Isleworth Country Club in Windermere, Florida, is taking the private club experience to new extremes. In 2003 its members hired architect Steve Smyers (Southern Dunes) to overhaul the classic Arnold Palmer and Ed Seaydesigned course and ended up with a 7,544-yard brute (from the tips) that is arguably the toughest eighteen in Florida. This year the club has unveiled the Champions Grill, a 7,500-square-foot extension to the men's locker room (bringing the total area of the clubhouse to a whopping 82,000 square feet). Now members such as Tiger Woods, Mark O'Meara and Charles Howell III can relax after their rounds with eleven plasma televisions, table tennis and pool tables, a golf simulator and swing analyzer, basketball hoop and half court, and an indoor putting green—or just take a drink out to one of the two new balconies overlooking the first and tenth tees.
Emerald Dunes Golf Course in West Palm Beach, Florida, which was given four-and-a-half stars in T+L GOLF's November 2002 guide to the region, is going private. Investcorp, a global investment group, has bought the 1990 Tom Fazio layout; for information on membership, call 888-650-4653. . . . Rick Jacobson has been retained to work on two private club renovations this year, one at the fifty-five-year-old Meadowlands Country Club, twenty-two miles north of Philadelphia, and another at Edina Country Club, ten miles south of Minneapolis. The latter was originally designed by Scotsman Tom Bendelow, with whose work Jacobson is very familiar, having fine-tuned Medinah Country Club in Illinois in preparation for the 1990 U.S. Open. Jacobson will address the playability of Edina's greens, course drainage and practice areas; construction will begin this fall. . . . Rapper 50 Cent, who is known not only for his debut platinum-selling album, Get Rich or Die Trying, but also for having been shot nine times, has reportedly expressed interest in joining the Country Club of Farmington in Connecticut, where he owns a home.
The first private golf club in the Jackson Hole, Wyoming, area will open this July. 3 Creek Ranch (888-920-9292) will feature a Rees Jones layout and blue-ribbon fly-fishing on the three tributaries of the Snake River that weave throughout the property's 710 acres. One of the first members is reportedly Tiger Woods, who purchased one of the 136 homesites (the plots range in size from "cabin" at $775,000 to "ranch" at just under $9 million) right after his wedding last October. In the winter, Tiger and Mrs. Woods can hit the slopes at world-class Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, only a ten-minute drive away. There are 47 homesites and 350 golf club memberships still available. Initiation fees will start at $110,000, with monthly dues averaging $450 to $575.
The Club at Olde Stone (Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest, 2005) Bowling Green, KY; 270-783-0422; $18,500 initiation fee.