As Florida golf beckons at this time of year, both vacationers and second-home snow birds will be looking for a place to tee it up. Ask the local pros where they play their off-season golf, and you’re likely to get an earful of praise for PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, just a short drive from most of the state’s population centers.
With three championship (literally) golf courses, PGA Golf Club recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation project designed to enhance the golf experience for discriminating players.
One of the most vocal fans of the club is undoubtedly Alex Beach, an assistant professional at Westchester Country Club who won this year’s Assistant PGA Professional Championship held at PGA Golf Club on the Wanamaker Course. Beach’s win made him the first player to win two PGA of American national championships within the same calendar year. He claimed the PGA Professional Championship title this past April in Bluffton, SC.
A stroll through the trophy lounge in the PGA Golf Club clubhouse is like viewing a compendium of titles won by Westchester pros over the years. Local golfers will recognize historic names like Borek, Zabriski, Vershure, and Heins with wins dating back to the 60s, while current pros on the trophy lists include Carl Alexander, Terence Hughes, John Reeves, CJ Reeves, Wendy Modic, and Josh Rackley. The name that repeats over and over, though, is Frank Bensel, assistant pro at Century CC and this year’s Westchester Open champ, who has winner’s plaques in almost every category.
The pros play and practice on three outstanding courses that you can play, too. All three were updated and renovated over the last four years, according to PGA GC Director of Agronomy Dick Gray, who adds, “The result for each course was striking, and we’re not finished with improvements.”
Among the major improvements were a complete re-grassing of the Dye Course, which opened in 2000, along with expansion of the greens to their original sizes. The Tom Fazio-designed Wanamaker Course underwent an extensive renovation to its fairways and bunker surrounds. The renovations helped catapult the Wanamaker Course to top-20 status among public courses in Florida. The Ryder Course, also a Fazio design, has had the greens and surrounds enhanced and its greenside bunkers are currently being refaced.
Additional work is scheduled in anticipation of the 2021 PGA Professional Championship to be held at PGA GC. Next year, the club will host the 2020 Boys and Girls Junior Championships.
While you may well run into your local pro at PGA Golf Club this winter, you don’t have to be a PGA member to play there and experience championship-level golf. In fact, you can even join the club for the season at remarkably reasonable rates. Daily fee play is also available.