The Boca Raton, Fla. property will build a new Yacht Club clubhouse that will help it “prepare for the next 50 years,” according to General Manager/COO Robin Blankhorst.
After a special meeting of members on April 30, Dr. Patricia Reese, Commodore of Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club in Boca Raton, Fla., announced that nearly 80% of eligible voting members had approved a $30 million enhancement project that will begin this summer. Highlights of the project will includes a new Yacht Club clubhouse and new docks in the Marina.
The Yacht Club’s original 1959 building no longer meets the needs of the changing membership at Royal Palm, said the club’s General Manager and Chief Operating Officer, Robin Blankhorst. “Preparing for the next 50 years requires a building and campus that will adapt as our membership evolves, and this project gives us just that,” Blankhorst said.
“Club trends are changing; members’ expectations, interests and activities include the whole family,” Blankhorst added. “This project positions us to meet those needs now and in the future.”
The project will also includes an expansive outdoor waterfront entertainment patio, new pool and additional outdoor dining venues. Once complete, further enhancements will be made to the locker room facilities at the Country Club building, built in 2003.
On its website, Royal Palm describes itself as “A Club for a Lifetime,” in reference to its many multi-generational families and long-term members. “It is wonderful to see young families coming into the club,” said Membership Director Michael Shanley. “It is so important that we continue to provide the services and amenities our long-time members enjoy, while creating a new and exciting lifestyle for our next generation of members as well.”
With a historical increase in the size of boats being docked at the club, Royal Palm’s yacht basin will also undergo significant improvements, with a new marina that will include a floating dock system that can accommodate vessels up to 130-feet in length.
Dock Master Bob Garey said he looks forward to greater flexibility as “the floating docks will give us the ability to adapt as our members’ needs change, and make access to their boats easier regardless of tides.”
The approval of the project is part of a series of significant developments at Royal Palm Y&CC in recent months. Earlier in April, the club welcomed its first female Commodore, as Dr. Reese was installed at the annual Change of Watch ceremony.
In May, the club’s golf course will close for a major re-grassing project, and is scheduled to reopen in November. Jack Nicklaus and his Nicklaus Design team visited the Signature Course at Royal Palm during the summer of 2013 to consult on the renovation and review the club’s Greens and Grounds Committee’s grass selections of Tiff Eagle for the greens and Celebration Bermuda for the rest of the course.
With the transition to the new grasses, plus additional work on bunkers and the putting green and landscape enhancements, “We are anxious to see how these changes will improve an already exceptional design by Mr. Nicklaus and his team,” said Head Golf Professional Andy McMechan.
Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club was first developed by Arthur Vining Davis’ Arvida company in 1959 as one of the first planned communities. The golf course was originally designed by Robert Trent Jones and Sam Snead was the club’s first golf professional. Redesigned by Joe Lee in the mid 1980s, the course was reborn in 2003 as a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course.
In addition to golf, the club also has active tennis, croquet, wellness and youth programs.
“It is an exciting time in Royal Palm’s history,” said Commodore Reese, “we are embarking on the future and ‘setting our course’ for the next 50 years.”
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