Old Palm Golf Club Takes “GREEN” To New Level
Palm Beach Gardens Community Exemplifies “Sustainable Luxury”
When Director of Golf Bud Taylor gives you a tour of the Raymond Floyd- designed course at Old Palm Golf Club, surprisingly, he doesn’t talk much about golf. Instead, as the sun spills out over one of Palm Beach Gardens’ most sought-after addresses, Taylor wants to talk agronomy and ecology.
“People don’t realize just how environmentally-friendly the Seashore Paspalum turf grass is,” he says with a touch of pride. “It can actually be irrigated with brackish or even salt water. And it requires significantly less fertilizer than Bermuda.”
Some people do realize it, though, among them the folks at Audubon International. In 2007, the prestigious environmental organization awarded the Old Palm community its “Gold Signature Sanctuary” certification. In so doing, it bestowed upon Old Palm the highest honor in its Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf.
In fact, with dozens of species of native birds and water fowl inhabiting the golf course, Ray Floyd’s 7,401-yard masterpiece is part championship layout, part aviary. On the morning of our tour, the egrets, ibis, and herons strutting around the course’s wetlands seem perfectly content to share them with duffers.
Lee Bladen, Golf Course Superintendant, explains that the wetlands scattered throughout the course are actually “phytozones,” which act as natural buffers and filtration systems between the golf course and the community’s collection of ponds and lakes.
“Close to 98 percent of irrigation water at Old Palm is reclaimed,” Bladen says.
The golf club’s devotion to its natural environment, in fact, is such that the lakes are actually lined, with a material that keeps reclaimed water from leaking into the ground water. And nearby is an 80-acre, untouched preserve that’s a naturalist’s dream.
“Our members are serious golfers,” Bud Taylor says. “But they also relish the three or four-hour escape a round of golf provides.”
“The term ‘green’ gets thrown around a lot today, but at Old Palm it’s indigenous to the community and the culture,” says Connie McGinnis, director of sales. “Luxury and sustainability aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, we believe our golf course, homes, and home builders are proof-positive the two can be totally complementary.”
Old Palm Golf Club is actually adhering to the vision of John D. MacArthur, whose original plan for Palm Beach Gardens was to create a “garden city,” with streets lined with flowers and trees.
McGinnis sees Old Palm as an extension of MacArthur’s vision.
With 316 residences planned for 650 acres, Old Palm has one of the lowest densities in the region. Its Custom Estates neighborhood offers one-acre home sites backing up to natural areas and the golf course…a rarity not only in the Palm Beaches, but also in private golf communities nationwide
“When you combine best-in-class, sustainable builders, one-acre lots abutting open space, and environmentally-enlightened owners, it’s a perfect match of both ecological and energy conservation,” says McGinnis.
One such enlightened owner is 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen. The South African native is one of three PGA Tour players living at Old Palm, a roster that also includes the No. 6 player in the world, Lee Westwood, and 2011 Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel.
Oosthuizen has taken his eco-home in the Golf Estates to a new level, installing solar panels, tank-less water heaters and LED lights. Westwood is building a home in the Custom Estates, and is employing a variety of green building materials and energy-conservation measures to do it.
Old Palm’s one-acre home sites allow for residences from 7,000 to 20,000 square-feet – giving residents the opportunity to implement their own “shade of green.” And they’ll be doing it in three neighborhoods – Custom, Grand, and Golf Estates – that are already leading examples of sustainability.
The Golf Estates are appealing to those in search of an entry-level luxury home, or a second home on the golf course. Old Palm recently announced a diverse selection of new models on quarter-acre home sites, priced from $1.2 million and ranging from 3,400 to 5,000 square feet.
Each of the community’s award-winning builders adheres to strict eco-guidelines, among them low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints. Home interiors utilize organic building materials such as pecky cypress, bamboo, and natural stone flooring.
“The eco-friendly elements are obvious everywhere you look in these homes,” Connie McGinnis says. “But in addition to what you can see, there’s also a lot going on behind the scenes. For example, high-efficiency air conditioning systems and Icynene spray foam insulation dramatically reduce home energy-consumption, in addition to excess greenhouse gas emissions.”
Old Palm, of course, is located in a state where the sun shines over 300 days a year. So all homes are fitted with high-performance tinted windows that reduce solar heat gain.
A Clubhouse for the Ages
Whether you take a tour of the golf course with Bud Taylor, or a spin around the community with Connie McGinnis, both journeys are likely to begin or end at Old Palm’s clubhouse.
Designed on the intimate scale of a Palm Beach estate, the Mediterranean-style building pampers residents and members with fine and casual dining, indoor-outdoor pool, and a luxurious spa and fitness facility.
Raymond Floyd’s late wife, Maria, worked closely with interior designers Scott Snyder and Anthony Minichetti to create a distinct sense of “place,” with décor inspired by early-1900’s architect Addison Mizner, the designer of Boca Raton and Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue. The clubhouse is elegant yet comfortable. And it’s a shrine to organic construction materials, adorned with pecky cypress ceilings and limestone flooring.
“The clubhouse sets the tone, ambiance and culture, and Old Palm flows outward from there,” says McGinnis.
“Flows” is an appropriate word…because Old palm Bolf Club is certainly in harmony with nature.
Enjoy Old Palm Golf Club’s Enrich Lifestyle
The number and style of restaurants that are within easy driving distance of Old Palm Golf Club are staggering.
Imagine the world of luxury shopping at your fingertips. That is the world in the Palm Beach Gardens area, within minutes of Old Palm Golf Club.
According to the Palm Beach County Cultural Council (palmbeachculture.com), there are more than 300 different venues for cultural events in Palm Beach County, many of them in the central and northern part of the county.
In the northern Palm Beaches, Old Palm Golf Club residents can enjoy live theater at the Eissey Theater on the campus of Palm Beach State College, or at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre in Jupiter.
ART & MUSEUMS
There are several outstanding art museums and art galleries–both privately owned and those who are part of local educational institutions–in the Palm Beach County area.
To Schedule Your Complimentary Tour
Call Guest Service 888.882.1526 or click to visit Old Palm Golf Club
Old Palm Golf Club
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