Edgar Reed Helps Inaugurate The Legendary Normandy Shores Golf Club
Edgar Reed helps inaugurate the Normandy Isles Golf Course in Miami, Florida. The golf course opened for play on January 23, when Maryland visitor Edgar Reed had the honor of being the first player to tee off that morning and ended up shooting a 97. The golf course was officially dedicated on December 18, 1941.
Normandy Shores Golf Club is located on the northern end of Miami Beach in Miami-Dade County. In 1923, two mangrove-covered islands in Biscayne Bay were being developed by Henri Levy and his associates. In honor of Levy’s French heritage, it was renamed the Isle of Normandy and the streets were named after French towns and provinces.
The developers originally planned to create one large island with a golf course in the center, however, they ended up building two separate islands. Workers starting dredging and filling to create the South Island, now called Normandy Isles. Unsuccessful in building a golf course, the developers eventually sold the North Island, which would be later be named Normandy Shores, to the City of Miami Beach.
The City soon made plans to build a municipal golf course and began to dredge and fill to create the man-made Normandy Isles. In 1936, the City began working with William S. Flynn of the golf course architectural firm Toomey and Flynn. He planned to make this new course one of the sportiest municipal layouts in the country. Flynn made several visits to the site and after his inspection in December 1940 he stated “The laying out of the Normandy Isle course offered a different problem from any that I had undertaken before.” Flynn added, “On most of the jobs you are given a topographic map of the section and then it is up to the architect to make the holes as sporty as possible.” Normandy was just the opposite as it was drawn out first on paper and then the land was pumped in to fill the requirements.
Construction of the golf course took longer than expected due to the difficulties encountered growing grass on the spoil that had been pumped off the bottom of Biscayne Bay because of its heavy salt content.
The golf course opened for play on January 23, when Maryland visitor Edgar Reed had the honor of being the first player to tee off that morning and ended up shooting a 97. The golf course was officially dedicated on December 18, 1941.
The golf course underwent major changes in 1966, when the grade was raised several feet and 14 artificial lakes were added to address the flooding issues. The site of the old driving range became the new 18th hole and the former 18th became the new and enlarged driving range. Miami Beach Mayor Elliot Roosevelt (son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt) hit the first ball on the reopening of the golf course.
In 2008, the City of Miami Beach spent over $9 million to renovate the golf course. Golf course architect Arthur Hills was hired to redesign the aging course and bring it back to its former state of glory.
To learn more about the history of the course and its hometown, see a selection of historic and current images of the course, and learn about what the course is like today, visit the Florida Historic Golf Trail: https://floridahistoricgolftrail.com/courses/normandy-shores-golf-club/