Not since the invasion to liberate northwest Europe began on June 6, 1944 have folks been so captivated by the beaches of Normandy. After sitting fallow for four years, Miami's Normandy Shores Golf Club reopened on December 23, 2008 following an extensive $9 million makeover by Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest and Associates. Of course, at this Normandy, landing parties come in foursomes, and the only enemies they're fighting are wind, water and sand.
Adjacent to Biscayne Bay, Normandy Shores was originally designed in 1941 by Howard Toomey and William Flynn, who also authored Cherry Hills, Shinnecock Hills and the Homestead's Cascades course. Normandy was never in that league, but subsequent redesigns and budget cuts had devastated the course by the 1980s. Hills/Forrest retained the Flynn routing -- though they flipped the two nines -- and then crafted a neoclassic test that emphasizes subtlety and Old World features rather than relying on an endless series of overwrought hazards. The strategic bunkering and contouring on the 325-yard, risk/reward, par-4 12th is a perfect example of a hole that's playable, yet vexing, for all.