PGA Tour headquarters blurs the line between indoor and outdoor space

The pandemic has caused many organizations to drastically rethink their office space, which has often led to redesigns intended to persuade people come back to work in person.

No such overhaul was needed for the PGA Tour. Even though its new headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida was designed before the pandemic hit in March 2020, the structure seems tailor-made for the post-pandemic office space model.

The 187,000 square foot building is surrounded by wetlands and sits on a platform above a lake, giving the impression that the structure is floating on water. Two design elements recall the verandas of antebellum Southern homes: wide porches topped with an overhanging roof and white columns supporting the roof.

Wraparound windows fill the interior with natural light. Balconies invite employees out for conversations while providing protection from direct sunlight.

When the PGA Tour headquarters opened in 2021, much of the corporate world was struggling to modernize the offices for the new normal and make them more attractive. In one such effort, the owner of Chicago’s Aon Center spent $6.5 million to add households in its outer place.

The PGA Tour clearly didn’t need to rethink its plans, said David Rifkind, director of the University of Florida’s school of architecture.

“A building like this seems like a real pleasure to work with,” said Rifkind, who was not involved in the design. “It seems to engender a feeling of well-being, and there is a real effort to create spaces outside.”

PGA Tour employees may need the peace of mind that their new office building provides, given the massive changes sweeping through professional golf.

Earlier this year, a rival professional circuit for male golfers called LIV Golf held its first tournament in England. Backed by billions of dollars from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, LIV persuaded many star players to join their tour while some critics said joining the tour was not appropriate, citing regular human rights violations. man by the Saudi government.

PGA Tour headquarters staff were spread across 17 buildings in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida before their new office opened in 2021. (Carlos Monsalve/CoStar)

Major championship winners such as Bryson DeChambeau, Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson have joined LIV, lured by the promise of higher earnings and easier schedules compared to the PGA Tour. Mickelson is also a plaintiff in an antitrust lawsuit filed Aug. 3 against the PGA Tour in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The PGA Tour has denied the antitrust charges.

The PGA Tour took none of that. Its commissioner, Jay Monahan, said any player who joins LIV will be banned from the PGA Tour for life. On August 24, the PGA Tour increased the size of its prize checks.

Meanwhile, the PGA Tour calendar of events continues. Its flagship event, the Tour Championship in Atlanta, took place last weekend with an $18 million bounty for winner Rory McIlroy.

The PGA Tour is a separate organization from the PGA of America, which opened its new headquarters this month in Frisco, Texas. The PGA Tour, founded in 1929, organizes competitive golf tournaments for professional players. The PGA of America, founded in 1916, is an organization for individual golf professionals that holds some of its own tournaments, such as the annual PGA Championship. Both are non-profit organizations.

The PGA Tour has become a global sports league, and the size and job responsibilities of its workforce reflect that fact, said company spokeswoman Kirsten Sabia. A team of 800 employees works around the clock at the new PGA Tour headquarters, including managing television broadcasts in North America, Europe and Asia.

“Yes, we are a sports league, but we are also an entertainment company,” Sabia said. “We have fans all over the world.”

Prior to the opening of the new Ponte Vedra building, PGA Tour headquarters staff were spread across 17 different buildings in suburban Jacksonville.

Architecture firm Foster + Partners in London surveyed PGA Tour employees in 2016 about what they wanted in a new office and what they considered most important.

“There were two main points” that employees identified, Sabia said. “They wanted a sense of community and they wanted everyone to be together in one building instead of scattered.”

The PGA Tour home office sits on a platform above a lake, making the building appear to be floating on water. (Carlos Monsalve/CoStar)

In the new building, “I walk through it every day and see people I don’t know,” Sabia said. “It’s because before they were in a building a mile from me.”

The organization has an unofficial remote work policy, allowing employees to work from home if necessary, but encouraging them to come into the office. PGA Tour executives also wanted the new building to emphasize the link between golf and the outdoors, a principle that led to the enormous amount of outdoor space in the new building.

“We probably only had four picnic tables before” in Sabia’s old building. “Now people eat out regularly,” she said.

Visitors are immediately introduced with the large outdoor space. A porte-cochere occupies the central exterior space, separating the two halves of the building. The overhanging roof and large windows should help the PGA Tour save on energy costs.

“This canopy protects the windows and prevents direct sunlight from entering the offices,” said Rifkind, a professor at the University of Florida.

And if PGA Tour employees start feeling the urge to hit balls, there are a few opportunities available to them. The building has a full-throttle golf simulator, though there are no on-site practice greens like there are at the new PGA of America headquarters in Texas.

Then there is the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass, a hole that is one of golf’s most recognizable and challenging holes where the green is mostly surrounded by water. The 17th start is located a few steps from the head office and all employees are members of the club. The course, in fact, is visible from certain balconies of the building.

Jamie Kennedy, PGA Tour’s senior director of championship management marketing, said that sometimes can be a little too tempting.

“Being so close to the golf course and having the ability to play a few holes after work makes this a pretty cool ‘office,'” Kennedy said.

The headquarters of the PGA Tour is located adjacent to TPC Sawgrass, the golf course that hosts the annual Players Championship tournament. (Carlos Monsalve/CoStar)


Name of Building: PGA Tour Global Home
Building size: 187,000 square feet
Owner: PGA Tour
Building location: 5450 Palm Valley Road, Pontre Vedra Beach, Florida
Full appointments: February 2021
Developer: RocaPoint Partners
General contractor: Clark Construction Group
building architect: Foster + Partners (in collaboration with Wakefield Beasley & Associates)
Archive Architect: Nelson around the world
Landscape architect: Prose

CoStar photographers capture images of distinctive buildings every day, each with its own story. Snapshots are an occasional feature featuring one of them.