Breakers to debut refit golf course

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NEW YORK -- The Breakers in Palm Beach is completing a renovation of its 18-hole Ocean Course under the su-pervision of golf course ar-chitect Brian Silva.

Since May, when the course closed, guests have been shuttled to the Breakers West course, 15 miles away.

During an agent reception at the Sports Club/LA in New York, an update on hotel activities was provided by David Burke, the Breakers' vice president of sales and marketing, and Paul Leone, president and chief operating officer.

The $20 million golf-related renovations, they said, follow the addition of a luxury spa and beach club during 1999.

The course may be ready for play by the end of this month.

"This is an incredibly exciting time for this large, great, independent resort that has been under the same family ownership for 104 years," Leone told agents.

Furthermore, agents will share in the hotel's "unprecedented growth in occupancy" and higher rates, he said.

The course renovation will add 18 putting surfaces, 88 new and rebuilt bunkers, a 10,000-square-foot putting green, modern turf grass (from tee to green), new cart paths and 200 additional yards for play (bringing the total to more than 6,200 yards, with par 70).

In addition, mature palm and tropical flowering trees were planted.

New drainage and irrigation systems also will be installed.

Golfers can expect to find the feel of a vintage Donald Ross-designed course, with random bunkering, fairways that weave between sandy hazards, elevated putting surfaces and close-cut "green surrounds" that make possible a variety of recovery shots.

Overall, the renovation will help position the Breakers in a new light among avid golfers, according to the Breakers' officials.

Also bolstering the Breakers' appeal to golfers is the Todd Anderson Golf Academy, which is responsible for instruction at the hotel and at Breakers West.

During the reception, agents were invited to try indoor putting with Anderson looking on.

In other news, the Breakers will reconstruct the bathrooms of 75 of its oceanfront rooms in the coming year.

The property also printed its Extraordinary Elegant Breakaways brochure, listing rack rates for late 2000 and 2001 as well as package plans.

Offerings range from a one-night Bed & Breakfast, from $345, double, to the three-night Indulgence by the Sea, from $2,125, double, which covers room, daily breakfast and various spa treatments.

Higher rates apply before May 21.

For information, call the hotel at (888) BREAKERS or visit the Web site at www.thebreakers.com.

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