Sunday, August 25, 2019

Golfers Gear up for Island Country Club ‘Reopening’


Bob Boardman speaks to the crowd, thanking those who were involved in the redesigning of the golf course. Photo by Samantha Husted

Bob Boardman speaks to the crowd, thanking those who were involved in the redesigning of the golf course. Photo by Samantha Husted

After eight months of extensive renovations, the Island Country Club (ICC) golf course is officially open for business. To celebrate the newly designed links, the country club held a grand reopening event. For the first time since April, members were able to golf on their home turf.

“Since April 1st the membership was displaced and required to play at several neighboring golf clubs,” Island Country Club General Manager Peter Cizdziel said. “Despite the 20-inch rain event in one week in May and the major hurricane in September, the golf course has officially reopened as scheduled.”

What golf outing is complete with out some meat on a grill? ICC staff grilled up hamburgers, bratwurst, and chicken for the hungry golfers.

What golf outing is complete with out some meat on a grill? ICC staff grilled up hamburgers, bratwurst, and chicken for the hungry golfers.

Architect Dave Wallace designed the original golf course back in 1966. Over the past 50 years it’s seen renovations and upgrades. But according to Heather Hall, the club’s Director of Membership and Marketing, “a renovation of this magnitude has never been done.”

Under the guidance of designer Kipp Schulties, the course has been completely redeveloped. Schulties and his team consulted with the Greens and Grounds Committee as well as club members to determine the concerns of golfers. Lower parts of the course have been elevated, the irrigation system modified, and the 50-yearold organic layer under the fairway has been removed.

Bob Boardman, Bob Doretti, and Rene Champagne celebrate after cutting the symbolic ribbon welcoming ICC members to the new golf course.

Bob Boardman, Bob Doretti, and Rene Champagne celebrate after cutting the symbolic ribbon welcoming ICC members to the new golf course.

“It’s a mark in our club’s history,” Heather Hall said. “This may very well be the biggest day since the members purchased the Club.”

Visually, the course is unrecognizable. It’s been completely shifted and thoughtfully redesigned. Members Sue and Jay Reed have been golfing at the country club for the past five years. Sue described the new course as being “extremely playable” and “absolutely gorgeous.” Jay shared a similar sentiment, calling it “visually perfect.”

Director of Membership and Marketing Heather Hall with Clubhouse Manager Bid Bakkar.

Director of Membership and Marketing Heather Hall with Clubhouse Manager Bid Bakkar.

Marco Island Fire Rescue Chief Michael Murphy, Deputy Chief Dave Batiato, and Battalion Chief Chris Crosson were also in attendance.

Throughout the day members were able to golf, eat, and hang out with their friends, many of whom they hadn’t seen since last season. The event ended with a ceremonial ribbon cutting, commencing the start of a new season and new course. ICC members Bob Boardman, Bob Doretti, and Rene Champagne had the honor of cutting the symbolic ribbon.

Fanny Bustamante restocks baked goods during the ICC’s grand reopening event.

Fanny Bustamante restocks baked goods during the ICC’s grand reopening event.

“We’re really excited about the whole thing,” Clubhouse Manager Bid Bakkar said. “The golf course is something else. It looks better every day.”

According to Bid Bakkar and Heather Hall, this was the Island Country Club’s event of the season. As for the staff, they went all out for the occasion.

“The staff started very early, as early as 4 AM to make sure things were done right,” Bid Bakkar said.

After the golf outing, members were treated to a cocktail party in the club’s interior. The staff served up caviar, sushi, a pasta and lobster station, bourbon, and even provided a cigar room.

Sue and Jay Reed have been golfing at the ICC for the past five years. They described the new course as “visually perfect.”

Sue and Jay Reed have been golfing at the ICC for the past five years. They described the new course as “visually perfect.”

After eight long months the Island Country Club is finally getting back to its normal. With the newly installed golf course and subsequent party, it seems that the tone has been set for the upcoming year.

“Maintaining this aggressive timeline was no small feat and only for the incredible work of a great team was it possible,” Peter Cizdziel said.

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