San Jose Country Club to begin $9 million renovation

By Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor
Photo by Ebyabe via Wikimedia Commons

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The owner-members of San Jose Country Club overwhelmingly approved a $9 million clubwide renovation project to significantly upgrade the facilities at one of Jacksonville's oldest and most-recognized private country clubs.

“It’s a resounding statement of our membership that they are ready to commit to making San Jose the best it can be,” club President Steve Hodgett said.

Construction on the nearly 72-year-old club is slated to begin in June with renovations to the clubhouse that will tear down the existing member dining rooms and create one larger, central dining area.

A sleek horseshoe-shaped bar will be the focus of this new room, with dedicated areas for family and adult casual dining, a soft seating area for socializing and a built-in millwork buffet. The bar and dining will extend outdoors with expanded seating for more than 100 diners in a covered patio area with heaters, misters and fire pits. 

Private banquet rooms will be updated and refreshed, a wine storage and display area added, and interior corridors opened up to the dining areas for a brighter, more open atmosphere. The lobby and adjacent outdoor courtyards will be upgraded to be more welcoming, aesthetically attractive and functional for social events and gatherings.

The entire kitchen will be redesigned for greater efficiency and storage. 

Other areas of the clubhouse will also be refreshed. The clubhouse portion of the project is expected to be finished in late October. Limited food service will be available during the construction.

The club has partnered with Chambers, a planning, architecture and design firm that specializes in private clubs, for the master plan, including design and oversight. Auld & White will be the local general contractor for the project, with assistance from original San Jose clubhouse architect Ken Smith. 

The golf course is the second phase of the renovation project to take place May-October 2020. All existing grass will be replaced, greens will be resurfaced and contoured, tees will be laser-leveled and hole No. 5 will be redesigned.

Drainage, lake bank and bulkhead projects will be completed, and all cart paths will be graded and replaced with aggregate. The on-course restrooms and landscaping will be updated. Members will have reciprocal arrangements with other local clubs during the renovation period while the golf course is closed. 

The final phase of the project begins in September 2020 after swim season ends and includes renovation of the fitness/tennis building to add a year-round ultra casual dining facility with indoor and outdoor seating to replace the existing seasonal snack bar.

A multipurpose fitness room will be added, and the locker rooms for fitness and tennis will be consolidated to larger, more modern rooms for women and men. The baby pool area will be replaced with a more hygienic splash pad, and the pool deck area refreshed.

Four new pickleball courts will join the existing 12 Har-Tru tennis courts. Additional upgrades for this area are still in the planning stages, with the final phase scheduled for completion in April 2021. 

"This is the culmination of a project that has been five years in the making,” said Don Poag, chairman of the Strategic Planning Committee that developed the project and will oversee the construction.

Members approved a monthly assessment charge to finance the renovations.

San Jose Country Club is a historic club founded in 1947 with a championship golf course designed by Donald Ross in 1925.  The club will celebrate its 72nd birthday April 16 with a luncheon honoring its longest standing members, some who have maintained continuous membership since its founding in 1947.

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