In addition to a modernization of the design, bunkering, greens complexes and strategy, a complete re-grassing of the Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. course is planned. A renovation to the practice facility and a new learning center building are also in the works. Work is expected to begin in April and be completed by December.
The membership of BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. recently approved a multi-million dollar-renovation project involving the club’s East Course and golf practice facility. Additionally, the members approved the construction of a new state-of-the-art Learning Center.
Nicklaus Design, also headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, was selected by the club last year for a strategic design partnership to lead the East Course and practice facility re-imagination. C+RB reported on the partnership at the time.
Construction work is expected to begin on the East Course and practice facility in April 2022 and be completed by December 2022. Course renovations will include modernization of the design, bunkering, greens complexes and strategy, a complete re-grassing of the course and improvements of playing options for members and tournament tests alike.
Renovation work will also add length and strategy to the current 7,189-yard, par 72 layout. The Nicklaus Design team, led by Senior Designers Chris Cochran and Chad Goetz, worked with Project Manager Ron Despain from Troon in creating a master plan for the project.
“As the club continues to evaluate each area of our offering, we felt there was an immediate need and wonderful opportunity to enhance our historic course and truly provide a best-in-class practice experience and facilities for our members,” said General Manager and Chief Operating Officer Ryan Walls. “To bring in the Nicklaus team and ultimately tie that name to the course where Mr. Nicklaus had such success was important to us. The link to our past tying smartly to the modern future is a key element to our strategic plan. We are excited to work with Chris Cochran, Chad Goetz and the Nicklaus Design team to bring the design to life.”
The BallenIsles practice facilities will see a total re-imagination of the teeing grounds, target areas and practice greens. The new design will incorporate modern-day practice areas and targets to enable members to practice the wide variety of golf shots demanded on BallenIsles’ three championship courses. Short game practice areas, a pitch-and-putt course and a putting course will also be added to the practice facility. The new 3,500 sq. ft. Learning Center will include state-of-the-art technology and will serve as an entry into golf, welcoming first-time players and professionals alike.
“To have an opportunity to be involved in such a well-respected golf club steeped in tradition in the Palm Beach market, where the namesake of our company has such great history, it is truly exciting and an honor,” said Paul Stringer, President, Nicklaus Design. “We not only want to truly enhance the golf course playing characteristics for the club’s members to enjoy day to day, but to make sure the world’s top players would be challenged as Mr. Nicklaus was in his 71’ PGA victory. Our goal is to work in concert with the club to ensure the end product is best-in-class and a reflection of the high standards established at BallenIsles.”
Originally built in 1964 and designed by Joe Lee and Dick Wilson, the East Course was last enhanced in 2008 under the direction of Keith Foster and Kevin Hargrave and included the planting of 2,600 additional trees as well as 20,000 new plants and shrubs. Greens were renovated to meet USGA standards and bunkers were reshaped to be more visible from the tee box areas.
The renovation of the East Course follows the construction of a $1.3 million pickleball complex in 2021; the 2020 redesign of BallenIsles’ South Course by famed golf course architect Rees Jones; and a 2018 $35 million dollar clubhouse renovation and expansion project.