A new ownership group is revitalizing the luxury community with a number of improvements, including a redesign of the second course to match the quality of its original layout, the renowned Talon course

By: Dave Shedloski

Appeared in 2011 Nicklaus Premier Clubs

When it comes to great golf, Florida’s southwest coast, with Naples at its epicenter, is one of America’s premier destinations. And one of the most coveted addresses in this highly competitive market is TwinEagles, where a new ownership group has further elevated the stature of a club community that has always offered exceptional value to its members and residents.

After the purchase of the 1,115-acre luxury golf community from the Bonita Bay Group last fall, the Naples-based Ronto Group has set an ambitious timetable for reinvigorating the award-winning property that is anchored by the Talon course, which was designed by the father-son team of Jack Nicklaus and Jack Nicklaus II and opened in 1999.

“This is an exceptional country club and community in an outstanding and ideal location,” says General Manager Dick McPhail. “Everyone on the team is proud to be a part of the vision of the Ronto Group for the exciting future at TwinEagles.”

Plans are already underway to add a fitness center and full-size pool to complement the tennis courts and the palatial Scottish-manor-style clubhouse that encompasses 47,000 square feet on two stories and houses the pro shop and locker rooms, as well as the welcoming dining and lounge areas. The Ronto Group is currently rolling out the second phase of TwinEagle’s real-estate offerings. Grand Arbors eventually will add more than 350 units—villas and single-family residences—to the property’s existing homesites and estate homes. 

Hundreds of acres remain set aside for sweeping natural preserves, ensuring the community’s unspoiled landscape will continue to enhance outdoor activities and residential settings. Conservation is a true priority at TwinEagles, which maintains two beautifully designed botanical gardens, the Palmery and the Fernery, named for the indigenous plant life predominant in each area. 

The beauty of the gardens is matched by the scenery of the 36 holes of golf, at Talon and the second course, formerly named Aerie but soon to receive a new moniker when it opens in 2011 following a redesign by South Florida-based architect Steve Smyers. 

With high-profile renovation credits including Orlando’s Isleworth and Olympia Fields South near Chicago, Smyers has a successful record of invigorating tired layouts. And there is every expectation his touch will yield a course that will not only enthrall golfers of all levels, but also complement the challenge of the Nicklauses’ creation, an Audubon Signature Cooperative Sanctuary.

The 7,193-yard Talon is a proven tournament test. In addition to hosting the 1999 Father-Son Challenge (won by Jack and Gary Nicklaus), Talon was the site of the Champions Tour’s ACE Group Classic from 2002 to 2006. Winding through wetlands and native grasses, framed by sandy waste areas and free-flowing bunkers, and dotted with oaks and pine trees, Talon offers risk-reward propositions throughout.

Players wishing to reap more rewards can hone their heroic shots at the 11-acre practice area, which includes a range, short game complex and 12,000-square-foot putting green. TwinEagles serves as the winter home of top instructor Dr. Jim Suttie. In addition to being honored as the PGA of America Teacher of the Year in 2000, “Doc” has helped PGA Tour stars like Paul Azinger, Loren Roberts (winner of the 2006 ACE Group Classic) and 2011 Sony Open and Waste Management Phoenix Open champion Mark Wilson. 

Whether it comes to instructors, designers, staff or—most importantly—the members, TwinEagles always attracts the very best.


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