The mammoth Plantation Golf & Country Club in east Venice has a newly renovated clubhouse with all the bells and whistles, and two highly regarded 18-hole championship golf courses that have hosted LPGA tourneys annually for 30 years.
But the residential community of some 2,400 homes boasts something that sets it apart from other area master-planned developments: The Plantation Community Foundation, an all-volunteer organization that, since its founding in 1988, has raised $3 million to help fund area nonprofit initiatives. The foundation achieves that through three yearly events; the largest is the February Celebrity Golf Classic, where “more mature” (as foundation president Bob Hayden puts it) football, hockey, baseball and golf celebrities who live in the area participate. The Golf Classic dinner alone attracts 600 people, and $50,000 to $60,000 is raised. Dozens of south county nonprofits, ranging from the Boys and Girls Clubs to the South County Food Pantry and Literacy Volunteers, are the beneficiaries of $120,000 in grants each year.
Development of the 1,300-plus-acre Plantation Golf & Country Club began in 1981. There are nearly 2,700 homes in 20 neighborhoods—a mix of estate homes, condos, patio homes, and attached and stand-alone villas. The common grounds are beautifully maintained, and 80 percent of the homes have fairway views.
Kari Battaglia of the Re/Max Alliance Group, immediate past president Venice Area Board of Realtors, says she loves showing prospective homeowners around the community. “If you are a golfer, this is the place to be,” she says. “Plantation is one of just two private golf-course communities in Venice, and it’s well known outside of Venice because of the LPGA events. And you don’t have to be a club member to live there—that’s a plus.”
There’s not a lot of turnover here, and inventory of homes for sale is tight, as it is in the entire south county area, Battaglia says. Instead, homeowners are updating their homes. “These are homes built in the ’80s and ’90s, so it’s time,” she says.
And residents are active. Battaglia says she was there early one morning to shoot marketing photographs, thinking the roads would be deserted. “I couldn’t believe how many people were out,” she says.
Foundation president Hayden agrees. Living at Plantation, he says, “The golf is good, the food is good, we have the fitness center and the library and the pool. [But] what makes it a community is the friends you make. The folks who gravitate here are friendly, outgoing folks.”
No. of homes in Plantation Golf & Country Club: 2,362
No. of home sales January-November 2017: 145
Active listings on Nov. 30, 2017: 50
Price range of those listings: $800,000 for a 4,700-plus-square-foot estate home to $109,000 for a 946-square-foot condo