History of Wycliffe Golf & Country Club
Wellington, Florida was once the “wild west” of South Florida. It was home to the world's largest strawberry patch on land called the Flying Cow Ranch.
"Flying" because the avant garde founder was an avid aviator and "Cow" stood for the initials for Charles Oliver Wellington (C.O.W.) – the founder of Wellington.
The Sunshine State, specifically Wellington, was covered with produce farms and swampland. In the 1950s, Mr. C. Oliver Wellington bought 18,000 acres of central Palm Beach County and called it the “Flying COW Ranch.” It opened as the world's largest strawberry patch and this parcel would eventually become the Village of Wellington; his ranch was the original site where Wycliffe Golf & Country Club sits today.
Entrepreneur, Harvey Geller was the visionary for Wycliffe Golf & Country Club; Geller settled on the remote, agricultural location of Lake Worth Road and the intersection of State Road 7 (Route 441). He envisioned building an upscale country club in the rapidly-growing locale between Boca Raton and Palm Beach Gardens. This area bordered suburban Lake Worth and the Village of Wellington. He understood the growing demand for an upscale country club community with undulating golf courses, tennis complex and a full-service clubhouse and was determined to create a thriving lifestyle destination.
His vision turned into a reality and the Wycliffe grand opening in 1989 exceeded all expectations. The first homes were in the Andover, Barclay and Cambridge neighborhoods and building continued until the club reached 1,045 residences in 14 neighborhoods! By the end of 1994, the clubhouse was expanded to include a new Cabana Club, Tennis Pro Shop, a second golf course, Dining Room and the Fitness Center.
The club is successful today because each generation of members has picked up the mantle and helped develop significant changes making Wycliffe the remarkable country club it is today. The Club continues to make the community stronger, more desirable and yet even more vibrant in the years to come.
From a place of humble beginnings and strawberry dreams this little town grew into a sprawling community that is creating new visions for everyone and Wellington has thrived beyond its roots as swampy backwater. Compared to its glamorous neighbor Palm Beach, the Wellington of today quietly draws a wealthy cross-section of international society, celebrity, and business personalities who consider it an important destination for their equestrian interests. It is home to the Winter Equestrian Festival and International Polo Club—both hosting more than four months of equestrian competitions, athleticism and artistry per year.
When Wycliffe first opened, Route 441 (SR 7) was a two lane highway surrounded by farms, many of which still exist today, south of Lake Worth Road. Because of the proximity of these farms, all of Wellington is able to enjoy shopping at its Saturday morning farmers’ market.
Today’s Wellington has a large renovated public library, multiple recreation centers, a number of public parks and ball fields. The Wellington Amphitheater regularly hosts musical and film events in this outdoor venue. Finally, there are a number of entertainment and cultural venues within comfortable driving distance to West Palm Beach such as the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts and the Norton Museum of Art. Wellington has convenient shopping at The Mall at Wellington Green with many other nationally known retailers located in outdoor shopping venues along the thoroughfares.
Wycliffe Golf & Country Club offers a world of its own, with every resort-style amenity at your fingertips, including two championship golf courses, full service spa, fitness and wellness center, tennis complex and a robust schedule of social events. Our current “home” includes glorious weather with bright sunshine, lush, tropical florals, foliage, and indigenous wildlife. Much of our curated lifestyle is served up on verdant green lawns with impeccable homes, crystal blue pools and a golf cart garage. Our members and residents come from across the country in search of our distinctive, luxe style living.
Be sure to visit the Grille Room and ask for our Flying Cow parfait!