Boca West is a private country club community in Boca Raton, FL and is regarded by many leading magazines and industry experts as the Nation’s #1 Private Residential Country Club. Boca West encompasses over 1,400 acres of lush tropical landscaping and offers magnificent residences, including townhomes, patio homes, villas, garden apartments and single-family homes. Over 6,000 residents, including almost 3,500 families in 55 communities call Boca West home.
Golf and tennis are at the top of the list when it comes to things to do at Boca West. Architects Pete Dye, Arnold Palmer and Jim Fazio have used their architectural talents to create four distinctly different golf courses. All feature strategically placed bunkers and rolling fairways that wind their way through the natural Florida landscape. The putting greens will test your touch and can all be enjoyed by golfers of all levels and abilities. Each course has several sets of tees, so you can always choose the yardage that best fits your game.
The 6thhole on Palmer I is one most players won’t soon forget; especially the ladies; this is their #1 handicapped hole. The fairway is a thin strip of land flanked by lakes on either side and the occasional sand trap, just to make things interesting. From the Blue tees, the hole plays 494 yards and because of the design, getting on in two is a daunting task. It will take three well played, well struck shots to reach the green in regulation. If possible, play your layup shot to the right side of the fairway. With a left pin placement, odds are that you will have to carry the water on your approach shot. A rear pin placement will bring the back two bunkers into play and make for a tough up and down. Several subtle undulations in the green can leave you shaking your head. A fun hole nonetheless!
Fazio II (Jim, not Tom) seems to be the member’s favorite course. It opened in 2005 and has since been regrassed with Paspalum fairways and roughs leading to well-undulated Tif Eagle greens. What makes this course a favorite are the waterfalls that greet players on four separate holes. The par 3, 12thhole plays 160 yards from the Blue tees and requires a straight, well struck tee shot in order to avoid the four bunkers that surround the green. The good news is that the front of the green is open, allowing you to bump and run it on if you come up short off the tee. Hit a bad shot on this hole and just gaze over at the waterfall. It seems to take all of your troubles away. Fazio II is as beautiful as it is fun to play.
Palmer III is not without its share of holes that stay in your memory bank for a while; some are fond, some not so much! Number 17 is ranked the toughest for men on the inward nine. From the Blue tees, it’s a 376 yard dogleg left. Although the length may say driver to most guys off the tee, 3-wood may be a better choice if you want to hit the same ball a second time. If you try and fly the trees to cut the dogleg, you run a strong chance of finding either a nasty little pot bunker or more likely the coquina shelled waste bunkers and trees. See that fairway bunker on the right side? Well, just beyond that is water, the same water that comes into play when you try to cut the dogleg. Push it the least bit right and you’ll be digging into your bag for another ball. If you can somehow navigate that small area between that fairway bunker and the palm trees on the left, you’ll have a mid to long iron into a green with an open front, bunkers on either side and in back. The green itself slopes gently back to front and is a lot longer than it is wide. Par is a great score here.
Dye IV is textbook Pete Dye. Lots of pot bunkers scattered throughout the layout and some Dye-abolical green complexes. The 9thhole brings all of these nuances into play. The hole plays 385 yards from the Blue tees. Waste bunkers and palm trees frame the left side and water frames the right side of the fairway, with a couple of fairway bunkers and palm trees thrown in for good measure. If a straight, 240 yard drive is in your tee shot repertoire, now is a good time to use it. That will leave about 150 yards and the best angle into a well-protected green. Anything short and left may find the little pot bunker and make par that much tougher. If I were naming holes, the par 3, 12thwould be called Sand Island. Much like its more famous sister hole about 300 mile up I-95, it has a nasty little pot bunker in front of the green. From the Blue tees, it’s 160 yards to the island green, surrounded with sand instead of water. You may not lose your ball if you miss the green, but unless you’ve got a good sand game, par or better could be as tough.
The Boca West golf experience also boasts some impressive practice facilities. There’s a full-length driving range with 50 tee boxes, a four-acre short game area, and an extensive practice putting green. Inside the opulent clubhouse is a golf pro shop and individual locker rooms for men and women. Director of Golf J.R. Friend has assembled a great staff of teaching professionals with years of experience working with golfers of every level, from novices to seasoned players looking to fine tune their game. The club also hosts helpful clinics and a variety of golf tournaments throughout the year.
The tennis facilities at Boca West are incredible. With 30 Har-Tru Hydro tennis courts, a U.S. Open Cushion Court, eight Pickleball courts and a professionally staffed tennis center, you’ll have no problem finding a game. The picturesque courts are surrounded by lush vegetation and gorgeous views of the golf courses. Looking to sharpen your game? USPTA-certified professionals are on staff at Boca West and can help with private and group lessons, regardless of age and skill level. If added competition is what you’re after, Boca West offers eight men’s leagues and five women’s leagues at various levels and organizes dozens of singles and doubles events as well as social tennis events throughout the season. Each league competes with various clubs throughout Palm Beach County.
After your round of golf or a few sets of tennis, loosen up with a trip to The Spa at Boca West. They will not only help you feel your best, they’ll help you look your best as well. Their complete salon will pamper and beautify you from head to toe, with a multitude of services including custom hair design, coloring, waxing, manicures and pedicures, cosmetic consultations and bridal services.
Within the confines of the Sports Center is Boca West’s sprawling free-form pool, complete with cascading waterfalls, bridges and lush tropical foliage. There’s a children’s area, an adult lap section, outdoor spas and a serene quiet area for contemplation. Member activities range from water aerobics to lap swimming to relaxing poolside. Swimming lessons are available from certified instructors and water basketball and volleyball games have been known to pop up at any given time. If you’re looking for a quiet place to read or relax, the adults-only pool deck offers the soothing sounds of a waterfall.
Boca West features a multi-purpose fitness center and aerobics studio. Here you’ll find plenty of exercise and cardiovascular equipment, classes and personal trainers.
When it comes to dining, Boca West has something for everyone…including the kids! Boca West has several restaurants as well as a vivacious pool bar and live music and dancing at The Living Room. Perhaps the busiest restaurant during the day is Grand Central. It’s a casual sports bar with a full circular bar where patrons can get a quick bite to eat. The menu features burgers, Nathan Hot Dogs, grilled items and salads. There are also a number of “stations” that offer deli sandwiches, omelets and pizza. I chose The Deli and believe me, it was more than enough! Within the dining area you’ll find 42 TV’s and a large video wall for viewing just about every sport.
Mr. D’s is Boca West’s “19th Hole” and offers fast paced lunch dining with items such as burgers, salads and a “scoop station.” Mr. D’s is also a popular happy hour haunt for many residents.
MyPi is a casual, a la carte cafe which overlooks the Aquatics complex. MyPi features a pizza bar, burgers, salads, ribs, and other favorites. The “On the Rocks” patio is another popular nighttime venue.
Boca West has a couple of fine dining opportunities. Prime Cut is a fine dining restaurant that specializes in USDA Prime Steak and fresh seafood. Prime is located in the Golf & Activities Center and offers members a sophisticated and elevated dining experience. They feature an elaborate cocktail menu and extensive wine list. In fact, the Wine Cellar houses over 1,800 bottles from around the world.
Panache offers classic fine dining with a country club feel. Don’t be surprised if the chef has put together a lavish buffet incorporating his wood burning grill. Panache is also home to the club’s monthly dinner dances and wine nights.
Splash Bar is a pool side snack bar and features sandwiches, salads, burgers, snacks, smoothies and soft service frozen yogurt.
Golf and tennis are two sports you can play into your 80s and beyond. Just ask Frederick “Red” DeMyer, one of the members at Boca West that makes this community so special. Red is 90 years old and has only been playing golf for about 10 years. Originally from New Jersey, he moved to Boca West over 30 years, primarily for the tennis. When that game got a little too much for his aging bones to handle, he decided to give golf a try and has been humbled by the game ever since. Having recently been paralyzed from the neck down for 6 months from a blood disorder, Red is finally back playing his latest passion. Red gets around great for his age, even parred one of the holes I played with him. He had nothing but good things to say about the community, staff and other members at Boca West and would highly recommend it as one of the best active adult communities in Florida.
Boca West is a mandatory membership community, meaning when you buy a home, membership – either golf or social – is required. That isn’t really a problem because once you’re inside the security gates, there are very few reasons to leave! For more information or to schedule a visit, give them a call at (561) 488-6990 or visit their website, www.bocawestcc.org.