breaking news

WATCH VIDEO: Brightline train death of Boynton bicyclist shows gates were down

High-profile golf names want to partner with Boca to build new course

A few big names in the golf industry — including Greg Norman, Jack Nicklaus Design, Robert Trent Jones and Arnold Palmer’s design company — want to partner with Boca Raton’s park district to design a 27-hole course it will buy for $24 million.

The Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District sent out a request seeking architects to transform the dilapidated Ocean Breeze Golf Club in the city’s north end into a world-class golf destination.

Fifteen firms submitted requests to design the 214-acre course. Many of the proposals include plans to build an on-site golf school.

“We have probably the finest group of golf course designers who (have sent proposals for) this project that one can ever anticipate receiving,” said Arthur Koski, director of the beach and park district.

The public golf course will be renovated and re-branded “Boca National Golf Club.”

The Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District, which owns and operates several parks in the city and its suburbs, is under contract to buy the 27-hole course, clubhouse and on-site hotel for $24 million.

The course is primed to become a local golf destination, as the city decided recently to shut down and sell its municipal golf course on Glades Road near Florida’s Turnpike to a home builder for $65 million.

Boca National Golf Club will be one of just two public courses in the city. The other is a smaller 9-hole oceanfront course at Red Reef Park.

Buying and operating a public course also bucks a wider trend of selling golf course land to developers for top dollar. The Fountains Country Club near Lake Worth, the President Country Club in West Palm Beach and Polo Trace near Delray Beach all have sold at least part of their golf course greens to real estate developers the past few years.

But the Boca park district and the city both resolved to keep public golf in Boca Raton, when discussion of selling the municipal golf course was brought up.

The prominence of the firms proposing to partner with the district to design Boca National Golf Club and operate a golf school proves the value of a golf course in Boca Raton, Koski said.

“Almost every one of the proposers has a resume that would elevate this golf facility,” Koski said. “They’ve designed some of the best golf courses in the country.”

Among those proposing to design the course are firms that involve golf legends and experienced course designers, including Price / Fazio II Design Team and Rees Jones, Inc. The district will select an architect in January.

The course won’t be modeled after a particular golf course, Koski said, as the city seeks to create a unique destination.

“We want something that is standalone — an outstanding facility that the residents can enjoy it,” Koski said.

It could cost up to $14 million to re-design and renovate the now-closed course. And the district will likely spend about $500,000 a year to maintain the course.

The 27-hole course and clubhouse will be rebuilt, but the hotel will not. That land will be reserved for public use.

The district may use it to build another public facility, but hasn’t ironed out the details, Koski said.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

In suit, Riviera employee details sexual misconduct of 2 ex-officials

A Riviera Beach Public Works employee has sued the city, her former department head and a former interim city manager, alleging the officials sexually harassed and assaulted her and that supervisors did nothing about it. The advances of former Interim City Manager Danny Jones and former Public Works Director Brynt Johnson led to loss of dignity, severe...
Solar tariffs forecast to lead to job losses, increased costs
Solar tariffs forecast to lead to job losses, increased costs

A leading solar industry trade group decried President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on imported solar modules and panels, saying the move will result in job losses in the U.S. However, a Riviera Beach-based solar panel manufacturer could benefit and experience increased demand. The tariffs set to take effect Feb. 7 and resulting costlier...
Secret Service: Lantana air rules tough, but needed to protect Trump
Secret Service: Lantana air rules tough, but needed to protect Trump

Ever since Donald Trump — even as president-elect in late 2016 — began vacationing in Palm Beach, the U.S. Secret Service has established flight restrictions for those visits that have hampered commerce at Palm Beach International Airport and other area air facilities, and effectively shut down the Lantana airport. In an interview Tuesday...
Florida woman: Burglar lived in home, stole underwear and purse
Florida woman: Burglar lived in home, stole underwear and purse

A Florida woman says a burglar took up residence in her home for several days while she and her husband were away.  Maritza Williams of Orlando told WKMG that her husband arrived home to find the unexpected surprise after he was away for work and she was visiting grandchildren in Michigan.  Her husband found a broken front door, an opened...
Deputies: 2 arrested after 3-month-old child, 51 pounds of heroin, found in SUV
Deputies: 2 arrested after 3-month-old child, 51 pounds of heroin, found in SUV

Deputies in Mississippi arrested two women Monday night on suspicion of drug trafficking after authorities said they found 51 pounds of heroin and a 3-month-old child in an SUV the women were driving. A deputy pulled over a Ford SUV on Interstate 20 in Rankin County on Monday night for an unspecified traffic violation. Authorities said that during...
More Stories