2021 was an unusual year for some golfers in the city of Boca Raton in Palm Beach County, Florida. After 41 years of providing inexpensive public play the Boca Raton Municipal Golf Course, which had an 18 hole regular length and 9-hole executive courses, was sold to GL Homes for new home development. Luckily for the city and the golfers who paid a daily-fee rate to play, the Boca Raton Resort & Club, which also owned the private Boca Raton Country Club a few miles away from the Resort, decided to gift the city the Country Club and just keep their on-site amenities. The city found itself at the right place at the right time. GL paid in excess of $65 million for a facility that had seen better days.
The contribution by the current owners of the Resort, MSD Partners & Northview Hotel Group, to the city was enormous. The almost 200-acre parcel included a private championship 18 hole golf course, tennis courts, an aquatic center and a very nice clubhouse that was the centerpiece of the community for years. The city plans to invest some of the money from the Muni sale, approximately $7 million, to make necessary improvements to the new club that has opened as the Boca Raton Golf & Racquet Club just recently.
“It’s a beautiful facility in which we’re going to invest millions of dollars to make it a top-notch course that is playable for our residents,” said Mayor Scott Singer. “Boca Raton Golf & Racquet Club is much more centered in geographic location than the municipal course was and is a gift in more senses than one from the owners of the Boca Raton Resort.”
In 1985, Joe Lee was contracted to design an 18 hole, par 72 golf course for a residential development Boca Raton Golf & Tennis Country Club which had four sets of tees with the tips reaching back to nearly 6800 yards. After the Resort bought the Country Club they hired Golf architect Kipp Schulties to redo the facility in 1999. The layout offers beautiful views, well-maintained fairways, quick greens and challenging play for all skill levels. The course was set up to be a challenging test for the single-digit players but a fair play for the higher handicap golfers with a slope/rating of 131/71.8. At one time it was home to a David Pelz ShortGame School with a separate pitching/chipping area, good size practice putting surface and a full-length driving range.
Give it a try the next time you are in the Palm Beach area.