Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club Unveils Renovations

The Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club debuted its latest Golden Bear led renovations on November 11th at a ribbon-cutting event in Boca Raton, Florida. After touring the course with his design team, Nicklaus participated in a member presentation and Q&A delighting the crowd with a ceremonial tee shot. This isn’t the first time the membership has welcomed the lauded course architect to their club- located 40 miles south of his winter home in Royal Palm Beach. The Golden Bear first played the course in 1961 as a 21-year-old amateur, and then returned more than a decade ago to redesign the original Robert Trent Jones Sr. design. Royal Palm reopened in 2003 as a Nicklaus Signature Golf Course.

“I have to applaud the leadership and members at Royal Palm,” said Nicklaus, who was shadowed during the day by a team of CNN International’s Living Golf. “It was perhaps early for them to undergo a renovation and regrassing, but to their credit, they were proactive rather than reactive.”

Nicklaus and his design team continue to add exciting chapters to the club’s 55 year history. In the 1990’s, Royal Palm was losing 30 to 40 golf members annually, mostly due to their unusually high average age of 75 -until they enlisted the design services of Nicklaus Golf Design. In 2001, after announcing their plans to bring Jack and his team in to redesign the RTJ Sr. existing layout, the club attracted 37 new members-and at an initiation fee that was substantially higher. The number of members continued to climb while the renovations were underway, along with the initiation fee, and once the course was complete in 2003, Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club had recruited a three year total of 126 new members. Surrounding real estate subsequently appreciated and Nicklaus called his redesign “rewarding’. It has been called one of the most significant success stories in the private club industry( a shrinking area of golf participation) and a shining example of the impact of the Nicklaus brand and design touch.

The latest changes, which got underway in 2013, include installation of Celebration Bermuda grass on the tees, fairways, rough and the green surrounds, and re-grassing the greens with Tifeagle Bermuda. Nicklaus also reshaped and reconstructed the bunkers, reduced or eliminated some waste bunkers, and modified some of the greens. The recent modifications ensure that the course remains a world class experience for the members no matter their handicap.

“A good golf course just got even better,” Nicklaus said when unveiling his latest renovations at Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club. To learn more visit

Dave Daubert

Lehigh University graduate, Procter & Gamble retired. Previously a Managing Editor and Feature Writer for a regional golf monthly magazine for 11 years. Married to wife Carol and residing in Solivita, an active adult community in Central Florida

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