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Old 04-28-2018, 07:42 AM
1 posts, read 1,705 times
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My husband, son and I are moving to Ponte Vedra beach this summer. We moved for quality of life - I grew up on the Long Island Sound in Connecticut and miss the boating, fishing and beach lifestyle. We would like to live more outdoors and are tired of being landlocked in ATL - so here we are!

Can someone recommend which clubs are best for families? Cabana, Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, The Lodge, Sawgrass...our son loves to swim, play tennis, golf, football on the beach and is very social. We'd love to apply for a trial membership to one of the clubs so that our son can meet some children his age this summer (just turned 11 years old) before school begins and we can meet other parents.

Even though our son has gone to private schools in Buckhead his whole life, the public schools of PVB appear to be fantastic so our plan is for him to attend Landrum middle. Is there a big difference between the education at Bolles vs. PVB public? Is it more of a legacy attraction that pulls one to private or is there a big gap in excellence? We have done the research but do not know what the local opinions are on schooling...

Thank you for your help!
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Old 04-28-2018, 03:29 PM
Location: NNJ --> NE FL 2015
1,269 posts, read 1,341,326 times
Reputation: 1115
We researched all area clubs and we ultimately joined Sawgrass CC due to its family friendly culture as well as the privacy it affords us. We know people that are members at Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, Lodge and club, Cabana etc. and some of them have admitted that they regret joining there since they really don't have activities for kids and feel like they need to protect their belongings due to the high number of hotel and lodge (ie. transient) guests that intermingle with members. At Sawgrass, most families with kids know one another and look after them on the beach/pool etc. It's also nice to be able to leave your belongings on the beach to go to the bathroom or eat at the pavilion without fear of having anything stolen.

Sawgrass does a lot for families (family fun nights every weekend after Memorial Day at the Beach Club - complimentary beer ) and their kids swim and tennis programs are excellent. It ultimately comes down to whether or not you want a private club that focuses on families/fitness/recreation as well as their members or a hotel affiliated club that focuses more on hotel guests rather than their members. I'm sure there are those that love PVI&C, Lodge & Club, Cabana etc. but I'm just relaying what we have heard from people we know and what our experience has been at the club since we joined in 2015.

In terms of golf, I've spoken to enough serious golfers who have played at area clubs (PVI&C, Plantation, Pablo Creek etc.) to know that Sawgrass CC is the best in the area. Sure the opinion is subjective but these are scratch golfers that are telling me this so I have no reason to doubt them. My father-in-law is also a member at Sawgrass and belongs to number of private clubs on the east coast and he also vouches for Sawgrass as being one of the top courses in the area (he wouldn't have joined otherwise).

As an FYI, there is a wait list for every membership level. The wait list for the most popular level, social membership, is 18 - 24 months (have access to beach club, fitness, dining, pay as you play golf/tennis). A friend of ours didn't want to wait so they opted for the 1 year "Preview Membership" which allows you to join as a Golf or Tennis Member by paying $1,500 application fee, which you can apply towards your initiation fee if you decide to join after the 1 year preview, and monthly dues of $500 - $825 depending on golf, no golf, tennis, no tennis etc.. They cap the entire membership at 1,475 member families and won't go above that level under any circumstances.

Sawgrass CC also recently passed a member vote to construct a brand new $25 million golf clubhouse beginning in 2019 with a completion date sometime in 2020. With that being said, the initiation fee for new members is expected to increase in the next few years depending on the state of the economy. Currently $30k for country club membership (ie. older than 44 years of age) or $33.5k for a 3 year installment plan. $24k for junior member (under age 44) and $15k for associate member (beach club/fitness center/tennis access only no golf). Dues vary across the board depending on what you want to do (ranges from $324 junior social to $845 per month for all family sports). Let me know what you're interested in and I can give you the exact figures.
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Old 04-29-2018, 06:30 AM
Location: Ponte Vedra
110 posts, read 87,419 times
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Sawgrass is by far the most popular for families, but for that reason, I was told by membership last week that their Associate Family memberships have a 4-yr. waitlist. Of course we checked on "non-golf" options since we really do not play, so you may want to look into it anyway.

I have friends that joined the Lodge at PV and they did not do the blanket membership that includes the Inn & Club and they are very happy.

Congrats on moving! You will be very happy. My husband and I are LI natives and we love it here. I know CT is a bit different, but the LI sound is pretty much the same for both sides, water wise. ;-)

Where did you end up? We are in Palm Valley and I know a lot of people coming down that picked Marsh Landing and other parts of PVB - congrats again! We may just run into each other one day!
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Old 05-07-2018, 06:07 PM
82 posts, read 108,264 times
Reputation: 112
In my experience, tons and tons of people with kids belong to PV Inn & Club and PV Lodge. I have young kids, and of all the people I know with kids, more belong to one of those two clubs than any other.

It's not everyone's scene there (especially at the Inn and Club), but lots of nice people belong there. And they seem to have tons of kids activities.

Sawgrass CC would probably be my first choice for various reasons (closer to my house, more laid back people, more of my close friends belong there), but I do think you should check out the others.

Also, if you haven't bought a house yet, consider The Plantation. HOA and club membership are included. And no waiting list! It used to be all old people, but there are lots of kids in there now.
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