‘In a perfect world’ update on Boca’s new public golf course

“How soon can we play?” That’s all Boca golfers want to know with the sale of the city’s western course looming and a probable gap before the new course will be ready.

“In a perfect world, you probably have time to get that grown in, probably 15 months,” for the turf, Price Fazio design’s Wayne Branthwaite told the beach and park district. “For 18 holes, probably two years.”

Boca National Golf Course will be built in phases. The first nine holes, a restroom, temporary clubhouse, cart barn and completed irrigation are in phase 1, Branthwaite told Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District commissioners. The second phase is the nine holes on the south course, a maintenance facility and a restroom. The third phase is the driving range, short course and tunnel on the east side. The maintenance structure there now is salvageable, so the district could postpone the replacement, he said.

“We allocated $5 million for the golf course. Assuming city approval in the next month…will the first two phases be able to be done within the fiscal year and is $5 million sufficient to do that?” asked Commissioner Steve Engel.

“Phasing was designed around your budget allowance. North and south would not be built at same time. Getting approval [for permitting] might be a five- or six-month process, giving us time to select a contractor and RFP and get ready to start,” Branthwaite said. The RFP is a request for proposal to construct the course.

The whole project is on hold while Price Fazio’s design awaits city approval. The district is anticipating a yes by September. “It sounds like we can be cautiously optimistic we would get approval of the design,” said Commissioner Bob Rollins.

Once they’re a go again, a subcontractor will finish the irrigation, removing water from the site of the former Ocean Breeze golf course in Boca Teeca.

“We tried everything we could to get ready for the closing of Boca muni and have this up front. So the onus is on the city,” said Commissioner Craig Ehrnst. “I’m hopeful the city says, you have a good plan and we’ll contribute toward it and be a partner…We need to get our ducks in a row. That’s what we’re trying to do now.”

By Marci Shatzman

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