Phantom 3 Video of the Woodlands Country Club by Adam Baron
By: Sharon Aron Baron
The footage shows why the Woodlands Country Club is Tamarac’s best known secret: This stunning 900 single-family home community is spread out over 200 acres with two 18-hole golf courses and was once home to South Florida’s rich and famous.
The Woodlands Country Club was created in 1968 when developer 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.
The Country Club is now owned by ClubLink Corp which offers reciprocal golf play for their members at clubs at Palm Air, Heron Bay, Eagle Trace, Sun City, and many more all over Canada.