Vero Beach has a lot of great clubs with first-class facilities and distinguished memberships and they might be forgiven for resting a bit on their laurels – but they don’t.
The Moorings, Quail Valley, John’s Island, Riomar, Windsor, Grand Harbor and the Vero Beach Country Club all have undertaken multimillion-dollar upgrades in recent years – adding a “plus” to their ‘A’ grades.
Now Orchid Island – a small but stunningly beautiful residential golf and beach club – is joining the party in a big way, with a $10 million array of additions and improvements to club facilities.
Major golf course improvements, golf clubhouse renovation and expansion, and new pickleball courts, croquet lawn, basketball court, playground, and gazebo with a bar for outdoor socializing and small events all are on the schedule.
Another $10 million in additional upgrades is in the pipeline, but planning for the second phase is still in early stages and longtime club general manager Rob Tench did not want to discuss specifics.
“I think all good clubs have a similar mindset,” said Tench. “We want to make sure we are serving both current and future members and always improving.”
Orchid’s Arnold Palmer-designed golf course is under renovation now, with new greens and tee boxes going in and some greens and bunkers being reshaped as part of a project that will keep the course closed until Nov. 1.
The improvements were designed and are being supervised by Arnold Palmer Designs, the company Palmer started in the 1970s while still a PGA star, which has continued on since his death in 2016.
“We wanted Arnold Palmer Designs to do the work to maintain the integrity of the original design,” Tench told Vero Beach 32963 last week. “Brandon Johnson is our architect at the firm and he is doing a good job. He worked side-by-side with Arnold Palmer for many years, so he had a pretty good mentor!”
Preliminary blueprints for a major clubhouse renovation slated to begin next spring are currently being reviewed by the club’s Board of Governors, who are working with Peacock + Lewis, Architecture, Master Planning & Interior Design.
Located in Palm Beach Gardens, the firm specializes in private club architecture and has an impressive portfolio of projects in Vero, including John’s Island Beach Club and Quail Valley’s Royal Palm Pointe expansion.
“We are going to expand our outside dining, adding a bar and fire pit and more covered areas out there,” said Tench. “We’re also going to renovate and expand the pro shop. It is a pretty significant project.”
“Right now, part of the outside area is higher and the rest is low. In the renovation, we will bring everything up to the higher level to provide better views of the golf course,” and perhaps catch more fresh ocean breezes.
“We have our next meeting with the architects on July 19,” Tench added. “It takes a long time to get the plans finalized and secure all the permits and get materials ordered ahead of time so we can be ready to start, shovel in the ground, May 1.”
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