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Craig Stephen Wertkin
17333 St. James Court
Boca Raton, FL 33496
Phone: 561 483-4600
Craig@bocadelrayluxuryhomes.com 

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Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club

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For nearly half a century, Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club has been an elegant tradition among the elite clubs of South Florida. Today, it remains one of the few private, by-invitation-only, clubs in the area that is overseen by its members.

On your first visit, you will sense the friendly, relaxed atmosphere that we work very hard to maintain at all times. You’ll get white glove service when appropriate, but we’re also proud of not taking ourselves too seriously. Our philosophy is, after all, a club should first and foremost be fun for the entire family

We truly believe that Royal Palm represents a unique alternative in country clubs in this region. It starts with our Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course but goes much further than that.
 
HISTORY
 
Arthur Vining Davis, Chairman of The Aluminum Company of America, originally owned the tract of land now known as Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club. In 1958, Mr. Davis formed the Arvida Corporation for the purposes of developing some one hundred thousand acres of his Florida land holdings.

Royal Palm became the first tract of land selected for development. The site was then used for a nationally renowned polo field that was a focal point for Palm Beach society, with grandstands and stables for overnight housing of polo ponies. Also there was a well kept nine hole golf course, frequently used by Tommy Armour and hotel guests to whom he was giving lessons.

Arthur Vining Davis was diminutive, kindly, gentle and smiling. His real estate holdings in Florida alone had an estimated value of over one hundred million dollars. He took pride in the development of Royal Palm. He dined, danced, and beamed at the Club’s inaugural Commodore’s Ball on March 19, 1960. His original hope was that the development would become purely a retirement community.

Royal Palm derived its name form the statuesque Royal Palms bordering Camino Real; the Club’s Blue and Gold colors are from the color theme of early Arvida sales brochures and advertising.

The winning bid to build the golf course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, was three hundred sixty eight thousand dollars. The 2002 renovation of the course cost four million three hundred and forty thousand dollars and the design fee paid to Jack Nicklaus was one million two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

Sam Snead was named Professional, dividing his time between Royal Palm and the Boca Raton Hotel and Club. Some members kidded him as being the "Lot Salesman Pro." Resident Professional was John Redman, who fired a 63 on the new course and has gone on to be recognized as one of the finest teaching professional in America. Member play burgeoned swiftly. As early as 1959, Kay Wolfel, Jobie Welch and Aggie Goss met to write the initial Bylaws of the Club’s oldest formal organization, The Ladies’ Golf Association.

The entire areas was an enclave that could not be encroached upon, being bound on the North by the Boca Raton Hotel and Club; the East by the Intracoastal Waterway; the South by the Hillsboro River; and the West by Federal Highway. This tract was selected for the first development because its location insured an early success for Arvida.

Work on the development commenced early in 1959. Simultaneously, Royal Palm Yacht & Country Club was organized as a Club owned by Arvida, with ownership of a lot or home in Royal Palm a condition for membership. The initiation fee was one hundred dollars. Lot purchase arrangements provided that ownership and operation of the Club could subsequently pass to the members whenever five hundred members were obtained, but no later than May 28, 1964.

The members acquired full title of the Club and with it full operating responsibility in 1963. Membership then was less than the five hundred required in the controlling agreement. Arvida, however, was willing to yield on this point. Five hundred and fifty home sites of the original seven hundred and forty two available had been sold. Further, the fledging Club was suffering operating losses each year which were being absorbed by Arvida. For 1962 alone, this amounted to two hundred and seventeen thousand dollars. Arvida additionally agreed in the negotiations to put the golf course, buildings and grounds in good state, and also to provide sixty thousand dollars as working capital.

On January 1, 1964 the transfer of Club ownership to the members took place. The initiation fee was immediately raised to three thousand dollars and dues increased. This was indeed a bold step because, as one member remarked, 'We had not been getting too many members at five hundred dollars." In its first year of independent operation, a modest cash reserve was accumulated, although cost cutting measures caused some members to speak ruefully of the "good ‘ol days", when Arvida was picking up a large part of the tab.

The Members’ Equity Plan was adopted by vote June 20, 1967. Simply stated, this established the current value of an individual member’s share of Club ownership by providing that a resigning Founder Member would receive sixty percent of the initiation fee paid by the new member to whom the resigning member’s membership certificate was transferred. Immediately, this simple action caused many members to look at their Club in an enhanced light.

In 1972, a membership qualification change of great importance was made. Until then, Royal Palm had been a "home site" club. It had become clear; however, that membership and club revenues could not be maintained at desired levels by drawing exclusively from the ranks of Royal Palm residents. This was a serious acknowledgement. For restricting applications to owners of homes in Royal Palm had always been considered vital by members interested in maintaining club quality and intimacy. Nevertheless, when the facts were clearly presented, the members voted to award Founder Membership and Golf Privileges to other than Royal Palm homeowners.

In January of 2001, the Club changed the membership structure again -- raising the initiation fee to eighty thousand dollars with seventy percent refundable upon resignation. The new plan was introduced to provide funding for a Club Enhancement Program that included a new Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, a new seven thousand foot fitness center and a new golf clubhouse. Over the years, the Club had become outdated and the facilities were not attracting a steady stream of new members. Since the enactment of the Club Enhancement Program, the Club has seen steady growth.

The Fitness Center opened in May 2002. The Golf Course opened in December of 2002. The golf clubhouse opened in December of 2003. It includes men's and ladies' locker rooms and card rooms, a main dining room and tap room, a halfway house and 19th Hole, open terraces for dining, the Golf Pro Shop, and bag and cart storage.

The Club's facilities also include six lighted clay tennis courts, an Olympic-size swimming pool, a fully equipped marina, a golf practice range with two chip and putting practice areas, two championship six wicket croquet courts, and the Yacht Club.

The Yacht Club houses the general offices, a Main Dining Room seating 300 with a permanent dance floor, the Commodore Grille room seating 160 for informal dining.

MEMBERSHIP

Golf Membership
  • Current capital contribution requirement is $100,000.
  • Provides access to all of the Club's amenities
  • No residency requirements
  • No spending requirements or dining minimums

Social Membership

  • Current capital contribution requirement of $40,000
  • No residency requirements
  • No spending requirements or dining minimums
  • Provides access to all of the Club's amenities, excluding golf privileges

Junior Membership  

  • Available to individuals 24 through 39 years of age
  • Not required to be a child or grandchild of a member
  • Capital contribution is 50% of full membership requirements
  • Junior Golf: $50,000 -Junior Social: $20,000
  • Junior Membership dues – 70% of full membership dues
  • Securing a Junior Membership now will reserve a future Founder
  • Membership at today's capital contribution rate
  •  
  • There will a cap of 25 on the total number of Legacy plus Junior Memberships

Legacy Membership  

  • Available only to children, grandchildren & stepchildren of any existing RPYCC Founder Member 24 through 39 years of age
  • Capital contribution is 30% of full membership requirements
  • Junior golf: $30,000 - Junior social: $12,000
  • Junior Membership dues – 70% of full membership dues
  • Securing a Junior Membership now will reserve a future Founder
  • Membership at today's capital contribution rate
  •  
  • There will a cap of 25 on the total number of Legacy plus Junior Memberships

For more information, please contact  Janet Wayne , Membership Director, 199 Royal Palm Way , Boca Raton , FL 33432

Direct phone: 561-210-8146 -Email: jwayne@rpycc.org

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