Design Notes

Florida’s Cape Club of Palm City enjoys a sparkling renovation

Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun doubles down with a Ron Garl refresh; Japan’s Classic Golf Club spurns tradition by shelving its two-green system

The Cape Club of Palm City. will be relaunched in mid-November after being acquired by the Cape Club and rebranded.

The Cape Club of Palm City, formerly the Fox Club Florida, is set to open on Nov. 18 following an extensive renovation to both the golf course and the clubhouse.

Acquired by The Cape Club in May 2022, the 18-hole golf course and 16,500 square-foot clubhouse have undergone significant improvements since closing on July 1.

Located on the Treasure Coast in Palm City, Florida, The Cape Club of Palm City layout offers quintessential Florida golf, serving as a connection between tamed and untamed nature. Originally designed by Roy Case in 1989 and redesigned in 2004 by British Open champion Darren Clarke and former Walker Cup star Eoghan O’Connell, the course has been refreshed and redesigned once again in 2022 by The Cape Club Collection.

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The golf experience at Cape Club of Palm City is highlighted by strategic water features, risk/reward tee shots (tempting one with angles), creative mounding and slick, tour-quality greens often protected by signature Cape Club "Augusta White" sand. The meandering layout flanked with wetlands and preserves makes for a back-to-nature experience. Located 30 minutes north of the West Palm Beach airport, the renovated and rebranded facility will open as a premier private club.

"The excitement is reaching a fever pitch for the new Cape Club of Palm City," said Kristi Tower, the club's general manager. "We have been inundated with membership inquiries and are truly excited to unveil the club, and create lasting golf, social and culinary memories for our members and guests."

New ownership has completed extensive renovations throughout the golf course, including newly landscaped areas around the course and clubhouse, renovated bunkers with "Augusta White" sand, new coquina cart paths, as well as enhanced agronomic conditions. Clubhouse renovations include a completely renovated interior with a new dining room and an expanded back patio that runs the width of the building with fire pits, a new sound system and views of the ninth hole — formerly the 18th.

"The golf course will serve up one of the most memorable golf experiences in the region for Cape Club members and guests," said Brett Melton, Cape Club’s director of golf.

Capital improvements made by The Cape Club Collection represent a seven-figure investment in the golf course and clubhouse. Members of the rebranded and relaunched private club also have access to The Cape Club sister courses — The Cape Club of Sharon and The Cape Club of Falmouth, both located in Massachusetts.


Globetrotting architect Ron Garl is continuing renovation efforts on the Mohegan Sun Golf Club in Baltic, Connecticut. Opened in 1960 as the Geoffrey Cornish-designed Pautipaug Country Club, the course was purchased by the Mohegan Sun Casino in 2008 and renovated by Robert McNeill in 2011.

Garl, who has left his design imprint on nearly 300 courses in ten countries, including more than 100 courses in Florida, began renovations last winter. He has removed or relocated fairway bunkers that overly penalized less skilled golfers and did the same for fronting greenside bunkers to make the greens more accessible to a wider variety of players. Garl will eventually renovate every bunker on the course, including shallowing out some bunkers that were too deep for the clientele that use the course.

“We’ve made it so that people play faster, make it more enjoyable and people will want to come back," Garl told New England Golf. "That's what golf is really about today."

In the winter of '22-'23, Garl intends to build new, softer sloping greens at the par-4 third and par-4 12th holes. Work is expected to be completed by spring 2024.

Benjamin Warren of Artisan Golf Design will begin remodeling Classic Golf Club in Fukuoka, Japan, in January 2023.

Warren, who was raised in North Berwick and who has worked on projects for Gil Hanse and Tom Doak’s Renaissance Design, will spearhead the transition from the traditional two-green concept common in Japan — a different grass for winter and summer play — to a single green per hole, plus effect a redesign from tee to green.

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Originally designed by Shoichi Suzuki and Yuzo Tanimizu in 1990, the 27-hole layout (King, Queen and Prince nines) of the Classic Golf Club has played host to many significant professional tournaments, most recently the 2020 Japan Women’s Open Championship. Most major events are contested on a layout comprised of the King and Queen nines, which will be the first two nines to be altered according to Warren’s plan.

Among the classic accents to come in the redesign are a boomerang green at the sixth, a Cape-style hole at the 14th, a Road Hole inspiration at the 15th and a new risk/reward opportunity at the watery 18th.