The city of Boca Raton’s transition from one golf course to another was seamless as GL Homes closed on Boca Municipal around the same time that the city completed its one-year transition of the Boca Raton Golf & Racquet Club.
On Oct. 14, 2020, Boca Raton City Council members voted unanimously to accept the donation of the 130-acre Boca Country Club from MSD Partners and Northview Hotel group, owners of the Boca Raton Resort & Club. The donation included a 167-acre complex with an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis and aquatics facilities, and a clubhouse with event space. It is located just outside city limits at off Congress Avenue and Clint Moore Road.
The City had been working with the community to develop plans for the complex, create a budget for the management and operations, and develop the user fee schedules before taking ownership starting Oct. 1, 2021.
The intention was to offer continuous golf for residents coordinated with the closing of the city’s 41-year-old municipal course, which was sold to GL Homes for $65.75 million. Boca Municipal closed Oct. 17 and the developer plans to build houses on the site.
The sale of Boca Municipal, located off Glades Road and the Turnpike, has been in the works since 2017, and initially, the sale was going to coincide with the purchase and development of the old Ocean Breeze Golf Course in the Boca Teeca neighborhood by the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Parks District, however, when the Boca Country Club gifted its course to the city, those plans were scrapped.
It is not known if the Ocean Breeze site will have a golf element; city residents have asked for a driving range or nine-hole course. The city has a nine-hole course at Red Reef Park. The Boca Raton Beach and Parks District is looking at recreational possibilities for the site, including pickleball courts, athletic fields and walking trails.
When it came to the Boca Country Club, Boca Raton City Councilman Andy Thomson said the city found itself in “the right place at the right time.” The club, at 17751 Boca Club Blvd., features an 18-hole course, tennis courts, a clubhouse, and a pool. The facility, on the outskirts of Boca Raton, was renamed Boca Raton Golf & Racquet Club and opened to the public Nov. 1. Manager Jason Hayes said at a city meeting that the club would initially open the course, practice facilities, clubhouse, and locker rooms before adding other amenities.
Thomson said the city will spend $7 million to $8 million to renovate the facility. He opined that Boca Raton GRC is already a better facility than the municipal course was. He said landscaping can be improved and added they will be changing the traffic pattern. Annual maintenance is estimated at $250,000.
“We are going to be doing upgrades to the clubhouse and fix the courts at the tennis facility,” Thomson said. “It will take a year or so for all of that to be done. The city got rid of one course for $65 million and gained another course for $0 and gained a clubhouse and a tennis facility, so we come out way, way ahead … plus we get a better course.
“It is a coup for the city.”