Spend any time in suburban Florida and you’ll see a lot of gated communities. It can seem as if the entire state lies secluded behind guard gates staffed by cheerful folks with clipboards and magic powers to allow or deny entry.
The true luxury in these communities is two-fold: privacy and amenities. Lush green space abounds and it seems that lawns and trees are always in a constant state of being trimmed and tended to. Amenities can be as simple as a community clubhouse and pool or range to a full-service country club. Even at the country club level, there are country clubs, and then there are the kind of clubs where service is delivered at an elevated level.
This brings us to The Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Fla., a spot that has drawn everyone from Celine Dion to Michael Jordan. The area seems to have a particular lure for golfers. Jack Nicklaus designed The Bear’s Club in 1999, creating a majestic and challenging 18-hole golf course and a community over 401 acres. The community is less than two miles from the ocean and within easy striking distance of the tony shops of West Palm Beach.
What makes The Bear’s Club particularly attractive, once you are welcomed past the gates, is the sense of privacy and sprawl. The houses are set back from the street so that all you see is abundant greenery. The golf course, designed as the centerpiece of the community also offers serene tranquility and no fears that an errant 3 wood might send a golf ball through someone’s window. The course is set amid nature preserve areas, wetlands, tall pines, and lakes. It feels more like a course you would drive to visit than one you would play for convenience’s sake.
The Bear’s Club also has a massive Tuscan-style clubhouse spanning 40,000 square feet and with the appearance of a resort hotel. The estate residences and homesites offer acreage and the chance to have a home of expansive size. Six-bedroom homes are not uncommon. The golf villas and club cottages are luxury on a slightly smaller scale. Club cottages near the clubhouse offer golf course views.
Recently auctioned through Concierge Auctions is the home built for Gary Nicklaus, Jack’s son. I recently had a chance to tour this home and see exactly what The Bear’s Club has to offer its residents that include Ernie Els and others who have chosen this community as their course away from home.
Set on nearly two private acres the six-bedroom home has over 15,000 square feet of space. The home elegantly combines formal and more casual spaces.
The open-concept kitchen includes a sitting area and leads into a dining space with beautiful views of the pristine landscaping. The grounds include a loggia with ceiling fans, a fireplace, and a summer kitchen that includes a gas grill and smoker. There is also a resort-style pool. While the property has been landscaped for privacy, a buyer desiring views of the 4th green of the course could reconfigure the property.