Parks and greenspaces have always been vital to the health and wellness of the communities they serve. These last two years have revealed even more the essential nature of local, state, and national parks and recreation facilities. National Parks have seen near unmanageable increases in visitation this summer – according to the National Park Service, Yellowstone saw a nearly 11% increase while Grand Teton saw a whopping 30% increase in visits from 2019. Take a look at the social media pages of some of the Florida State Parks system most popular parks on any given weekend. It will reveal they are having to close their gates as early as 11am because they have reached capacity already. Closer to home, the parks and recreation amenities overseen by Palm Coast Parks & Recreation are buzzing as well.
One of the most popular amenities has been the Palm Harbor Golf Club. At 160 acres, Palm Harbor allows for plenty of space to stretch your legs, practice your putting, and play a leisurely 18-holes all while enjoying the palms, ancient oaks, ospreys, and even American bald eagles that call the course home. And since summer 2020, it has been humming with activity.
“We were set to break records in 2020. When we reopened participation numbers shot up even more,” says Lauren Johnston, Chief of Staff Citizen Engagement. 2021 was an even better year, with Palm Harbor already turning a profit entering the fourth quarter. “It’s amazing. Between league play, our range punch card, and the residents coming out and enjoying the course, this year has been extremely successful and record breaking.”
With this increased usage, maintenance has become more of a pressing priority. “We have to do a lot of work to keep our limited golf cart fleet up and running,” according to Golf Supervisor Mitch Lehman. “We store and maintain them in our cart barn, so that space sees a lot of action. It’s also very visible, so keeping it neat, tidy, and in good repair is key. Conditions are one of the key things players look for when assessing the value of play. Here at Palm Harbor, we consistently receive feedback that our playing conditions are top notch.”
Parks and Recreation worked closely with Storm Water & Engineering and Public Works to map out and complete the maintenance on the cart barn, which included a new roof and fresh paint. With the assistance of Code Enforcement, Parks was also able to put in additional greenery to add privacy for both the course and its neighbors, as well as increase the natural aesthetic of the course.
The Palm Harbor Golf Club, located at 20 Palm Harbor Drive, offers a full service practice facility with a driving range, putting green, and chipping green. It also features a full restaurant on site, The Green Lion. Tee times can be reserved by visiting palmharborgolfclub.com.