By Larry Olmsted, Special Contributor
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Thirty-three acres.
That’s not the size of the community, or even some billionaire’s lot. Rather, it’s the footprint of the Golf Studio training facility at Old Palm that gives you some insight into how seriously residents here take the game.
And the list of residents includes PGA Tour major champion Charl Schwartzel, former world No. 1 Lee Westwood, 1991 British Open champion Ian Baker-Finch and 62-time winner Raymond Floyd, who designed the Signature Course and serves as honorary club chairman.
Old Palm Golf Club is located in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., a well-to-do satellite of well-to-do Palm Beach that also happens to be home to the PGA of America. To say this place lives and breathes golf is an understatement.
The neighborhood is full of gated golf communities and resorts, including the 90-hole PGA National Resort, but Old Palm is arguably the premier private club community in these parts. “Starter” homes at Old Palm begin at about $1.5 million, and it’s not difficult to spend more than $15 million on a home here.
Not surprisingly, the tournament-caliber golf course at Old Palm gets a lot of the community’s attention. The 7,401-yard course is old Florida, sans fountains and with square tee boxes, natural wetlands, and wide fairways lined with indigenous palms and pines. Generous landing areas egg on the many big hitters who live here, while elevated greens emphasize accuracy in approach shots.
The Golf Studio is a practice junkie’s fantasy: long double-ended range, elaborate short-game area and hitting bays equipped with V1 motion analysis and TrackMan technology. It also has three full-length practice holes designed to replicate shots and approach angles on the course.
Home sites at Old Palm
While golf is central here, there are plenty of other amenities, including privacy, with a gate staffed round the clock. The Mediterranean-style clubhouse, evocative of an old Palm Beach estate, is generous at 43,000 square feet and offers both formal and casual dining. It also contains a fitness center, spa and casitas available to rent for guests of members. There is a resort-style pool with private cabanas, as well as an off-site beach club.
The 650-acre development includes 316 home sites (213 are completed or close) split among Golf Estates (110), Isle Estates (33), Grand Estates (85), Custom Estates (80), and Golf Cottages (eight).
Golf Estates, set on quarter-acre sites, are the lowest-priced homes (3,400-5,000 square feet, $1.5 million-$2 million). Grand Estates span 4,800-7,000 square feet and range from $2 million to more than $3 million. Custom Estates on full-acre lots — rare in the Palm Beaches — allow near total design flexibility. These typically start at 7,000 square feet and run to more than 15,000 square feet and range from $4 million to more than $15 million.
The newest offering, Isle Estates, is positioned in the middle of the mix. The fourth neighborhood within Old Palm, it’s characterized by Bermudan and West Indian inspired architecture, with four styles of homes to choose from, all of which feature three-car garages and four to six bedrooms. Some have home theatre rooms.
Isle Estates residences, located on slightly elevated one-third acre lots to maximize views of the golf course, range from 4,300-6,800 square feet and cost between $2.2 million and $3.2 million.
Old Palm is located six miles from the Atlantic Ocean, and while it’s far from inexpensive, it’s in the ballpark of surrounding communities despite its exclusivity and high-golf status.
Old Palm is arguably the premier private club community in Palm Beach Gardens