Bonita Bay - 2017 Best Golf Community of the Year
Florida has more golf courses than any other state in the U.S. (1,200+) so naturally our search for the best golf community kept us busy in our home state. The Paradise Coast, on the southwest side of Florida, is home to over 90 golf courses alone. Most are found within Naples bundled golf communities.
A community we’ve had our eye on for 10 years is Bonita Bay located just north of Naples, in Bonita Springs. The 2,400 acre gate community has 56 neighborhoods and approximately 3,000 homes. As large as that sounds, it doesn’t feel that way until you see it from the air. Development began back in the mid 1980’s. The creative land use includes delightful curb appeal. Community parks, sparkling lakes, decorative bridges and twelve miles of walking paths shaded by trees and tropical foliage makes one feel like their roaming around in paradise. Fortunately, it will stay that way. Almost 60% of the community’s acreage has been designated as open green space.
Although our focus today is on the top golf courses in Naples FL, all of the amenities at Bonita Bay Club are significant. They include a sizable tennis center with 18 tennis courts, the new 18,000 square foot lifestyle wellness center and spa, two elegant clubhouses with first class dining and access to a deepwater marina providing quick access to the Gulf of Mexico. The most talked about five championship golf courses in Naples are at Bonita Bay Club:
- The Marsh Course, Creekside Course, Bay Island Course designed by Arthur Hills
- Cypress and Sabal Course - designed by Tom Fazio; two courses built on 1,000 acres of preserved wetlands with no residential development on either course
Members could argue the newer Cypress Course and Sabal Course are the most fun to play with fast greens, intriguing wildlife, and privacy from one hole to the next fueling a curiosity about what to expect next. Players report seeing turkey, deer, hawks and even a Florida panther on the course. Some say the back nine holes are even prettier than the front nine.
In 1999, the Cypress and Sabal courses were designated as the world’s first private 36 hole Audubon International Signature Sanctuary. The first three courses (The Marsh, Creekside and Bay Island) are located inside the community’s main entrance about 10 minutes from the beach. The golf courses with gentle rolling hills, twist through wetlands, palm trees, and by challenging water hazards and moguls. The top golf courses in Naples FL received achieved Audubon certification 4 years earlier.
In 2013, Bonita Bay Club converted and expanded its golf pro shop into a 30,000 square Golf Super Center connected to one of the clubhouses. The casual, yet classy 55th Hole includes a coffee bar, outdoor seating around a 14’ long fire pit and 4,700 square foot open-air bar. The bold color design in hues of orange and blues compliment the incredible sunsets visible from the seamless glass windows. With almost a dozen golf professionals on staff, members have access to the finest golf instruction in the area. The club is member-owned and has a strong social atmosphere.
Living in a gated community where membership provides access to 90 holes of superior golf is a golfer’s dream. And with five sets of tees, that’s 450 variations of play! It’s hard to find Naples bundled golf communities on par with Bonita Bay. While everyone in the family may not be a golfer, we believe it’s equally important to have a host of amenities for everyone in the family to enjoy. There's something fun for everyone at Bonita Bay.
The Bonita Bay Club golf membership initiation fee is $85,000 with annual dues of $14,500. A sports membership initiation fee is $35,000 with annual dues of $5,500. Residency is required to join the club.
Whether a family is raising young children and looking for a safe place to live or folks are searching for the best retirement communities in FL, folks will find Bonita Bay has it all. Folks can choose from single family homes, low maintenance villas or modern condominiums in hi-rise buildings with dramatic views of the Gulf of Mexico. Bonita Bay HOA fees are approximately $2,600 per year.
We salute Bonita Bay for achieving excellence. They are this year’s 2017 Bliss Award winner for Best Golf Community of the Year. If you'd like to tour the community or others in the Naples area, be sure to reach out and say hello. It's our pleasure to help.