Plantation Bay Golf Club – Ormond Beach’s Premier Golf Community

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As Florida increases in appeal to those searching for warmer weather year-round, housing in and around many of the major cities is getting harder and harder to find. And when you do find something, there’s a good chance it will be priced out of your budget. Traffic is in a league all its own; just make sure you leave yourself enough time to get anywhere. Amenities in the Sunshine State such as golf are getting expensive too; it’s not uncommon for a so-so course to command daily greens fees in the triple digits. That severely limits many people – especially seniors – on how many times they can play each week. And for many, that may have been one of the state’s big attractions.

One way to overcome these obstacles is to find a home in a community that offers golf as an amenity. Finding a home in one of these can be a tricky process though; some have ‘mandatory memberships,” meaning that when you buy a home, you must become a member at some level.

Plantation Bay is not your stereotypical golf community. It’s located just west of I-95 in Ormond Beach and while it is an exclusive, gated golf community with 45 holes of championship golf, membership is not required to live there. And once you pay a small initiation fee and become a member, there are no more golf fees, unless you choose to have one of the friendly and competent members of the golf staff help you improve your golf game. But to me, the biggest upside of this prestigious golf community is the traffic, or lack thereof.

The Plantation Bay community is large, even by golf community standards. According to General Manager Sean Lutwin, the distance from the front gate to the rear gate is almost 4 miles. This 3,600-acre community has been beautifully landscaped with majestic oaks, date palm trees, and native tropical plants. Almost every type of floor plan is available including golf villas, single-family homes, and custom luxury estate homes. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance lifestyle you may want to consider a Plantation Bay townhome. With no age requirement at Plantation Bay, there is considerable diversity among the residents. You’ll find recent retirees who are searching for the ‘good life’ at retirement as well as young families who are looking to escape the big city.

Golf is the main attraction at Plantation Bay. They offer 45 holes of championship golf and some incredible practice facilities. Over the years, these golf courses have received their fair share of awards. The Founders North Course – formerly the Club de Bonmont – has been named one of the “Top 50 Florida Golf Courses” and among the “50 Most Distinctive Courses in the Southeast U.S.”  As you play your way around the course you’ll encounter both natural and man-made hazards – bunkers, trees, and water – as well as undulating greens that will test your putting skills, Odds are that by the time you’re finished, you will have used every club in the bag. The 10th hole may be the prettiest and most challenging hole on the property. It’s a dogleg right, par 5 that plays 480 yards from the White Tees. There’s water down the entire right side and fairway bunkers that come into play at the dogleg and continue up the right side. Favoring the left side of the fairway off the tee will take the water out of play and set up your next shot. Again, favoring the left side will yield the best results. Two good shots thus far will leave an approach shot over the lake into a two-tiered green with bunkers on either side.

Prestwick Golf Club plays 6,484 yards from the back tees to a par of 71 with a course rating of 137. The course winds its way through 150 acres of pristine forests and is a shotmaker’s dream. Shotmaking starts with your tee shot at the dogleg left, par 5, 1st hole.  There’s water on the left and more water – and sand – on the right, so you’ll need to be accurate. It doesn’t get any easier on your layup shot, so be sure to take enough club to clear the fairway bunker on the left. Success thus far will leave a short pitch shot into an angled green protected by a lone bunker front left. Thinking your way around the golf course will yield the best results.

The Founders West Course is the newest of all 45 holes and provides all golfers with a fun and challenging round of golf. You’ll encounter some of the most beautiful homes in the community as you play the course. Several of the members I spoke with will use the West Course as a “warmup.” I see it more as a course to get in 9 holes in the evening or whenever you’re pressed for time but still feel the need to tee it up!

Florida golf communities always seem to have impressive practice facilities and Plantation Bay is no exception. Their full-length driving range with private instructional tees allows you to work on every type of shot imaginable and hit every club in the bag. There’s a PGA Tour-caliber short game area with several elevation changes and a large practice putting green. There’s also an aqua range over at the Founders South golf course.

In early 2018, the Plantation Bay Golf Instructional Center opened and continues to help golfers of all abilities improve their golf game. The Center uses state-of-the-art technology including Trackman, Boditrack, K-Motion 3D, and V1 High-Speed Video to help members get the most out of their golf game and enjoy the game more. The pro shop carries the entire line of Callaway golf equipment and custom club fitting is free to members. Their prices on equipment and accessories are competitive with big box and online retailers.

One of the many things that set Plantation Bay apart from other golf communities in the area is the new 40,500-square-foot clubhouse, one of two on the property. You’ll find both indoor and outdoor seating, a new golf pro shop, two bars, and enough meeting and event space for 600 people. The ground level is used for golf cart storage while the event, social, main dining room, and Tavern are located on the main level. Should you find yourself there for lunch, my recommendation for lunch would be either the Fire-Roasted Chicken Wings or the Founders Burger, with crisp bacon, sautéed onions and mushrooms, and all the fixings.

Besides golf, there is a lot to do at Plantation Bay, especially if you want to stay active. Their state-of-the-art fitness center has everything you will ever need to get your heart rate up and increase your endurance, including various Life Fitness strength and cardio equipment, free weights, treadmills, elliptical uprights, and recumbent cycles. If you prefer racquet sports, there’s tennis and pickleball. There are also bocce courts and a zero-entry free-form pool.

Plantation Bay is now accepting new members and, as a resident, it is completely optional. A variety of membership programs are available including Full Membership, Young Executive Golf, a Sports Membership, Clubhouse (Social) Membership, and a Fitness Membership.

With 45 holes of golf and a lot of recreational amenities, a fantastic new clubhouse, and a location that’s a little off the beaten path, Plantation Bay is a great place to call home. So, if you’re tired of the big city hustle and bustle, state income taxes, and a high cost of living, schedule a visit and see all that this community offers. You can give them a call at (386) 437-6840 or find them online at www.plantationbaygolf.com to book a Discovery Tour.

David Theoret

David Theoret has been in the golf and golf travel industry for over 12 years, primarily selling online advertising. For the past seven years, he has also been a golf writer, reviewing golf courses, resorts, destinations, equipment, golf apparel, and training aids – the latter of which never seems to help. What started as a dream years ago, by God’s grace, became a reality in 2015 when The Golfin’ Guy editorial marketing company was founded. Working together with golf course designer Ron Garl; David’s articles and reviews have been posted on many golf travel, equipment, and apparel websites.

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