The Coastal Star

Along the Coast: Summer memberships give clubs chance to attract new people

LEFT: Professional quality Har-Tru tennis courts are just part of the draw at the Delray Beach Club. Coastal Star file photo
RIGHT: Children are a major part of the summer membership focus at the St. Andrews Club. Photo provided

By Brian Biggane

As spring unfolds and many of their full-time members head north, several area clubs open their doors for summer memberships.
For some, such as the Delray Beach Club, it’s a way to keep members engaged with dining, beach and pool activities with a more limited — but still busy — schedule.
For others, such as St. Andrews Club, it’s a means of raising additional revenue while potentially attracting future full-time applicants for membership.
The Royal Palm Yacht Club and the Boca Raton Resort and Club do not offer summer memberships.
Most summer memberships run from May 1 to Oct. 31 and are available only to applicants who are sponsored by one or more voting members. Applicants typically face a waiting period of 14-30 days for approval. Here’s a closer look at the clubs that responded to our request for summer membership information:

Delray Beach Club
2001 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach, 278-6226
Membership Director Diane Roberts said summer programs are nothing new at the iconic club in south Delray, having existed prior to her arrival nearly 25 years ago.
“We don’t curtail our programs that much from the season,” Roberts said. “We have a theme party every month, along with a full run of kids’ activities and camps.”
The club offers a 3.5-acre oceanfront beach, an expansive pool and activities that include canasta events on Wednesdays, known alternatively as “Cocktails and Canasta,” “Girlfriend Canasta” and “Classic Canasta.”
Other activities include bridge games, a book club, art club, theater trips, luncheons, lectures, musical entertainment, holiday theme dinner parties and cabaret night.
Four Har-Tru tennis courts are available, two on property and two off property, with lessons from a professional.
Food and beverage service is available outside Tuesday through Thursday and inside on the weekends. The club is open Mondays but no food is served.
“We’ll be capping our membership at 90 this year,” Roberts said. The club had 87 summer members last year. “We’re just as busy in the summer nowadays as we are in season.”

St. Andrews Club
4475 N. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach, 272-5050
After attracting 25 families to its inaugural summer membership program a year ago, St. Andrews has set a goal of 50 this year.
“We think our programming is a lot stronger than a lot of other clubs,” General Manager Robert Grassi said. “So we’re doing independent, large events. We’re going to have a surf camp and a lifeguard camp.”
Children are a focus of the various St. Andrews programs. The club produced a book at the end of last summer featuring color displays of kids involved in activities ranging from observing turtle hatchlings to golf and tennis to pool activities.
“We want to get them out to do a new activity or sport and get the phone out of their face,” Grassi said.
St. Andrews offers more facilities than most, including an 18-hole par-3 golf course, tennis and croquet courts, a fitness center, and pool and beach access.
Golf pro Amy Carver plans to do a variety of kids’ clinics along with a “Nine and Dine” program for adults.
“If you have kids just getting introduced to golf you can’t spend the whole day on the course,” Carver said. “They need time to work on basic skills, so we’ll do that in the mornings, have lunch and go play in the afternoon.”
Highlights of the dining schedule include Grillin’ and Chillin’ on Wednesdays and a pizza/pasta night on Fridays, with a snack bar on weekends.
The club is also stressing responsibility for the environment, as evidenced by the April release of 200 butterflies and the donation of an ATV to Sea Turtle Adventures, which monitors nests along the beach.

Seagate Beach Club
400 Seasage Drive, Delray Beach, 665-4800
GM William Sander reported that this will be the 10th year of summer memberships since the club reopened in 2009.
This is the third year that Seagate offers access to the Seagate Country Club. Golf memberships began May 1 but the Beach Club won’t open until June 1 due to a renovation project involving the replacement of the roof, redoing the upstairs dining room, new pavers on the pool deck, painting the pool and installing new bathrooms.

The Little Club
100 Little Club Road, Gulf Stream, 278-1010
The 18-hole par-3 golf course, a croquet court and dining are the highlights of a summer membership at The Little Club.
Membership liaison Marilyn Wobeser said the fee schedule is reduced in the summer months.
Summer members pay a dining room service fee but are not obligated to spend a minimum amount for food. Also, members pay no greens fees, though cart fees remain and guests are also charged greens fees.
The clubhouse closes down throughout August while the golf course shuts down for two weeks at that time. “We’ve always been able to generate new members from our summer program,” Wobeser said.

Colony Cabana Club
1801 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach, 276-4065
Owner Jestena Boughton said the club’s membership has topped out but the club, which features 250 feet of beach and a 25-meter pool, will continue its usual summer programs.
“We have a plunge pool that’s cool in the summer and warm in winter, we serve lunch from 12 to 2 for club members and their guests and have parties on full-moon nights,” Boughton said. “We don’t have a bar, but encourage bringing food and drinks on the nights we have parties.”
The club has nearly 30 beach cabanas that feature a community shower, and Boughton said members make the most of that feature in the summer.
“Our members love us,” Boughton said. “We’re as full as we can get.”

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