse-designed Florida golf club will have 250 members and a $425K initiation

Detroit-based Soave Enterprises is aiming for an autumn completion of the Kinsale Golf Club at Vanderbilt Drive and Wiggins Pass Road in North Naples, Florida, and stretches to Tamiami Trail near Old 41 Road.

The project had received initial backing from Collier County about a half-dozen years ago, pre-pandemic, but work didn’t begin until 2023.

Famed architect Gil Hanse and his partner Jim Wagner are leading the project. They are known for major restoration work on some of the world’s most iconic courses including New York’s Winged Foot Country Club, the host of a half-dozen U.S. Opens, and the Los Angeles Country Club, where the 2023 version of the 128-year-old event was held.

Limited to a membership of 250 paying about $425,000 each in initiation fees, the 18-hole, par-71 course draws its inspiration from spots like the Old Course at the nearly five-century-old St. Andrews in Scotland, which some say features the toughest challenge in the sport, the 17th Road Hole that Soave is trying to replicate.

The plan calls for the course to be open early October through early June, with maintenance on tap for the summer on the 6,555 yards. As a comparison, last year on the PGA Tour, the average course was a shade under 7,300 yards.

“Our biggest challenge with Kinsale is with the size of the property,” Hanse said. “Everyone knows it’s a compact site, but if we didn’t think we could build a really great 18 holes out here, we wouldn’t have done the job. I’m 100% confident in our abilities to move the earth and create interesting golf holes.

“We’ve talked about, ‘How do we create a little bit more separation actually in the field? How do we align features? How will we align landscape materials? (You) are rarely gonna feel like you’re boxed in out here. I think that’ll be one of our greatest accomplishments when we get finished: That we’ve been able to find a little bit more wiggle room on the site in order to create the experience that we believe we can.”

Soave has hired Atlanta’s Steve Archer as director of club operations after its original top choice for the slot was arrested on charges of theft at a previous employer. For the past decade, Archer was the director of golf at Georgia’s Capital City Club and also served on that state’s PGA Board of Directors for four years as its education chair.

Among those joining Archer is Rusty Mercer, the director of agronomy, most recently in that gig at Lakeland’s Streamsong Resort.

(Editor’s note: An earlier version of the story had the initiation fee incorrect.)

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek