Shell Bay emerges in the Sunshine State

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The comprehensive southeast Florida facility is seismically elevating what a private golf club can provide.
Posted on
March 22, 2024
M. James Ward in ,
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Hallandale Beach, FL. Shell Bay is not seeking to be just another private golf club. The bar is much, much higher than that.

The ambitious plan already in motion is a clear paradigm shift in bringing to life the most comprehensive 21st century full-service club in southeast Florida.

The area stretching from Miami to West Palm Beach is one of the most competitive regions of golf in the USA but it has also featured a predictable and static model on what private golf facilities are.

While private golf has gained a clear toehold in the immediate region it has been inexorably tied to a slavish priority in pushing real estate sales obsessively.

Often times the housing component is the primary emphasis point and the clutter created can simply mean a completely subordinate role on the golf side of the equation.

That's not the case with Shell Bay.

The facility totally transformed the former Diplomat Golf Club and is nearing the final stages in completing work on its ornate clubhouse and the myriad of related services it will be providing for membership.

To get a better understanding of the totality of the property an interview was arranged with the two main principles – Alex Witkoff and Ari Pearl.

Shell Bay emerges in the Sunshine State


Alex Witkoff

Co-Chief Executive Officer, Witkoff

Responsible for overseeing all aspects of Witkoff’s development activities and operations from strategic development and conceptualization through execution.

During his tenure at Witkoff, he has earned a reputation for consistently executing creative strategies across diverse asset classes.

He is a key driver behind Witkoff’s mission to create dynamic, multi-faceted spaces that connect people and enrich their communities.

Ari Pearl

CEO and Founder, PPG Development

A prominent figure in the South Florida real estate and development industry for more than two decades. Has an impressive track record of delivering Projects with over 4,000 hotel and residential units with a total of over 5 million square feet.

He has also managed over $3 billion in real estate transactions reflecting his unparalleled expertise in multifamily, hotel, condominium, and resort development.


You wake up in the morning what's the driving passion?

AW: To create unique, exclusive and world-class experiences.

We want to continue to produce legacy properties and generational opportunities for buyers.


What was the genesis for Shell Bay?

AP: When the opportunity to acquire this rare 150-acre property became a reality, the vision for Shell Bay came to life and we knew we only had one chance to make it count.

People want the best of the best and the response to Shell Bay has been extraordinary.

AW: In the Miami area, there are limited golf experiences of this caliber, especially near the ocean.

After securing the land and knowing the buyer appetite for golf and world class real estate in this market, we decided to create an enclave like Shell Bay to serve that void.

Credit: Laurence Lambrecht

How was the name Shell Bay chosen?

AW: The name is inspired by the property’s unique waterfront location.

Shell Bay is one of the only private clubs directly accessible by water through its premier 48-slip marina.

Members can enjoy ocean-inspired experiences while at the property, including water skiing, deep-sea fishing, and jet-skiing.


What specific aspects differentiate Shell Bay from all other top tier facilities in southeast Florida?

AW: At Shell Bay, every moment is thoughtful, and every need is anticipated. From expert-designed wellness programs to a world-class Racquet Club led by the acclaimed Bryan brothers, Shell Bay’s amenities are tailored to meet the interests of each individual and the attention to detail is unmatched.

Lastly, land of this scope and caliber is nearly impossible to find in South Florida in this proximity to Miami, so we don't anticipate a destination like Shell Bay ever being replicated in region.

Shell Bay emerges in the Sunshine State
Credit: Laurence Lambrecht

One of the promotional plugs for Shell Bay is that the club is for "connoisseurs of life well lived." Given that - who is your prospective member?

AP: Our prospective members are today’s visionaries who live exceptional lives.

As we have seen thus far, our members and buyers are global in nature, and in the U.S., are based in major metropolitan markets coast to coast.

Likewise, we are experiencing a strong appetite from international buyers located in Europe and Asia.


Who makes the final determination on whether someone becomes a member and what other attributes are weighed besides being able to pay the $1 million initiation fee?

AW: Shell Bay is a member by invitation only facility. Many factors are taken into consideration beyond the initiation fee, and we respect the privacy of all who show interest.

Shell Bay emerges in the Sunshine State
Credit: Brian Hornstein

Greg Norman designed the 18-hole layout. Were other architects considered and what was the key element that caused Norman to be selected?

AP: Greg Norman and his design team were the perfect fit given their track record with course design in Australia’s sand belt region, which has similar typography to the Miami region.

During the first presentation, Norman and his team shared preliminary ideas and routing concepts that meshed incredibly well with how we wanted to build this golf course, and we knew they could bring this vision to fruition.


Is the facility contemplating serving as host to significant professional golf events whether in the short or long term?

AW: The course is absolutely a championship level facility and capable of hosting prestigious golf tournaments in the future.

However, our main priority right now is our members and providing a world-class experience both on and off the course.

The member experience is first and foremost.

Shell Bay emerges in the Sunshine State
Credit: Laurence Lambrecht

Opening in 2024 will be a 20-story condominium tower with 108-residences and penthouses overlooking the course. How many of the residences have sold to date?

AP: Set to debut in 2025, The Residences at Shell Bay has seen approximately $120 million in sales since the opening of The Shell Bay Club in October 2023.

Every buyer who passes through our gates recognizes the beauty of Shell Bay as a true sanctuary for an unmatched living experience.

Plenty of clubs routinely tout the wherewithal to provide customer service. Define the term and the approach followed at Shell Bay.

AW: We designed Shell Bay as a low-density community to be able to provide a curated and tailored approach to the member and guest experience.

Our partnership with Auberge Resorts Collection brings the brand’s signature, personalized level of exceptional service, which allows us to offer exclusive, unforgettable experiences not found anywhere else.

This acclaimed hospitality brand has built its reputation on one-of-a-kind properties that feature the highest level of personal service, and Shell Bay will be no different.


For more info go to:

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About M. James Ward

A GWAA and MGWA member, the 66-year-old from the USA has covered golf in all facets since 1980, notably the major championships and other high level events. He has played over 2,000 courses globally and has competed in USGA Championships.

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