January 20, 2021

Palm Beach Gardens planning new par-3 golf course, related facilities on 115 acres within Avenir

PALM BEACH GARDENS — Long known as a hub for golf, the city plans to enhance that reputation with another new course on a portion of land within the massive Avenir development.


At its meeting last week, the city council agreed to issue a $14 million public improvement bond to finance the construction of an 18-hole, par-3 course and related facilities on 115 acres.


The land, which Avenir gave to the city for recreational purposes, is northwest of the city’s 18-hole public golf course, Sandhill Crane Golf Club on western Northlake Boulevard.


With population in that area expected to grow as new communities within Avenir and nearby developments are completed, the timing seemed right to build a new course and amenities, said Casey Mitchell, the city’s director of golf.


“With the future growth in western Palm Beach Gardens and the success of the current championship golf course, we are happy to be able to provide the residents a unique atmosphere, including a par-3 course that can be as fun or as challenging as golfers would like to make it,” she said.


The course will join Palm Beach Par 3 and Jupiter Dunes Golf Club as the other public, 18-hole, par-3 courses in Palm Beach County. It will measure about 3,100 yards.


It will feature holes ranging in length from 60 to 220 yards, Mitchell said. Elevation changes and design variations — such as different tee boxes and lengths, water features and bunkers — also can be incorporated into the course.


The course will also include a 19th “shootout hole” for tournaments, fundraisers, junior golf instruction and tie-breaking play.


Golf legend Jack Nicklaus, whose Palm Beach Gardens-based company Nicklaus Design has been tapped to design an 18-hole Signature Golf Course as part of the private Panther National Golf Club at Avenir, helped develop the conceptual plans for the new par-3 course.


Designers for the golf course and its related facilities have not been selected. A bidding process is expected soon, the city said.


Additional facilities include a 10,000-square-foot clubhouse with a golf shop, cart storage, offices and food and beverage service; a two-story, lighted driving range with 45 grass tee stations; a 35,000-square-foot putting course with 18 natural grass holes; an instructional building; and a short-game area.


Construction could begin later this year, the city said, and is anticipated to be complete by late 2022.


“Par-3 courses are extremely popular, so I can’t see this project as being anything but extremely successful,” council member Mark Marciano said.

The entire project is expected to cost $14 million, the city said, and will be financed through non-ad valorem revenue bonds.


The city will repay the bonds with impact fees from western development and revenue generated from the project.


At last week’s council meeting, City Manager Ron Ferris addressed concerns from some residents about public money being used to build the course, or whether the course is being built on private land.


Neither is true, Ferris said.


“This is a public golf course on public land,” he said. “There’s no private involvement whatsoever. We will operate the new golf course just like the existing golf course.”

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