WEST PALM BEACH — Might it occur?
After years through which weeds have blanketed West Palm Beach‘s closed golf course, PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh says he anticipates its reconstruction will begin this summer season, teeing up a fall 2022 reopening.
At a group assembly Feb. 17, Waugh got here armed with renderings of the proposed 18-hole course with a 9-hole par 3 course nestled subsequent to it, together with a clubhouse, follow areas and professional store, and a constructing for South Florida PGA workplaces and youth packages.
A parade of proposers and concrete designers have introduced artists’ renderings earlier than. However Waugh has assembled items lacking from previous shows:
- $22 million pledged from donors, towards a purpose of endowing the ability with $35 million to cowl building, upkeep and contingencies resembling emergency storm repairs.
- A nonprofit idea that doesn’t require sacrificing any of the 196-acre web site to actual property growth, a long-held want of neighborhood residents who hope to protect fairway expanses the place the likes of Arnold Palmer as soon as performed.
- An enthusiastic mayor and fee.
The imaginative and prescient, Waugh instructed residents gathered just about and in individual for his presentation, is to create “greatest in school” packages to serve youth, households, the disabled, novices and achieved golfers. PGA of America would construct “an inspirational and inclusive golf hub” to broaden the game in West Palm Seaside, constructing “among the finest public golf experiences within the nation,” he mentioned.
“What’s happening is fairly extraordinary.”
The challenge is overseen by West Palm Golf Neighborhood Belief, a nonprofit consisting of group and enterprise leaders and golf trade consultants. They’ll restore the course, which dates to 1947, and function it underneath the identify West Palm Golf Park, Waugh mentioned.
Plans name for:
- A “community-minded” public course, with a give attention to junior golfers, world-class teaching and inexpensive costs for residents. Costs for non-West Palm Seaside residents might be larger.
- A brand new Gil Hanse-designed 18-hole course with tees starting from 4,700 yards to greater than 7,200 yards, par 71.
- A Gil Hanse-designed 9-hole brief course, with holes starting from 60 to 110 yards, lighted for night play.
- A 380-yard, two-sided driving vary that additionally might be lighted; a follow space for chipping; and two placing greens, certainly one of them a placing course to be used by the broader group.
- Membership and putter becoming.
- World-class instruction for novices to elite golfers.
The clubhouse might be modest however inviting, designed for low-maintenance prices and to be environmentally pleasant, he mentioned. It is going to have room for as much as 150 individuals indoors and extra house on its patios for banquets, weddings or different occasions.
Thus far, $22 million has been dedicated by donors, he mentioned. The founding group is ready to contribute about $3 million and is in search of like-minded Palm Seaside County golfers to affix them, he mentioned.
The full of $35 million required to construct and maintain the challenge will embrace no cash from metropolis coffers. It is going to come from particular person donors and a restricted variety of company companions, Waugh mentioned.
The doorway might be off Georgia Avenue, now not off Forest Hill Boulevard and Parker Avenue. Assistant Metropolis Administrator Armando Fana mentioned that Georgia Avenue may require landscaping or different beautification however what type that may take and who would pay has not been determined.
“Efforts to revive the municipal course have been stop-and-start lately, however I’m very assured we now have a beautiful path ahead,” mentioned Metropolis Commissioner Christina Lambert, who hosted final week’s info session.
Mayor Keith James mentioned town was lucky to have a associate in Waugh and PGA and added he was particularly pleased the challenge wouldn’t price town something.
“We needed to get it carried out proper,” the mayor mentioned. “I’m so happy with the route through which this challenge is shifting.”
James introduced in March 2020 that he had reached a handshake settlement with Waugh to provide PGA of America 15 months to search out donors to finance the proposal. Throughout these 15 months, James mentioned, West Palm Seaside would work up an association to lease the 196-acre property to PGA.
Despite millions spent to restore the course in 2009, the favored South Finish facility quickly fell into disrepair. Town razed the clubhouse in 2015 and in 2018 chained the property closed to spare upkeep prices whereas soliciting proposals to deliver it again to life.