Bonita Bay Club’s Bay Island Golf Course to Reopen

Upgrades Mark First Step in Club’s Golf Master Plan

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla., Nov. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — The Bay Island golf course, one of three, separate, 18-hole, Arthur Hills-designed courses within the 2,400-acre Bonita Bay community at Bonita Bay Club, will reopen on November 14 following a recently completed $6-million renovation. The first major step in the club’s golf master plan, the total upgrades that began last March include new fairways, bunkers, irrigation and design elements.
“We’re ecstatic that we believe we have fulfilled our goal in making the course both more playable for the average, high-handicap golfer while keeping the challenges for low-handicap players that the course is known for,” said Bonita Bay Club’s Director of Golf E.J. McDonnell of the work that was done on the 25-year-old course. “Making views of nature even better and improving irrigation were some of the other major factors in many of our decisions as well.”
In crediting Hal Akins, director of golf course operations, and his crew, McDonnell added, “They did an unbelievable job plus getting it in awesome shape to be able to reopen in mid-November.”
More than 100 members including many that were instrumental in the project along with Shawn Smith, one of the original key architects of the course, have been invited to be on hand and play during the grand reopening.
Some of the more dramatic and noteworthy functional and aesthetic changes are a new tee box with a retaining wall and three small bunkers by the green on the third hole; elevated fairway with a new bridge over an expanded lake on hole five; nearly doubling the size of the green on the thirteenth hole; and modifications in a bunker’s depth and size to enhance the run-up opportunities approaching the fourteenth green.
The club plans to redo its Marsh course this summer. In 2021 and 2022, Sabal and Cypress, the two, 18-hole, Tom Fazio-designed courses that span more than 1,000 acres of preserved cypress wetlands and pine flats with no residential development at nearby Bonita Bay Club Naples, will also be redone. Creekside, Bonita Bay Club’s other course, will be renovated in 2024.
Bonita Bay Club recently opened up a limited number of golf memberships for candidates residing outside of Bonita Bay. The club’s newly designed Sports Center offers 18 Har-Tru tennis courts and one of the region’s most active tennis programs, five new pickleball courts, and a zero-entry resort-style pool. Nearby, the 60,000-square-foot Lifestyle Center features a state-of-the-art fitness center, spa and salon. Bonita Bay Club has been recognized with exclusive designations, including the Distinguished Club and Platinum Club, and has been named among America’s Healthiest Clubs. For more information, visit or call the membership office at 239-949-5061.