80 Years And Still Swinging
Founded in the 1920s by Arthur McKee and Waldo Sexton, the Vero Beach Country Club is a microcosm of our community’s history
In honor of our 20-year anniversary, we’ve pulled 12 favorite stories from our archives to share with you each month. This one is excerpted from an article about the Vero Beach Country Club, which appeared in our February 2002 issue.– Editor
Mention golf around Vero Beach, and everyone is familiar with John’s Island Club, The Moorings Club, Hawk’s Nest and Orchid. But mention golf outside Vero Beach, and the name most people are familiar with is Vero Beach Country Club. VBCC is a microcosm of our community itself, its history paralleling the history of Vero Beach and its membership a roster of the genealogy of community leaders.
It all began back in the land boom days of the 1920s, before there was an Indian River County, when Vero Beach was simply “Vero” and the Vero Beach Country Club was known as the Royal Park Golf Club.
The Royal Park Golf Club was the brainchild of two famous names from Vero Beach’s past: Arthur G. McKee and Waldo Sexton. They are probably best known for another one of their projects, McKee Jungle Gardens.
McKee and Sexton formed the Royal Park Development Company in 1923 to build a 400-acre, 1,000-lot subdivision featuring an 18-hole golf course and hotel. The first nine holes of the par-38, 3200-yard course were opened in late 1924, and soon after that, the Royal Park Inn. Guests at the hotel were granted golfing privileges, all in an effort to convert visitors into lot buyers in the new development.