It’s easy to see most of the changes brought about by the recent $100 million renovation to PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. For example, there’s a new entrance gate near the front of the resort; the lobby is bright and airy; and six new dining outlets are highlighted by restaurants led by celebrity chefs Jeremy Ford and Lindsay Autry.
However, longtime members and guests might only notice one of the resort’s more subtle changes. Still, it is among the more telling of the ownership’s commitment to excellence and attention to detail. That is, the small, circular drive that led to the bag drop and Member’s Club has been replaced by a wider, tear-dropped shape drive that alleviates the congestion and creates a better experience.
The new drive is the first impression of the renovated Member’s Club, which like the entire resort, now gives off a more welcoming vibe.
“The building itself was always okay, but now it’s stunning,’’ said Jane Broderick, the resort’s director of golf operations and club manager. “We would elevate ourselves to a high level a long time ago if we had something like this.’’
While the Club’s footprint hasn’t changed, much of the interior has. For example, the carpet on the stairway leading to the restaurant, bar, and locker rooms is now marble. The men’s locker room features a “secret’’ poker room hidden behind a bookcase; the women’s locker room is now equipped with a sauna.
In addition, the Club has a new activity room for card players, along with multiple private meeting areas. The Club’s restaurant and bar each have custom fixtures and overlook the Champion, PGA National’s Jack Nickaus-designed course, and longtime site of the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic.
The staging area that sets up a play for the resort’s five on-site courses is now less-cluttered, making it easier to get from the Club to the resort’s main building.
The results, Broderick said, have been a “nice pop’’ in increased membership and interest. PGA National Resort currently has approximately 1,800 members, including approximately 768 golf members.
“We’ve had a really good year,’’ Broderick said. “The National Golf Foundation report for March said the play was down in Palm Beach County, but our rounds are up.
“We’re still tweaking things based on member feedback. This is definitely the same caliber of work that’s been done in the resort. That’s the nice thing. There is a sense throughout the resort of ‘understated elegance.’’’