The mission of Saint Andrews South Golf Club is to be responsive and exceed the expectations of our members and to provide our members and their guests with a quality golf course and clubhouse.
How it all began…
Saint Andrews South has a unique origin.
Punta Gorda Isles, Inc., was committed to build a golf course in the Isles and was ready to start construction in April 1980. Mr. Al Johns, Chairman of the Board, Punta Gorda Isles, Inc., approached his good friend Fred Stevens to determine if a group could be organized to operate the new course as a private club. It was evident that considerable interest existed, so a committee of Fred Stevens, Don Martin, and Bill Brooks met with Mr. Johns and Dr. John Douglas, President of PGI. The decision was made to expand the committee and study the possibility in detail. Fifteen members were elected to the first Board of Directors, a name was selected, By-Laws written, and a non-profit corporation came into existence on November 6, 1980. Saint Andrews South Golf club was now a legal entity and ready to do business, but many meetings were held to solve the numerous problems that arose. There were times when it was felt the idea would not become a reality.
In February of 1981, a meeting was held at the Burnt Store Golf Club for the purpose of developing a membership. The By-Laws established a maximum of 250 memberships, but we were over-subscribed. It was decided to accept the entire group and let attrition reduce the number to 250. This worked out beyond expectations.
An agreement was negotiated with Punta Gorda Isles, Inc., wherein Saint Andrews South would lease the golf course, club house, and service building for a period of 50 years at a cost of $10 a year. The facilities were turned over to the Board of Directors on St. Andrews Day, November 30, 1981. The rent has been paid for the full 50 years. Punta Gorda Isles, Inc., was very cooperative during the development period, assisting in every way possible, as well as providing financial support during the first three years.
Saint Andrews South opened for play on December 1, 1981, with a 9 hole exhibition by a foursome consisting of Bobby Nichols, the pro at Fiddlesticks Country Club, which was under construction; Ron Garl, architect for Saint Andrews South; Dick Bessire, who was in charge of PGI facilities; and Jack Veghte, insurance representative for PGI and a well-known national amateur golfer. The course was rather rough, and all will agree that it has come a long way since that opening date.
In 1990 there were two major occurrences: One was a major course improvement program comprising the construction of cart paths throughout the course and the addition of mounds and selected traps; and the other occurrence was the purchase by the members of the course property from Punta Gorda Isles, Inc., for $400,000, thus abrogating the 50-year lease and establishing an equity membership.
In early 1993, the membership approved the expenditure of $375,000 for the renovation and enlargement of the clubhouse with individual members purchasing bonds in order to fund the project. In addition to the larger dining room, now seating 150, the kitchen, golf shop and business office were enlarged. The renovation took four and one-half months with a grand opening party held on February 10, 1994.
On August 13, 2004 Hurricane Charley struck Punta Gorda and did extensive damage to our clubhouse, cart barn, and maintenance buildings, as well as the golf course itself, including the halfway houses. A renovation team was formed immediately. Although we were able to play golf within weeks, it took 14 months before we were up and fully running. In the interim, two trailers were brought in to serve as the business office and pro shop, as well as the hospitality suite which also served as a conference room and meeting place for our members. We were unable to prepare food on site; however, we did manage to have several catered functions in the cart barn, including our birthday party and Sadie Hawkins Day.
The trailers are gone, and although the cart barn and maintenance buildings are not yet completed, the fairways and greens have been refurbished, and the club house has been completely renovated, including a new ansel system in the kitchen as well as a new bar and furnishings.
St. Andrews South
Fred R. Stevens
Ralph E. Plumley*
Louis B. Barghausen*
John D. Benedito*
C. Harlow Duffin*
Milton F. Guy*
John H. Kessler
L.A. LaJaunie, Jr.