Island Green Country Club was one of the most popular golf courses located in Clearwater, Florida. The 18-hole championship course was considered one of the finest golfing experiences in central west Florida with its picturesque views of Flat Lake and surrounding preserves.
In 1989, a two-member partnership development team consisting of R. Frank Schubert and Robert A. Roth formed the company "RG2 Golf Development LLC" to construct a world-class golf course on undeveloped land in order to produce a new revenue stream for their third project which consisted of retail, office and residential developments at nearby Countryside Shopping Center. Their new 18 hole championship golf course was designed by David Postlethwait and Ben Cowan to be one of the finest public courses within the Tampa Bay Area. The success of Island Green Country Club allowed RG2 Golf Development an opportunity to provide increased amenities for its patrons such as practice areas, clubhouses with full-service restaurants, meeting rooms, and pro shops.
The course was originally planned to be built near Largo, but landowner John Dennen agreed to sell the property for slightly less than he initially sought. After purchasing the land, RG2 Golf Development began clearing for construction in 1991.
On February 7, 1992, during construction of the course, an F4 tornado measuring 200 yards wide at its base destroyed acres of trees and lifted two 60-foot light poles. The home made it through with minor damage while other homes were severely damaged or destroyed. Although no one was injured in the storm, everyone evacuated their homes while waiting out the tornado. Once the storm had passed all hands returned to work to complete construction that day before dusk.
The grand opening ceremony was held on September 2, 1993 which featured several championship golfers including Major PGA Champions Lanny Wadkins and Tom Kite as well as World Champion PGA Golfer Lee Trevino. These former professional athletes gave advice about the course layout to members and guests in attendance. The grand opening festivities concluded with a fireworks show at 8:30 pm.
The wide range of annual membership fees along with the moderately priced greens fees was considered to be reasonable for everyone. The club hosted many local, state, and regional golfing events throughout its history including PGA Tour Qualifying School.
In 2012, after several years of ongoing negotiations with city officials in Clearwater, FL., RG2 Golf Development LLC was finally granted approval to construct a brand new course which also came with additional amenities. The name Island Green Country Club would be retained for this second 18-hole golf course situated on the other side of Flat Lake. With construction already underway, due to financial reasons it was determined that these new plans would be put on hold until further notice. Therefore, the original golf course remained in use but not without some noticeable changes.
On-site owners of Island Green were informed in September 2015 that the club would be closing its doors at the end of the year. The property was sold to new owners who plan to use it as a home for their private helicopter and jet aircraft as well as develop the surrounding area into more condo complexes or apartments. It is not yet clear exactly what will happen to those golf course holes that cross over between both properties, but they may also be closed off depending on planning and zoning restrictions.
The final day of play at Island Green was December 31, 2015. In 2017 the new owners began construction of a helicopter base as well as other structures on the property which were completed in 2018. The former golf course is no longer accessible to the public at this time.
The new owners plan to continue giving memberships to the helicopter and jet aviation community, which was one of their major purposes for purchasing this unique property. Although the course will not be open for public use, it may still host local golf tournaments since they are subject to different permit requirements.
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Mike is a weekend golfer from Connecticut and a devoted fan of the game who turned his passion into the writing experience. Any day he keeps it under 80 is a cool day. When he's not writing about golf his is playing it.