Links Living: Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club

This storied golf and beach club in Vero Beach is now under member control—and back in the top tier of local communities 

Nothing breeds success like success. For decades, Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club was among the very best (if not the top) premier private clubs in Vero Beach. However, membership was growing increasingly frustrated over the club’s out-of-state management. That changed in 2020 when members acquired ownership and control of the club. Since then, Grand Harbor has enjoyed a renaissance fueled by extensive renovations to its two golf courses, oceanfront beach club, and other amenities. The result has been a resurgence in the club’s growth, increased membership pride, and rising home values. 

“It’s a big time for us,” says General Manager Michael Gibson, who’s part of the new management team. “We have continually enhanced the amenities, particularly the golf courses, and people are moving in because of the club’s success.” 

The Harbor Course, originally designed by Pete Dye in 1989, underwent an extensive renovation by Chris Lutzke, one of Dye’s top disciples and part of the team that first built the course. He lovingly restored Dye’s layout, which was inspired by the Scottish-links-style of tiered greens, undulating fairways, and pot bunkers.

grand harbor
Grand Harbor Golf & Beach Club

Lutzke also renovated the Joe Lee-designed River Course, which weaves through salt marshes, along the Intracoastal Waterway, and around the residential island. “We wanted to bring the course to modern-day and answer the question, ‘What would Joe Lee do?’” says Gibson. “Chris and his team enhanced the River based on today’s equipment and golfer while maintaining the original design.” The club also opened golf membership to non-residents to give them a taste of life at Grand Harbor, a move that has paid dividends as golf members have turned into residents. 

Grand Harbor’s Beach Club is located on one of the Treasure Coast’s finest private beaches. The oceanfront facility recently underwent an impressive $3 million renovation, giving members yet another spot to soak up Florida’s warm winter weather or grab a meal from the world-class culinary team now in place.  

Nestled within a picturesque landscape of mature oaks and private wetlands, with water views along the Indian River Lagoon, Grand Harbor has added pickleball courts to a reinspired tennis complex that hosts the Vero Beach International Tennis Open, a USTA event featuring up-and-coming women players. With a spate of rejuvenated amenities and a 144-slip marina inside its gates, Grand Harbor’s newfound success has landed it in the top tier of Florida’s premier private communities once again.  

Thank you for supporting our journalism. If you prefer to read in print, you can also find this article in the Winter 2023 issue of LINKS Magazine. Click here for more information.