In today’s ever-changing society, traditional country clubs are having to reinvent themselves by offering something for everyone.
From upgraded spa amenities to specialty dining (even a food truck), a new generation of country clubs is on the rise. We’ve rounded up several in the Palm Beaches that are adapting with the times and offering South Floridians new ways to stay and play.
Frenchman’s Reserve, recognized as a Top 100 Platinum South Florida Country Club, has transformed its world-class amenities following the completion of an $18 million renovation. Offering a luxurious yet relaxed private club atmosphere in the heart of Palm Beach Gardens, the Club at Frenchman’s Reserve features a wealth of social opportunities and amenities, all near upscale shopping on Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue and world-class beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. In fall 2018, a newly built tennis complex opened with seven lighted HydroGrid clay tennis courts, a multi-sport court for basketball and pickleball, elevated seating, and a wraparound terrace with a solar-activated awning.
Continuing the community’s emphasis on wellness and a healthy lifestyle, the expanded fitness center quadrupled in size to 12,000 square feet and features state-of-the-art equipment and technology in multiple fitness styles.
The 45,000-square-foot Grande Clubhouse was modernized years prior, earning honors from Golf Inc. Magazine, along with its Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course. Completely renovated in 2016, the golf course remains the ultimate expression of Palmer’s design and playability standards. As part of the $18 million project, world-class dining amenities continued with Parc, a brand-new casual restaurant that opened in 2019.
With more than 200 children under the age of 18 in the community, Frenchman’s Reserve understood the importance of constructing a fully staffed Youth Center and an expanded outdoor playground facility.
With only 341 single-family homes, 56 coach homes, and 50 custom homes, ranging from 2,450 to 11,000 square feet, and priced from $550,000 through $5,000,000, the intimacy of Frenchman’s Reserve sets it apart. It offers something for everyone and is a new kind of club for all ages and seasons.
frenchmansreservecc.com; 3370 Grande Corniche, Palm Beach Gardens
PGA National Resort & Spa
Showcasing five legendary courses for the golf lover, PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens is known as South Florida’s premier golf, vacation, and spa destination. PGA National Resort recently announced it has retained Staples Golf Design to lead a reimagination of the Squire Course. As one of five distinct 18-hole courses, four of which are on property, the Squire Course was originally designed by the renowned duo of Tom and George Fazio and has not had any significant updates since opening.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with the new ownership of PGA National on the Squire Course,” says Andy Staples, president of Staples Golf Design. “I’ve watched tournaments on this property since I was a kid, so it’s a real honor to be working here. We’ll be coming up with innovative solutions that address golf’s future, and that’s exciting. You’re going to want to keep an eye on this project.”
Few golf courses have a pedigree as storied as The Champion, with its vaunted resume including hosting the 1983 Ryder Cup, the 1987 PGA Championship, and two decades of the Senior PGA Championship. Currently, it hosts The Honda Classic, a wildly popular stop on the PGA Tour’s “Florida Swing.” The layout is best known for the “Bear Trap,” a series of three demanding holes many consider the toughest stretch in the game.
after undergoing a comprehensive renovation.
Additionally, PGA National offers the David Leadbetter Golf Academy and Dave Pelz Scoring Game School for individual instruction and group clinics; Every Ball Counts, the world’s first science-based, statistics-driven training system for golf improvement; and state-of-the-art Cool Clubs club fitting.
A distinguishing highlight is the 33,000-square-foot Sports & Racquet Club. The Spa is a 40,000-square-foot oasis of tranquility, while the AAA Four Diamond resort features eight on-site dining options including its acclaimed Ironwood Steak & Seafood.
pgaresort.com; 400 Avenue of the Champions, Palm Beach Gardens
North Palm Beach Country Club
Publicly owned by the Village of North Palm Beach, the North Palm Beach Country Club welcomes all locals. The clubhouse originally opened in 1963 and was the hub of social activity and important life events for generations until it was demolished in 2018. Now an elegant, new, 37,000-square-foot clubhouse has been built and features panoramic views of the golf course from the banquet room, dining area, patio, and bar. A mini-golf putting green as well as fire pits were added to the back patio in addition to a renovated pool and deck described as having “a resort feel.”
The new clubhouse cost approximately $19 million with another $1 million invested in 2019 to plant new grass throughout the golf course and driving range, and to upgrade irrigation and lighting systems. While you don’t have to be a member to enjoy any of the clubhouse amenities, memberships are offered with special rates and privileges for those who prefer them.
There’s something for everyone including a spectacular Jack Nicklaus–designed signature golf course; a golf pro shop along with a driving range, a tennis center with 10 lighted Har-Tru clay courts; an L-shaped 50-meter pool with a kiddie splash park; a multipurpose banquet room; and the wildly popular restaurant and bar Farmer’s Table.Serving fresh and healthy creations for every appetite, Farmer’s Table has nightly entertainment and an express takeout store, as well as theme nights and motivating presentations about healthy lifestyles and food preparation.
village-npb.org; 501 US Highway 1, North Palm Beach
The Club at Ibis
he Club at Ibis is an award-winning West Palm Beach country club community with a legendary reputation. What makes The Ibis experience unique are the incomparable sports programs, the engaging lifestyle, its beautifully manicured setting, and the all-new sports village and clubhouse.
The Club at Ibis continually finds ways to improve its impeccable reputation. In 2015, Ibis completed a $33 million capital improvement project, which included a new sports village (The CORE) and one of the country’s most innovative clubhouses.
A golf course redesign by Jack Nicklaus—one of three Nicklaus family–designed courses at the Club—followed two years later. With membership required with a home purchase, these
improvements fostered not only a dramatic surge in member usage, but an increase in more than 500 membership sales.
Ibis is at it again, with a relentless drive to keep its amenities among the finest in the country. They are currently undertaking a $13.5 million capital improvement project to expand the most popular of their four restaurants, The Pub, as well as to add more card rooms and a new lobby bar/lounge.
Ibis schedules its improvements in phases in order to minimize disruption to member services. “The new wave of club members tends to be higher-income younger professionals or empty nesters who want top-tier amenities with an array of programs and activities to keep them engaged and connected to others,” says Stephen J. LoGiudice, general manager and COO.
Ibis has four restaurants offering varied menus, each with its own distinct decor and feel. Ibis has even added a new Ibis Food Truck for special events during the year and around the holidays, making it the only club in the area to have one.
clubatibis.com; 8225 Ibis Blvd., West Palm Beach