By: Sharon Aron Baron

The Woodlands Country Club was created in 1968 when developer and Tamarac builder Ken Behring wanted to build a golf community resembling Palm Springs, Calif. He purchased more than 5,000 acres and built homes surrounded by fairways, beautiful wooded areas, and winding streams.

The golf course was carved out of 640 acres of verdant, virgin woodlands. Legendary entertainer Jackie Gleason wanted a PGA Tour event that would bear his name, one to outdo those headlined by his friends and Hollywood rivals Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. Behring and Gleason entered into a contract under which a “Jackie Gleason” championship course would be built for that purpose. But Gleason’s demands became excessive and the deal was called off. Von Hagge, a second-generation course architect whose father had apprenticed under Donald Ross, and Devlin, an Australian touring pro who would go on to design more than 140 courses worldwide, laid out the two courses.

From its inception, the roster at Woodlands Country Club read like a “who’s who” of the rich and famous from the northeast United States. Notable members included Leonard Pines, owner of Hebrew National Hotdogs; Herbert Gallen, owner of fashion house Ellen Tracy (until it was sold to Liz Claiborne in 2002), and American comic-book artist Will Eisner. Most of the homes in the Woodlands were winter homes for the elite until retirement, when they became their permanent residences. On Saturday evenings, dinner dances were held where women dressed in their finest gowns. There was so much expensive jewelry on display at those evenings that the Club hired off-duty policemen to guard the premises.

ClubLink Members will enjoy the clubhouse complex which provides recreation for the entire family, including tournament tennis on four clay courts and a swimming pool. The clubhouse is a contemporary tri-level design overlooking a two-acre lake with outdoor patios and lounge decks. The formal dining room is perfect for dances and other events. The clubhouse also features a cocktail lounge, conference rooms, and men’s and women’s card rooms with bar service. The fully stocked golf shop overlooks the large driving range as well as a practice area for chipping and sand shots. There are two 18-hole courses: the East Course and the West Course. Just five years ago, the East Course went through a $500,000 renovation. It measures 6,472 yards from the back. Measuring 6,825 yards from the back tees, the West Course features five sets of tees for different skill levels.

Now residents can pay a daily rate or choose to join ClubLink’s “one membership, more golf” which gives them reciprocal access to every course in the ClubLink family, which includes more than 50 championship courses in Canada and Florida including: the Woodlands Country Club, Heron Bay, Palm Air, and Eagle Trace.

The Woodlands daily rates starts at $59 before 11:30 a.m. and $69 after 11:30 a.m with special rates after 3:30 p.m.  You have to be a South Florida resident to get these great rates and they will ask for proof of residence, so call 1-800-276-9542 to book a tee time.  Rates are valid until April 12, 2015. Weekend rates apply on holidays.

The history of the Woodlands was originally written by Sharon Aron Baron and published in the Summer 2011 Edition of ClubLink Life Magazine.  Full story here.

Author Profile

Sharon Aron Baron
Sharon Aron Baron created the Woodlands Tamarac in 2010 for original News for the community. In 2011 she went on to create Tamarac Talk, in 2012, Coral Springs Talk and 2017, Parkland Talk.

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