By Alyssa Mammano
At the pinnacle of the world’s most exclusive country clubs are those awarded the elite designation: Platinum Clubs of the World. To achieve this honorable recognition, a club must excel in six categories voted on by Panel Members and approved by the Advisory Board. Only 100 clubs in the world are bestowed a Platinum title every two years and all 100 are ranked according to their combined totals in Universal Recognition, Excellence in Amenities and Facilities, Professional Service Levels and Overall Experience, Quality of Membership, Governance and Management, and Adapting to Changing Times. Qualifying clubs must be private golf, country and city clubs defined as having an array of amenities in addition to golf, including residential communities.
Illustrating the standard of luxury, the 2018-2019 Platinum Clubs of the World represent 30 countries across the globe. Selected by the world’s most proficient connoisseurs, historians and experts, the list is celebrated for its international diversity and adaptation. Thirteen new clubs were admitted in this election, with Augusta National in Georgia taking the number one position for the first time in history. Several other clubs made strong advancements including Shinnecock Hills in New York, which hosted the 2018 U.S. Open, Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania, which has also hosted the U.S. Open in the past, and Baltusrol in New Jersey breaking into the top ten.
Living and golfing in the same community is a nicety that only some of the Platinum Clubs of the World share. While playing at one of the world’s most exclusive clubs is a luxury, the luxury of living at that same course is even greater. “Golf courses are known for providing great landscapes, and your home may overlook a water hazard, a sand trap, or a sprawling fairway. Not to mention that golf courses need to be meticulously maintained so you never have to worry about having an eyesore for a view,” says Beverly Brown of Smart Way America Realty.
Unmatched golf experiences are the main draw of residential golf communities; however, the unparalleled amenities encourage homeowners to stay. Gina Miller of RE/MAX United notes the multitude of luxuries within a golf club: “The benefit of living in a golf course neighborhood is that there is a real sense of community. Golf communities typically have amenities such as a clubhouse, dining, pool, tennis and more that bring people together with activities on the calendar for every member of the family!”
David Fite of William Raveis South Florida would tend to agree. “Living in a golf community allows you to be with like-minded golf enthusiasts and take part in a very active social life within the community,” says Fite. “Golf communities provide spectacular golf experiences and great amenities like full-service spas, fine dining, concierge services, on-site parties and off-site club sponsored events.” Explore some of the top Platinum residential golf communities below.
Ocean Reef Club
Priced no less than $1.4 million and soaring upward of $90 million, the real estate at Ocean Reef Club offered by Sotheby’s International Realty is the ultimate in exclusivity. Just ten minutes off shore from Ocean Reef sits a private island offered at $95 million with an airstrip for jets, a helipad, a 20-slip marina that can accommodate a mega-yacht and access to the private Ocean Reef Club. Situated at the north tip of Key Largo, the club amenities include championship golf, a salon and spa, shopping and dining in addition to a private airport and 175-slip marina.
Boca West Country Club
Boca West Country Club is a private residential country club comprised of 56 villages, each with golf course and water front views. Housing ranges from condo living to mansion amenities, and everything in between. Located in the heart of Boca Raton, cultural activities, shopping, dining and gorgeous Florida beaches are all within minutes away. The resort-style community is served by three separate airports within 30 minutes driving distance, including Boca Raton Airport for private jet charters. Social gatherings are aplenty, including activities for children. Club members enjoy heated pools, a sports center, spa, salon, game rooms and fine dining in addition to championship golf.
The Madison Club
The residences at the Madison Club are so exclusive, there are less than 30 that are currently available for purchase. Ranging from $1.05 million to $10.5 million, it is the developer’s intent to enhance the natural character of the landscape with each property. Professional designers work one-on-one with each homeowner to create interiors that are personalized and tasteful. The intimacy of the club lends itself to a higher standard of service customized to each guest. The community is family-focused with the hopes that each estate will remain in the bloodline for generations to come.