Calusa’s developer, Gary Chensoff, a Chicago venture capitalist, survived a rare form of cancer despite long odds, and his recovery strongly influenced how Calusa Pines was designed and built. Chensoff decided to gamble, instructing Hurdzan-Fry to design the most unique course in south Florida despite a dead flat site. They responded by piling up fill from ponds to form ridge lines up to 58 feet, then planted them with mature oaks, pines and sabal palms. Calusa Pines sports perhaps the firmest, fastest Bermuda fairways and greens in Florida, rivaled only by the turf at Streamsong. Recent removal of overgrown vegetation between holes has returned beautiful long-range views to the course and made it more playable.
100 Greatest: Ranked since 2007. Highest ranking: No. 71, 2007-'08. 2021-'22: No. 74.
Best in State: Ranked third, 2011-'22. Ranked inside the top 5, 2007-'10. Ranked inside the top 10, 2005. Ranked inside the top 15, 2003.