Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. – BallenIsles Country Club in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. held an event on Thursday, March 23rd to celebrate the grand opening of its new ‘71 Learning Center. The name and reference to ‘71 pays homage to the amazing “year to remember” of 1971 when the Club hosted four major golf events, two of those won by Jack Nicklaus – the World Cup of Golf and the PGA Championship. Nicklaus Design recently completed its reimagining project on the famed East golf course and Practice Grounds, with the Learning Center being the proverbial, closing birdie for the win.
The innovative ‘71 Golf Learning Center is located on the north end of the newly opened Practice Grounds and provides members with a 3,000-square-foot central location for custom fittings, club repairs, and golf instruction. Inside the Demo and Fitting Suite, a full team of professionals are on hand to assist members in finding golf clubs that perfectly match their swing. Two indoor and two covered outdoor practice and learning bays, each equipped with state-of-the-art Trackman technology, will help members perfect their swing, while a SAM PuttLab 3D putting analysis and full indoor synthetic putting greens will assist with putting. The Learning Center also has retail space, a dedicated club repair facility as well as an outdoor area to host social activities or for lounging. The outdoor area is also home to the Club’s food truck featuring Chef-inspired street food.
“I truly believe our new ‘71 Learning Center will have a positive effect for our members; lowering handicaps while increasing their enjoyment of the game. The state-of-the-art Fitting Suite is inspired by Callaway performance and innovation,” said BallenIsles Country Club Director of Golf Jeff Fitzherbert.
“The ‘71 Learning Center is the final piece of our golf entertainment area, offering state-of-the-art technology for any ability of golfer,” said BallenIsles Country Club General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Ryan Walls. “Our new Nicklaus Design Practice Grounds is now complete, offering the most diverse and full range of golf learning and fun in South Florida. From our Short Game area featuring our Snead Green and pitching and chipping complex, to the Long Game area complete with wedge range, Toptracer and Flagd technology, and now our new golf Learning Center. It is truly an immersive golf experience for every member of the family to enjoy, regardless of your golf ability. Our Club is centered around socialization, and our Practice Grounds is the latest in our offerings to provide space to socialize and enjoy time with others.”
The opening of the new ‘71 Golf Learning Center follows the late January unveiling of a renovated and modernized East Course and newly reimagined Practice Grounds – both were also led by Nicklaus Design. The $6.3 million East Course renovation focused on updating the course’s design, including bunkering, greens complexes and strategy, a complete re-grassing of the course and improvements to playing options for members and tournament players alike. The state-of-the-art Practice Grounds incorporates an all-new 65-bay two-sided 12.5-acre Long Game area, complete with Toptracer technology and Flagd Golf digital yardage boards, an abundance of aiming targets for all types of long shots, a practice putting green, rough, uneven lie and fairway bunker practice areas, along with a wedge range with targets from 30 to 105 yards. The four-acre Short Game area features the 25,000 sq. ft. Snead Green putting course, five pitching and chipping greens, warm-up green and the world’s flattest putting green.
The recent golf enhancements to the East Course, Practice Grounds and ‘71 Golf Learning Center follow the construction of a $1.3 million pickleball complex in 2021; the 2020 redesign of BallenIsles’ South Course by famed golf course architect Rees Jones; and a 2018 $35 million dollar clubhouse renovation. The Club also recently announced a $19 million dollar renovation and expansion project of the club’s existing Sports Complex. Construction is expected to begin on the phased project in late 2023, with project completion slated by the end of 2024.
For more information on BallenIsles Country Club, visit www.BallenIsles.org.
Photo Caption: ’71 Learning Center Grand Opening 3.23.2023 at BallenIsles Country Club – Names left to right Chris Hayes, Patrick Stanley, Jeff Fitzherbert, Carl Ekstein, Ryan Walls, David Frank, David Berkowitz, Mike Stevens
In 1964 legendary Florida developer John D. MacArthur and the PGA of America teamed up with golf course architects Dick Wilson and Joe Lee to design a championship-caliber golf facility. Over the next ten years, BallenIsles, then called PGA National Golf Club, hosted numerous major tournaments like the PGA Championship and PGA Seniors Championship and was home for the Professional Golfers’ Association of America. The Club was also the host site for the original PGA TOUR Qualifying School and held the inaugural PGA Merchandise Show. When the MacArthur/PGA of America agreement expired in 1973, the Club was renamed the JDM Country Club for John D. MacArthur. For the next 15 years, the prestigious local country club hosted many celebrities and professional golfers and staged many events on the three golf courses on the property. In 1988, the three golf courses and surrounding property were sold by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and renamed BallenIsles Country Club. A multi-year and multimillion dollar plan to develop a private country club community was unveiled. Since the early 2000’s, BallenIsles Country Club has been consistently ranked as one of the Top 100 Clubs in America. For more information visit www.BallenIsles.org.
BallenIsles Country Club
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