Dear fellow members,
It has been an honor to serve as your club’s President for the past two terms and on your Board of Directors for the past six years. As my term on the Board comes to an end, I wanted to share some of the club’s successes during the last six years. With so many new faces around our club I would like to share where we were, where we are and where we are going.
Where We Were
Our club has a rich history dating back to 1969. While I won’t go that far back, it’s important to note that our club has always been, and our club will always be a member’s club. Members entrust their board members to make decisions on their behalf and with their involvement and it is a duty we do not take lightly.
Five and a half years ago, we made the decision to renovate the entire golf club. This was a giant leap of faith, for at that point we were no where near the financial position we are today. As we look around today, I believe it was the best decision we have ever made. Some of our membership had doubts and as a result decided to leave. However, many of you saw that as a reason to join and as a result, we had full membership and began forming wait lists throughout the renovation process. From 2019-2023 we have added 112 new equity members, 80 new junior members and 60 new social members. The strong membership growth along with planning and determination from members not only allowed us to accomplish the course renovation but also allowed us to upgrade the golf clubhouse and Schoony’s as well.
An article published by Golf Digest stressed the importance and rise of clubs re-investing back into their members and product. It also shared that the clubs we see today that are successful are the ones who invested and upgraded their facilities. On the other hand, those that did not, have struggled.
Vue on 30a has also seen a great turnaround. In 2015, we were facing challenges with our operations at our award-winning, beachfront restaurant. It was during that time, after much vetting and interviews we hired Michael Bickett as our general manager who not only had a successful background in club renovations but also excelled as leader in the food and beverage industry among other talents. Mr. Bickett’s leadership at the club but specifically at Vue on 30a has dramatically changed this operation into a successful one. In 2015, Vue on 30a lost ($5,692) and in 2022 it made more than $396k. What a huge win for the membership as this allows us to continue to make capital improvements which continues to enhance the member experience.
Where We Are
As a result of everything mentioned above, I am so proud of all the things we have accomplished in the past six years, while investing over $5.2 million, to include:
- Golf Course Renovation
- Golf Cart Path Installation
- New Short Game Area
- Addition to Range and the new Short Course (The Loop)
- Schoony’s 19th Hole Renovation
- Membership Office Remodel
- Clubhouse Building Exterior (paint, gutters, etc.)
- Clubhouse Landscape
- Clubhouse Hardscape
- Golf Performance Center Remodel
- Agronomy Building
- Board Room Remodel
- Vue on 30a Interior Upgrades (lighting, bar, lounge, etc.)
- Administrative Offices
- Vue on 30a front awning
We held a focus group recently of various members (age, tenure at club, membership level, etc.) and asked them several different questions on their membership experience and what it meant to be a member of the club. As a result of their feedback, we were able to sum up what membership at Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club looks like just who we are and who we want to be for the next fifty years…
Membership at Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club is more than just access to a private club. It’s a key to the place you always want to be with the people you want to spend your free time with. It’s a place to make lifelong memories and make the everyday feel special. This is a place to build a community for a lifetime.
What makes membership at Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club this special? In addition to our welcoming community to members and dedicated staff, nothing can compare to the Club’s recently renovated 18-hole championship golf course, award-winning dining and amenities and private beach and pool club.
But put more simply, what makes Santa Rosa really special isn’t about what’s here. It’s about what isn’t: no pretension, no formality, no old school country club vibes. This is a special spot where laid-back and luxury become lifelong friends. It’s filet mignon and flips flops…board shorts and Bordeaux. And there’s nowhere else on Earth quite like it. It’s all part of what makes Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club not just where you want to be…It’s where you want to be you.
Where We Are Going
To drive overall member satisfaction and to continue to attract new members, it is clear that we need to improve our beachside facilities; that is, our Beach Club, pool deck and Vue on 30a. The Planning Committee is already in the process of securing a permit from the DEP to expand our pool deck seaward. Additionally, the committee is in the early stages of planning a completely new Beach Club which would provide a members’ only second story lounge. As we rebuild our financial coffers, we will move forward with this planning process with hopes of implementation within the next 3-5 years. In the interim, we will continue to make aesthetic improvements at both Vue on30a and our poolside areas to address the evolving needs of our membership.
Thank you for entrusting me as your club President. I would be remiss if I did not mention others who served as a director on our Board during my terms that made all of this and more possible for our club. Thank you the following individuals: Bob Baird, David Kettell, Gina Colbert, Mac Clark, Steve Tabor, Eden Cooper-Millsap, Sam Dalton, Bill Wyrough, Jim Shepherd, Michael Baggett, Roy Acosta, Charlie Hoffner, Ken Colbert, David Swart, Larry Osborne, Ashley Loyd, Karen Schoonover, Jim Douthitt and Casey Joiner.