Wilderness Country Club is welcoming seasonal residents back to Naples with plans progressing to build a completely new clubhouse facility, replacing the private country club’s original 47-year-old building.
Designed by McWard Architects Inc. of Naples, the approximately $13.6-million clubhouse will showcase an Old Florida architectural style with panoramic views of the Club’s championship golf course. The new building will provide an expanded outdoor dining experience, a larger bar area, a new pro shop, and a specialty room dedicated for card playing, private dining and other member events.
The interior of the new building will feature an island inspired classic design by renowned interior designer Amanda Lindroth. With offices in Palm Beach, Charleston and Nassau, Bahamas, Lindroth has provided design services for a number of high-end residential and country club projects worldwide.
“We are currently in the site development process and our contractor D. Garrett Construction anticipates starting demolition in May of 2022 with the brand-new clubhouse opening to our members in the summer of 2023,” said Alan Raulerson, General Manager/Chief Operating Officer for Wilderness Country Club. “This puts us on the trajectory to celebrate the Club’s milestone 50th anniversary in 2024.”
Located on 200 forested acres, Wilderness Country Club is an established community featuring an 18-hole, Arthur Hills golf course and an incredible tropical environment. Other club amenities include tennis, casual bocce, croquet, and a private park along with a complete schedule of seasonal activities.
The golf program features in-season clinics and private lessons taught by Head Golf Pro Sara Dickson, who is in her 12th year as a PGA Professional and 16th year in the golf business. Most recently, she was the 2015 Metropolitan PGA Women’s Player of the Year and the 2017 Metropolitan PGA Assistant Professional of the Year. As a teacher, Sara is an AimPoint Green-Reading Instructor and was included in the 2018-19 Golf Digest Best Young Teachers in America and 2017-18 and 2019-20 Golf Digest Best Teacher by State lists.
Members of all skill levels are encouraged to enjoy the world-class golf course with weekly games organized by the Golf Shop. Golfers also have access to a full practice area where they can work on their game with a driving range, short-game area, and putting green. Each club member has the option to walk the course any time of day or take their own private golf cart, and there are never any trail fees.
The tennis and POP Tennis program at Wilderness Country Club also is quite vibrant, with lessons and matches held on the four Har-Tru tennis courts by a U.S. Professional Tennis Association Certified Elite Professional. The tennis program is overseen by Tennis Director Gregory “Spike” Gonzales, who provides instruction to both adults and children in a fashion that makes learning and playing fun and fulfilling.
Five salt water and heated swimming pools are conveniently interspersed throughout the community, which promote social interactions of all residents as they are not segregated by neighborhood.
Residents also take advantage of Frank Park, a private five-acre site dedicated to the pioneering Frank family. The park includes numerous specimen trees and shrubs from around the world. Many of the trees are now labeled so that visitors can learn their common and Latin names as well as place of origin.
Other features of Frank Park include four Har-Tru bocce courts and a regulation-size croquet court where members can enjoy spirited competition. Also, within the property is a dedicated Dog Park area where members and their four-legged friends can participate in daily “Yappy Hour” social gatherings.
Near the park, a group of members successfully created an orchid garden by installing the flowering plants along the Tall Pines nature trail. Orchids are indigenous to Southwest Florida and a Master Gardener provides the group with advice on how to care for them and maintain the beautiful setting.
Photographers and walkers also enjoy the abundance of native wildlife at Wilderness Country Club. More than 80 species of birds have been documented on the site, including Bald Eagles, Ospreys, White Ibis, Anhingas, Great Blue Herons, Red Shouldered Hawks, Barred Owls and Swallow Tail Kites. In fact, the Club has been designated as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary for more than 20 years.
The lush surroundings at Wilderness Country Club provide the ideal location for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida to use as a safe place to return rehabilitated animals, such as turtles, hawks and owls, to their native environment. Since 2014, Wilderness Country Club has also collaborated with the Conservancy on the not-for-profit organization’s Upper Gordon River Wildlife Corridor project.
Wilderness County Club is situated on the east side of Goodlette-Frank Road just north of Golden Gate Parkway and holds the distinction of being the very first private, gated golf course community with a mandatory membership built in Naples. It is conveniently located just minutes from the restaurants, shops, arts and entertainment on Fifth Avenue South and white, sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.
For additional information or to view available properties for sale within this private, gated golf course community, call Wilderness Country Club at 239-261-6060 or visit online at www.wildernesscc.com.
This article originally appeared on Naples Daily News: New clubhouse plans progressing at Wilderness Country Club