With Broken Sound Club(BSC) “setting the course” as home to the PGA Champions Tour’s season opener for the 11th consecutive year, the Allianz Championship’s full-field roster of golf legends will be competing what has been ranked as the 2016 ELGA Best Overall and Private National Course in the country. More than 70,000 spectators are expected on-site at The Old Course at Broken Sound to follow last year’s defending champion Esteban Toledo and other PGA favorites including Fred Couples, Bernhard Langer, John Daly, Jose Maria Olazabal and David Toms as they vie for the $1.6 million purse and the tournament event benefits Boca Raton Regional Hospital.
In January BSC, a 5-Star Platinum Club of America, was selected as the Overall and National Private recipient of the 2017 Environmental Leaders in Golf Awards (ELGA). The annual award rankings are presented annually by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and Golf Digest in partnership with Syngenta and Rain Bird’s Golf Division. The private, gated golf and country club community was as the only Florida or Southeastern U.S.-based award winner this year at the national or international leader level.
BSC, its two Audubon Sanctuary and GEO Certified golf courses and Golf Course Maintenance Director and Environmental Consultant Shannon Easter will be recognized during championship tournament week at the Opening Session at the 2017 Golf Industry Show and featured in upcoming issues of Golf Digest and GCSAA’s magazine Golf Course Management.
Awardees are selected by an independent panel of judges representing national environmental groups, turfgrass experts, university researchers and valued members of the golf industry to recognize golf course superintendents and their courses for overall course management excellence and best management practices. Such practices include areas of water conservation, water quality management, energy conservation, pollution prevention, waste management, wildlife and habitat conservation, communication and outreach and leadership. In addition to the national winners, 19 chapter and nine merit winners were chosen from GCSAA’s 98 affiliated chapters.
“We are excited to deliver to the PGA Champions Tour the best national private golf course for this year’s tournament,” notes BSC GM and COO John Crean, CCE. “We always strive to drive the best for our members and tournament players, and this ELGA recognition confirms that we at Broken Sound Club are leaders in golf experience underscored in sustainability. When other clubs and course management teams across the country were hesitant, and some resistant, to embracing our trailblazing eco-vision to be ‘greener on the greens’, we are pleased that many are now following suit.”
BSC’s sustainability mission and efforts through the on-course stewardship of its Maintenance Director and Environmental Consultant Shannon Easter has significantly reduced chemical inputs for the past three years at the Club's 36-hole facilities by eliminating proactive treatment and raising thresholds for treatments only tended “as necessary”. Such eco-strategy has created both a welcome habitat for native wildlife, including several endangered species and a healthier environment for club members and golfers.
During Allianz Championship Media Day, defending champion Esteban Toledo gave sustainability and playability accolades to Crean, saying it is “fantastic what you at Broken Sound Club are doing” noting he ranked The Old Course greens as “one of his top three in the whole  season.”
BROKEN SOUND CLUB: WHERE AVID GOLFERS LIVE AND PLAY The Only Private “Two Golf Club” Residential Community In Florida
Teeing up The Old Course as a “pure” golf experience environment, its designer Joe Lee noted, “This is the most peaceful setting I’ve ever worked in the middle of one of the fastest growing areas in the country. The only sound that broke the silence was the sound of a golfer swinging his club.“ Hence the name, Broken Sound, was created.
Those who play the eminent course discover the natural beauty of South Florida at its best through a landscape of woods, stone bridges, lakes and lagoons for an experience reminiscent of courses in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Generous rolling fairways, elevated greens, sculpted bunkers and an abundance of trees unique to South Florida are all incorporated into this 18-hole Joe Lee designed classic that tees up 110 acres of grass, the largest stand of natural Florida maple trees in the county, and 30-40 acres of lakes. Gene Bates’s 2002 renovation gave the 6,800-yard, par-72 course more water, while infusing a look very uncharacteristic of South Florida golf courses.
Tucked away in an oak-lined setting just a few minutes from Broken Sound Club’s gates, The Old Course is a golfer’s sanctuary with the camaraderie and ambiance found in a traditional golf club in an unexpected private place. Members will say the limited membership to this course is as much a family as a private club.
The shapes of the ragged edges and design of the bunkers give it an Old World feel from the early 1920s and 1930s. Consistent and fast while also looking healthy, the course has a beautiful natural look with many native grasses. There are no concrete cart paths, only those made of natural coquina shell.
According to BSC Old Course Golf Director Jeff Waber, “Every hole is unique and looks completely different. It is located in the middle of the City, has no homes and resembles a northern look that is very untypical of Florida.” He adds that golfers who look for a challenge, whether it's the Club player or members of the Champions Tour, The Old Course presents that challenge with a group of par-3s that rival any throughout Florida. It’s a course with island greens that test all handicap levels.
“Golf purists love the intimacy they find here,” has noted Old Course member Phil Karp who moved from New York with his wife Paula over 20 years ago. “It’s a rarity in southern Florida to have a private course and not find a single home on the golf course. When you add in a world-class range and practice area, this is a golfer’s dream.”
“Member experience, quality facilities, environmental enhancement and sustainability development continue to remain central to our business model for many years,” acknowledged John Crean, CCE, BSC General Manager and Chief Operating Officer, a recognized country club industry champion and avid steward of sustainability. “Securing the ELGA ranking and continuing to retain our GEO and Audubon Sanctuary recertification, our recent investment in The Old Course and enhancing its amenities all are testament to that commitment.”
BSC is located at 2401 Willow Springs Drive, Boca Raton, FL. For Club membership, contact Membership Director Maureen Schreiber at (561) 241-6800 or visit www.brokensoundclub.org.
About Broken Sound Club: Whatever one’s passion or interest…their active enviable home life, business life, sporting life, and social life complement each other perfectly at BSC. Known as the “friendly” club for its signature blend of warmth, elegance and genuine hospitality, this award-winning private gated golf and country club community offers a choice of 27 lushly landscaped intimate residential villages, each with its own character. All are just minutes away from its main clubhouse with indoor/outdoor dining, two signature golf courses, a two-acre $6 million poolscape with bistro, a $7 million 35,000-square-foot spa and fitness center and 23 tennis courts. Close to two international airports and private Boca Raton Executive Airport, BSC is a few miles from pristine beaches, Boca’s burgeoning Class A office parks, a vibrant Downtown, A-rated public and award-winning private schools, two universities, FAU Stadium, world-class shopping, dining, culture, recreation and nightlife.