The official Ribbon Cutting
Ceremony on 12/17/08, at BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach
Gardens, Florida reopening its newly-renovated East Course. From
left to right: David Weener, the Immediate Past-President of
BallenIsles Country Club, Andre Varona, Director of Membership
& Sponsorship Sales for NPBC Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Eric
Jablin of the City of Palm Beach Gardens and Fred Corrado, President
of BallenIsles Country Club
Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens celebrated the official grand
reopening of its newly-renovated East Course on Wednesday, December
work for the renovation was done by world-renowned ASGCA Golf
Course Architect, Keith Foster. Foster, has designed over 20
of the Top 100 Golf Courses in the United States,
including the famed Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas,
The Baltimore CC in Baltimore, Maryland, and the venerable Knollwood
Club in Lake Forest, Illinois. BallenIsles East Course is Fosters
first designed course in Florida.
Hattman, Director of Golf for BallenIsles was also on hand to
answer questions and share in the excitement. He told us that
the East course was hand sprigged with a brand new experimental
hybrid grass call Celebration, which is an aggressively fast
growing new type of Bermuda.
greens were rebuilt with TifEagle certified superdwarf bermuda
grass. Hattman said that TifEagle is superiority to Tifdwarf
and to other superdwarfs, because it has more rhizomes, less
thatch, lower cutting heights, fewer seedheads, and better color
during cooling temperatures. The teeboxes on the East Course
were all rebuilt with Seaside Paspalum, which is another one
of the newer grasses. Paspalum has a dark green color and is
a sturdy grass that holds up well in hot weather.
members also got involved and made sure that great care was taken
on the East Course project to preserve BallenIsles natural
environment. This included extra measures necessary in order
to protect several wildlife habitat areas that are sanctuaries
for water fowl and many species of indigenous wading birds.
million has been spent in renovations to the East Course alone,
while still preserving the natural environment. Another $14 Million
has been allocated to clubhouse improvement, for a total improvement
cost of $49 million to the Palm Beach Gardens club.
East Course at BallenIsles had a lot of history. Jack Nicklaus
and Julius Boros won the PGA tour here at BallenIsles. Bruce
Fleisher originally qualified for the PGA tour here, and Lee
Trevino teamed with the "Golden Bear" to help the U.S.
sweep an exciting World Cup Victory here.
has hosted the PGA Championship, the World Cup, the PGA's Senior
Championship and countless other Golf Classics.
East course featured 220,000 square feet of bunkers. The new
East Course has 160,000 square feet. Fosters Lead Design
Associate, Kevin Hargrave said that a lot of drama was added
to the bunkering of the East Course, by way of reshaping to make
them more visible from the tees. Also adding a more natural look
to the shaping to what he called the tongues of the bunkers increased
the visual interest of them. All bunkers have been also been
compacted properly for better playability.
green size naturally varies from hole to hole, the overall square
footage devoted to greens is the same as previously. All the
greens were totally rebuilt to USGA Specifications, and all of
the areas surrounding the greens complexes were also reworked
to get them to blend naturally while allowing for proper drainage
boxes were rebuilt with a low elevation and have been laser leveled,
plus the direction of all the tees have been reoriented with
a more classic square shape that naturally redirects the golfers
more toward the landing areas.
landscaping component costing a cool million dollars was also
implemented, including new tree lined perimeter areas that also
help to redirect the golfers eye toward the golf course and away
from the residential areas. All 18 holes have been enhanced with
lush new colorful plantings. In fact, over 2,600 new trees have
been planted and over 20,000 new plants and shrubs were installed
before the opening day of play.
A Magnificent Trio of Championship
country clubs offer golfers such a historic connection to the
traditions of the game. The three championship courses at BallenIsles
were originally commissioned by John D. MacArthur to serve as
the home of the Professional Golfers' Association of America
(PGA). In addition to hosting the World Cup Championship, the
PGA Championship, and the PGA Seniors' Championship in the 1970s,
these are the courses where many golf legends originally qualified
for the PGA Tour. The North and East courses, designed by Dick
Wilson and Joe Lee, and the South course, recently redesigned
by Gene Bates Golf Design, are magnificent in their maturity,
impeccably maintained, and reserved strictly for members and
their guests. So, if you got a friend that is a member at BallenIsles
Country Club, now would be a good time to call them up and ask
to play the East Course.