Industry News

BallenIsles Country Club to renovate East Course and practice facility, add new Learning Center building

Nicklaus Design selected to lead renovations

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (January 24, 2022) – BallenIsles Country Club members recently approved a multi-million dollar renovation project involving the club’s famed East Course and golf practice facility. Additionally, the members approved the construction of a new state-of-the-art Learning Center. Nicklaus Design, the world’s leading golf course design firm also headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, was selected by the Club last year for a strategic design partnership to lead the East Course and practice facility re-imagination.

Construction work is expected to begin on the East Course and practice facility in April 2022 and be completed by December 2022. Course renovations will include modernization of the design, bunkering, greens complexes and strategy, a complete re-grassing of the course and improvements of playing options for members and tournament tests alike.  Renovation work will also add length and strategy to the current 7,189-yard, par 72 layout. The Nicklaus Design team, led by Senior Designers Chris Cochran and Chad Goetz, worked with Project Manager Ron Despain from Troon in creating a master plan for the project.

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“As the Club continues to evaluate each area of our offering, we felt there was an immediate need and wonderful opportunity to enhance our historic course and truly provide a best-in-class practice experience and facilities for our members,” said BallenIsles Country Club General Manager and Chief Operating Officer Ryan Walls. “To bring in the Nicklaus team and ultimately tie that name to the course where Mr. Nicklaus had such success was important to us. The link to our past tying smartly to the modern future is a key element to our strategic plan. We are excited to work with Chris Cochran, Chad Goetz and the Nicklaus Design team to bring the design to life.”

The BallenIsles practice facilities will see a total re-imagination of the teeing grounds, target areas and practice greens. The new design will incorporate modern-day practice areas and targets to enable members to practice the wide variety of golf shots demanded on BallenIsles’ three championship courses. Short game practice areas, a pitch-and-putt course and a putting course will also be added to the practice facility. The new 3,500 sq. ft. Learning Center will include state-of-the-art technology and will serve as an entry into golf, welcoming first-time players and professionals alike.

“To have an opportunity to be involved in such a well-respected golf club steeped in tradition in the Palm Beach market, where the namesake of our company has such great history, it is truly exciting and an honor,” said Paul Stringer, President, Nicklaus Design. “We not only want to truly enhance the golf course playing characteristics for the Club’s members to enjoy day to day, but to make sure the world’s top players would be challenged as Mr. Nicklaus was in his 71’ PGA victory.  Our goal is to work in concert with the Club to ensure the end product is best-in-class and a reflection of the high standards established at BallenIsles.”

Originally built in 1964 and designed by Joe Lee and Dick Wilson, the East Course was last enhanced in 2008 under the direction of Keith Foster and Kevin Hargrave and included the planting of 2,600 additional trees as well as 20,000 new plants and shrubs. Greens were renovated to meet USGA standards and bunkers were reshaped to be more visible from the tee box areas. In 2008, Golf Inc. Magazine recognized the $9 million renovation of the East Course as a finalist for its national “Renovation of the Year” award.

The renovation of the East Course follows 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 and expansion project. This truly is one of the great clubs in the southeast.

For more information on BallenIsles Country Club, visit

About BallenIsles Country Club       
In 1963 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.

A $35 million clubhouse renovation was completed in November 2018, featuring 115,000 square feet of luxurious space; three championship courses with 54 holes of golf; a world-class 21-court tennis and 9-court pickleball complex; and a state-of-the-art Sports Complex with a full-service Cosmo & Company salon and spa, fitness center, Pilates & spin studios and resort-style swimming pool. For more information visit

About Troon
Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Troon is the world’s largest golf management company providing services at 630-plus locations around the globe, including managing 650-plus 18-hole equivalent golf courses. In addition to golf, Troon specializes in homeowner association management, private residence clubs, estate management and associated hospitality venues. Troon’s award-winning food and beverage division operates and manages 615-plus food and beverage operations located at golf resorts, private clubs, daily fee golf courses and recreational facilities. With properties located in 45-plus states and 30-plus countries, Troon’s family of brands includes Troon Golf, Troon Privé, Troon International, Indigo Sports, CADDIEMASTER, True Club Solutions, Cliff Drysdale Tennis, Peter Burwash International, Casa Verde Golf, and RealFood Hospitality, Strategy and Design. For additional news and information, visit


About Nicklaus Companies
For 50 years, the mission of Nicklaus Companies has been to enhance the golf experience and to deliver quality branded products and services on a global basis that mirror the high standards established in the career and life of its Founder, Jack Nicklaus. The Nicklaus Companies businesses include golf-course design, the development of golf and real estate communities, and the marketing and licensing of lifestyle products worldwide under the iconic Jack Nicklaus and Golden Bear brands. Nicklaus Design, recognized as the world leader in golf course design, has created over 425 courses worldwide, open for play in 45 countries and 40 U.S. states.  In 2007, Jack Nicklaus partnered with Howard Milstein to further the growth of the company and expand the branded businesses. In addition to institutionalizing the Nicklaus brands for the future, Milstein has instilled a personal philosophy of “A Brand That Gives Back,” with products and partners committing to donations to help the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and other charities. A leading entrepreneur in the golf industry, Milstein also created 8AM Golf, a family of companies that also includes GOLF Magazine and, Miura Golf, Club Conex, True Spec Golf and GolfLogix. All share a common mission to help players at all levels enjoy the game more.

Media Contacts:
Becky Collison
BallenIsles Country Club
Director of Marketing & Communication

Rob Myers

Tommy Hearden
Nicklaus Design
Business Development Manager