During the latter half of the 1960s, Naples experienced a tremendous period of growth. The time was opportune for the development of a new premier club facility worthy of the high standards of Naples. Ed Callaham and Blaine Eynon organized a group of twelve founders. Their first organizational meeting was held on March 27, 1968.
The name of the Club was suggested by one of the founders, even before the first organizational meeting. The Royal Poinciana tree is one of Florida’s most popular trees – a spectacular and colorful “flame tree,” with gorgeous red and orange blossoms.
During the planning stage it was decided that the Club would consist of an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, fishing lakes, and an attractive and functional clubhouse. The first order of business was to obtain the land. Arrangements were made to lease and then purchase 240 acres. Ultimately another 80 acres were added, permitting two 18-hole courses. David Wallace was hired to design and build the courses.
By August 1968, only four months since the initial organizational meeting, the Club already had 332 Members, and by December that number had grown to 401. Plans for the clubhouse and locker rooms were expanded accordingly.
The first of two courses officially opened on Thanksgiving Day, 1969, and the second course opened in late spring of 1970. November 1969 also saw the first tennis play on the courts. The gala opening of the clubhouse was held in January 1970.
In order to ensure that Royal Poinciana continued as the leading Club in Naples, in 1993 the Board of Directors adopted a “Commitment to Excellence” program intended to identify and prioritize a series of long range capital improvements for RP. This commitment also ensures the financial stability and strength of the Club.
In 1994 Project Irrigreen was created to implement improvements to the Pines and Cypress Courses. World-renowned golf course architect Arthur Hills was commissioned to design the renovations which were successfully completed in 1995. That year was also the Club’s 25th Anniversary.
The new millennium has seen continued updating of the Club facilities to assure Members that each visit to Royal Poinciana exceeds their expectations. Projects during the 21st century have been extensive, including the complete renovation of the majority of the Clubhouse in 2012. The golf courses and tennis courts have been recently reconstructed also, with constant improvements made annually.
Royal Poinciana looks forward to continuing to be the finest Club in Southwest Florida. In 2009 we were given the coveted designation of a Platinum Club. This award is sponsored by Club Leaders Forum, and voted on every three years by private Club Managers and Club Presidents. This distinction is given to the top 200 clubs among the 6,000 clubs in the country. It represents excellence of services to membership, quality of Club facilities, heritage, plus an enlightened leadership from Management and the Board. Royal Poinciana currently enjoys a healthy waiting list and its membership continues to enjoy the amenities while introducing friends to this special Club.