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Monday, January 14, 2013

It's Old Palm For The Good Golf Life

The neighbors you meet at Old Palm Golf Club fully live the golf life so many of us can only dream about. The ultra-luxurious gated community in Palm Beach Gardens has drawn top PGA stars like Lee Westwood, Louis Oosthuizen, and Charl Schwartzel with a combination of custom homes ranging from $1.2 to $15 million, amenities like a full fitness center, spa, and concierge service, and a fine golf course coupled with one of the best practice facilities anywhere.

"Living at Old Palm has been a wonderful experience and not just because of its exceptional golf facilities," says 2011 Masters Champion Schwartzel. "Old Palm makes for a relaxing lifestyle. It allows for privacy when we want it, and when we’re in the Club the members have welcomed us like old friends."

Raymond Floyd
Another neighbor is four-time major winner and Ryder Cup champion Raymond Floyd, who not only designed the Old Palm golf course but lives there as well. He's a regular in the fitness center and at the club's ultra-casual "pub night" in the elegant but relaxed clubhouse lounge. He's a bit more laid back now than he was in his tournament days, although there's still an intense flash in his eyes that match the Leroy Neiman portrait that hangs in the clubhouse.

The golf course Floyd designed takes full advantage of the property's native foliage and rolling topography. Six sets of tees make it playable from 5,218 to 7,401 yards, giving every golfer a challenge suitable to their skills. Fairway landing areas are generous but reward the strategic player who can position the ball off the tee. Greens were rebuilt in 2012 using TifEagle Bermuda grass, which yields a fast and true putting surface.

The front nine is routed through wetlands and savannah while the back, which features tighter fairways and less water, winds through indigenous palm and pine trees. On the front, the 379-yard seventh hole presents excellent risk-and-reward options off the tee. It's a slight dog leg right that can be cut with a 230-yard carry over the bunkers in the curve or played conservatively on the center line. The green on the eleventh hole, a 170-yard par three, has echoes of the sixteenth at Augusta National while the fifteenth, a 150-yard one-shotter, has a VW micro-bus buried in the green to make for some interesting putts.

Home sites are set well back from the playing areas, yet afford fine views of the course--not to mention the lakes and lagoons that wind through the 650-acre property.  Old Palm’s Mediterranean-style clubhouse pampers you with fine and casual dining, resort-style pool, and a luxurious spa and fitness facility. Just steps from the pool and clubhouse, Old Palm’s Casitas are the perfect guest-entertainment venue with charming tropical d├ęcor and well-appointed suites.

The 33-acre practice area includes a double-ended range, short-game area, and a golf studio with covered hitting bays and all the electronics anyone could want or use. Three regulation practice holes, a par 3, 4, and 5, wrap around a lake next to the range, making Old Palm the perfect place to hone to game.

Old Palm is close to shopping, dining, entertainment, and beaches. Palm Beach International Airport and North County General Aviation Airport (for private jets) are only minutes away. Old Palm is being developed by Clarion Partners, a leading real estate investment firm with over $25 billion in assets under management.

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

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