After a hurricane-induced tornado piled air conditioners and washing machines on this Florida course, it’s finally back open

DELRAY BEACH, Florida — The Kings Point Executive Golf Course is open for business after sustaining damage from a tornado induced by Hurricane Ian.

Maintenance crews filled more than 20 dump trucks with air conditioners and washing machines that littered the 18-hole golf course while uprooted trees were removed.

The course opened Nov. 14. Business was brisk on Monday morning, Dec. 5., as golfers waited in line in carts to tee off.

David Margalit, a Kings Point resident of seven years, said he was pleased with the condition of the course. “It was a nightmare after the tornado struck,” he said. “I thought it might take months before I’d be able to golf again.”

Margalit tries to golf at least once a week.

“We spent about three weeks doing nothing but getting the course back in shape,” said Bill Jeffrey, maintenance superintendent. “It was a lot of work.”

Golf Course Director Jeff Huelsman praised the work of Jeffrey and his 14-person staff. They did an amazing job, said Huelsman.

The tornado destroyed more than 50 condominium units at Kings Point

Golf clubs spill from the wreckage of a vehicle at the Kings Point community in unincorporated Palm Beach County, Fla., on Sept. 29, 2022. A tornado spawned by Hurricane Ian flipped and destroyed cars in the parking lot of the complex.

Residents have obtained assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency after the county was declared a disaster area, largely because of the Kings Point tornado.

The golf course was closed for renovation work when the tornado hit. It delayed its reopening by about a month. Repairs had to be made to the renovations that had already been completed.

More: Kings Point resident describes the moment a tornado hit the senior community

More: Hurricane Ian: Tornado damage at King’s Point in Delray Beach

“It was frustrating but we are very pleased with the way things turned out.” noted Huelsman. “The course has never looked better.”

Lisa Manzione, spokeswoman for clubhouse management at Kings Point, said the opening could not have come at a better time. The golf course generates gross revenue of more than $1 million for Kings Point.

“It has consistently operated in the black,” she noted. “That is important because it helps to lower the assessments that are charged to Kings Point homeowners.”

Many of them live on fixed incomes.

Huelsman said play has already reached expected levels. In season, he said the course sees as many as 200 rounds of golf a day. The executive golf course is open to the public. Non-residents represent the majority of players.

The 18-hole course is located on the east side of the golf community adjacent to the Flanders Club House. The par-60 course was built in 1972. It was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr.

The course has been surfaced with Bermuda grass. And, to ensure a consistent flat hitting surface, the tees have been laser leveled. The greens have been re-grassed with Champion Ultra-Dwarf Bermuda grass, making the putting surface at par with those found in PGA Tour courses.

The bunkers were also upgraded to protect the greens. The holes range from 114 to 388 yards in distance. The club also offers a driving range, a pitching and chipping area, and a putting green.

Mike Diamond is a journalist at the Palm Beach Post, part of the USA TODAY Florida Network. He covers county government. You can reach him at [email protected]. Help support local journalism. Subscribe today.

Source link

Back to top button