The Park, West Palm Beach’s Newest Course
Formerly The West Palm Beach (Fl) Country Club, a well-regarded Dick Wilson design, The Park will feature an 18-hole golf course designed by Gil Hanse, Jim Wagner, and Park co-founder Dirk Ziff with an “Open Golf” philosophy for all ages and experience levels. The product of an unprecedented public/private partnership, The Park was built entirely with charitable donations from private individuals on sandy rolling city land. At the heart of The Park’s mission and culture is “The Path,” a community initiative dedicated to serving the next generation of leaders, on and off the course.
In addition, there will be a lighted 9-hole par 3 course; an 18-hole putting course; a two-acre ‘kids only’ golf area; and a lighted two-sided driving range with a state-of-the-art practice facility featuring Toptracer technology and designed pro-bono by PGA Tour Coach Darren May, who is General Manager at XXIII, Michael Jordan’s private golf club. The facility will also be the new home of the South Florida PGA Section.
“Golf is such an integral part of our community, but sadly there is a real shortage of public golf facilities in the area,” says Seth Waugh, CEO of the PGA of America and co-founder of The Park. “It has been so gratifying to work side by side with such an amazing group of like-minded donors, local volunteers, and public officials led by West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James. Bringing this incredible project from idea to reality in just over three short years has been a dream come true.”
The mission of The Park will include dedicated youth programs and community outreach such as affordable golf instruction, classrooms for mentoring, and after-school tutoring, along with the ‘kids-only’ golf area.
“Golf is not only the greatest game in the world but also a remarkable vehicle for impacting and improving lives. From the beginning, the goal has been to make The Park into the happiest, most welcoming, most complete, and most inclusive place in all golf,” Seth added. “We love the idea of ‘Open Golf.’ We wanted to call it The Park because this is 190 acres owned by the residents, and like a park, it should be open to all. We have the abiding view that if we can help make the game look more like the world, then maybe the world will adopt some of the game’s core values. I speak for everyone involved when I say we cannot wait to open the doors to the community and the world and watch the joy and impact on young and old lives.”
“When ideas for this site were being considered, I never imagined an outcome like this was even possible,” said Mayor James. “This is a tremendous gift to the City of West Palm Beach. People will be astounded when they see the outstanding facility that has been built for the city and its residents, especially the next generation.
The process has been smooth, and the progress has been amazing. My staff and I are proud to have helped bring this project to reality for current and future generations.”
Gil Hanse is one of the most admired golf architects working today. “When Jim Wagner and I understood that private citizens, including many of our friends, were giving money to build a new course and facility for the public to enjoy within the city limits of West Palm Beach, we decided right away to donate our normal design fee and jump in with both feet,” said Hanse. The site is incredible–almost 200 acres of rolling sand and mature trees with 30 feet of elevation change– extremely unusual for South Florida. It’s obvious why it was chosen for a golf course in 1947 when the entire area was undeveloped.”
“Jim, Dirk, and I set out to design and build a new course that is wide, strategic, and above all, fun to play and appropriately challenging for golfers of all abilities,” Gil added. “It was a blast to create, and the reaction to pre-opening play by everyone from PGA Tour players to near-beginners makes us believe that we achieved our goal. Jim and I are honored and thrilled to be co-founders of this wonderful facility.”
A few steps from the course, ‘The House’ will be a contemporary American restaurant opening in the fall, led by Director of Food & Beverage Lee Morris. A chef-inspired menu will feature innovative coastal dishes that highlight local fish, hand-cut steaks, and a variety of plates for an eclectic culinary journey.
Near the par-three course, ‘The Cabana’ will be an al-fresco retreat and halfway house, serving well-priced beverages and on-the-go food. Setting a new vibe for golf retail, ‘The Shop’ will have fashionable athleisure wear, sleek golf shoes with brands such as True and Adidas, and swag like branded bucket hats.
‘The Studio’ will be a haven for golfers looking to improve their game. Guests can book private instruction with PGA Certified Coaches, utilize a Foresight golf simulator, Trackman launch monitor, Swing Catalyst analysis software, or BodiTrack pressure sensing golf mat, and more. Plus, find the perfect equipment with ‘The Park’s full-service club fitting featuring top-of-the-line brands.
Green fees will be affordable for West Palm Beach residents with a City Resident Golf Card. Florida resident rates will be in line with high-end public course fees, and rates for out-of-state golfers will be comparable to destination public golf costs.
The Path will emphasize walking and will have a full caddie yard with experienced, professional caddies and a
junior caddie program to support the youth and local school teams.
West Palm Beach should be commended for saving and adapting the facility to serve the entire community.
For more information, please visit theparkwestpalm.com.
Photo courtesy of The Park.