First phase of $100M project underway at Florida Keys Country Club

Major renovations at Florida Keys Country Club as part of a $100 million project are coming together.

What used to be the front nine at the east end of the course closed earlier this month as part of the redesign process under the direction of Jupiter-based firm Kipp Schulties Golf Design.

“We’re raising it at least 18 inches on that side so we don’t have all the flooding when it rains,” said country club representative Theo Derleth.

Also, within the next year, golfers will have a unique spot to practice their swing. A 12-acre lake will be dug soon to accompany a 24-bay aqua driving range. Unlike a traditional range, golfers can aim balls onto floating greens in the water.

The bays will be housed in a two-level, 14,000-square-foot entertainment complex in a different spot than the current range, which will later be dissolved into parts of the new course.

There will be upgrades to what used to be the back nine at the west end, currently open for play, and an 18-hole putting course will be added, but Derleth said that part of the course won’t change much.

Once the entertainment complex and new course are finished, hopefully by January 2018, Derleth said the pro shop and restaurant will be leveled and replaced with a hotel accompanied by 18 villas and two pools.

Plans for the 100-room hotel and villas have been in the works for a while, but it could be late 2018 before construction starts, he said.

Florida Keys Country Club owners Peter Rosasco and Robert Leef, along with part-owner Index Development Group, revealed their plans for the course after they bought it in January 2015 for $4.3 million. It opened to the public shortly after due to a decline in memberships.

“I’ve been working on this project now for over two years. There’s lots of moving parts to pull together,” Rosasco told the Keynoter at the time.

He could not be reached for comment by press time.

Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219