Suntree Country Club will break ground on new $7.5 million clubhouse

This a final render of the new Suntree Country Club dining room.

It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Suntree Country Club.

Golf membership is nearing capacity, the tennis courts have been renovated … and now comes the big one:

Ground will be broken next month on a new clubhouse that will also, by design, create changes to what is now the ninth hole green on the Classic Course.

Construction on the $7.5 million project to build the new venue at the private course is expected to take a year to complete.

"We think it’s a really good thing for the community," Suntree Country Club General Manager Steve Lamontagne said. "We want to have a nice country club, updated and modern. I think it’s a big deal for all of us."

The new clubhouse, which will measure just under 14,000 square feet, will be located just behind where the pro shop currently stands. It will have an outdoor veranda that will overlook new putting greens and the 18th hole. In addition to seating in the main clubhouse, there will be two banquet rooms for functions and private dinners hosted by members, a bar, men’s and women’s locker rooms and, of course, a new pro shop.

But that’s not all Suntree golfers will be getting. The facility will encroach on what is now the ninth green, moving it closer to the water’s edge where it will be protected by a Florida capstone wall that will guard the green for a short approach shot on the par-5 hole, which is expected to be shortened by 45 yards.

"As much as I would like to say the clubhouse is exciting everybody, what I’m hearing from the golfers is, ‘Wow, we’re going to get a beautiful ninth-hole green,’" Lamontagne said.

Actually, make that the 18th green. Lamontagne announced Suntree will be "flipping the nines" that will make the newly-tweaked hole the final challenge on the Classic Course.

Changes to the green, along with furnishings and fixtures for the new clubhouse, are included in the $7.5 million price tag. The project was approved by members in a late-June vote.

Suntree’s existing clubhouse will not be torn down. Instead, it will eventually be repurposed as a youth fitness center.

The existing pool area will also remain in place.

Other capital improvements the club has made under its 10-year strategic plan include an outdoor bar that was built in 2017 and upgraded again this year. Suntree also has started Phase 1 of the Challenge Course irrigation project which will use HDPE piping. Seven holes have been completed this year with the remaining 11 to be finished in 2021. The Classic Course irrigation system was completed in 2014.

The tennis center was revamped last year and now features six hydro courts.

Among the goals of Suntree’s capital improvement plan is to create more of a modern atmosphere at the increasingly family-friendly club, which first opened in 1975 and features two courses that are among the most highly respected in the area.

"I’m extremely proud of the condition of the golf courses," Lamontagne said. "These golf courses are as good as you’ll find in Central Florida."

While you do not need to be a Suntree resident to become a Suntree Country Club member, be aware the club is fast approaching its cap of 545 golf memberships. With an additional 350 social members and 105 tennis members, the club is at nearly 1,000 overall memberships.

"We’re really proud of the accomplishments that are happening here at Suntree," Lamontagne said. "Between the condition of the golf courses and the capital improvements that have gone on over the past few years, Suntree is really doing extremely well."