Bonita Bay Club to add short-game practice area as latest investment

Bonita Bay Club is building a short-game practice area as part of its master golf plan. Designed by golf architecture firm Hills-Forrest-Smith, the 2.5-acre area will provide pitching, chipping and bunker practice from various distances and approaches. Construction will begin in April, with a scheduled November completion. 

Bonita Bay Club’s Director of Golf Course Operations Hal Akins will work alongside Hills-Forrest-Smith.

The Club’s golf and greens and grounds committees jointly recommended a site adjacent to the recently refurbished Creekside driving range for the new short game practice area         

“It gave us the chance to redesign the 18th hole of our Creekside course into a truly memorable par 3 over a natural marsh area,” said Dan Miles, Bonita Bay Club general manager and chief operating officer. “The course architects determined that this would, in fact, strengthen the finishing 18th hole, making for a dramatic shot into a wooded back drop and amphitheater-style setting.”

Bonita Bay Club conducted significant consultation with committees, club members and design experts before green lighting the project. 

“An important part of our success as we develop and implement projects is that the membership has the opportunity to participate in the planning and supports the resulting decisions,” said Peter Jones, Bonita Bay Club Board President. “The new practice area, along with several planned golf course renovations, is part of larger Golf Master Plan reinforcing the importance of golf at Bonita Bay Club. “

Bonita Bay Club also recently approved a $6.6 million renovation of its Bay Island course, another of the three Arthur-Hills designed Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary courses within the 2,400-acre Bonita Bay Community. Two Tom-Fazio designed courses spanning more than 1,000 acres of preserved cypress wetlands and pine flats are located at the nearby Bonita Bay Club Naples.

A succession of capital projects in recent years has upgraded facilities for golf, fitness, racquet sports, aquatics, lawn sports, dining, and social programming.

“Bonita Bay Club is one of the few major private clubs in the US with a golf member waiting list,” said Stephanie Glasco, Director of Membership. “Nonetheless, continuing membership turnover is resulting in minimal wait times for full golf privileges.” 

The club’s newly designed Sports Center offers 18 Har-Tru tennis courts and one of the region’s most active tennis programs directed by a USPTA Master Professional, five new pickleball courts, and a zero-entry resort-style pool. Nearby, the 60,000-square-foot Lifestyle Center features a state-of-the-art fitness center, spa and salon. 

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