Few communities are as integrated with a facility of pure pleasure as Plantation is with the Plantation Golf Course,” quotes a May 1953 edition of the Miami Herald. Even before Plantation was a City, its residents had a golf course! Local residents played year round, and winter residents flocked in number to the brand new facility.
The land on which Plantation Preserve is built was originally owned by the City’s founder, Frederick Peters. He donated 300 acres to create a golf course with the hope of encouraging Broward County Commission to extend Broward Boulevard farther out west and aid in Plantation’s development.
At that time, the area that became the City of Plantation was undeveloped; its only inhabitants were alligators, snakes and other wild animals. The land was partially drained due to the construction of the Holloway Canal in 1906, and was ultimately filled in to allow for farmland and pasture for grazing cattle. Fredrick Peters was able to look out over the Sawgrass and marshlands and envision a vibrant, beautiful, well-planned City. It was this vision that led to our City’s motto “E Vasitate Haec Urbs,” or Out of the Wilderness, This City.
The first Plantation Golf Club was constructed in 1950 under the watchful eye of Fred Peters on 300 acres of his original 10,000 acre tract of land. It was built to stimulate interest in Plantation and to encourage the Broward County Commission to extend Broward Boulevard farther west. Three miles of winding waterways and 5,000 trees provided plenty of challenge, and a historically significant Tequesta burial mound was discovered near the 14th Hole. Robert F. “Red” Lawrence designed the course and Russell Pancoast designed the clubhouse. Once completed, it immediately became an integral part of the life of the community and was considered the center of the Plantation society.
Since then, the land has changed hands several times, but the golf course and clubhouse have remained the same, with minor renovations throughout the years. The Plantation Golf Club closed its doors in 1998. The clubhouse was demolished in 2000, and the land laid virtually untouched for several years. Wildlife, including osprey, heron, wood stork and the red-shouldered hawk, settled among the lantana, wax myrtle, live oak, royal palm and mahogany.
Near what was the 14th Hole, in the western-most part of the golf course, lies a Tequesta Indian Burial mound. Artifacts from the site were excavated in 1975 and sent to the University of Miami for study, but the site is still considered historically significant.
The City purchased the golf course in 2001 using state, county and local funds. From the beginning, the plan was to preserve and protect the historically significant site, and to restore the golf course and surrounding land to its original Everglades-inspired splendor. From the tree islands dominated by cypress, cocoplum and pond apple, to the wetland marshes filled with spikerush, duck potato and fireflag – everything you see as you walk through the linear park or enjoy the golf course was specifically chosen to create an environment that is similar to that of early Broward County.
Working together, the City’s design team developed a concept that is unlike any in the United States – a park, open to the public, within the grounds of a golf course. The reason? City officials wanted to make that sure all residents, not just those who play golf, were able to enjoy Plantation Preserve. We welcome you to Plantation Preserve, and hope your visit is enjoyable, relaxing and enlightening.