Old Guard, New Home

Several dozen members of the 1949 Old Guard Society gathered for a photograph

Everybody retires to Palm Beach. Even social clubs.

The Old Guard Society of golfers, established on the island in 1918 and soon to be 100 years old, is moving back… and instead of using a hotel porch as its headquarters, the club will get its own building on Bradley Place.

Clubs like the Old Guard Society were transformative in resort golf culture. They were about far more than just golf; they were about extending the life of privilege to a southern destination so that golf and the associated lifestyle could be lived 12 months of the year. These “clubs within a club” (Pinehurst had one, too) required a certain degree of longevity. A gentleman could not be nominated to the Old Guard fraternity until he’d wintered here for at least four seasons.

Its first “meetings” were held at the old Royal Poinciana Hotel (and by meetings, we mean clusters of golfers gathered on the expansive porch, enjoying one another’s company once they’d signed their scorecards). Once organized, the Old Guard operated out of the clubhouse of The Breakers before moving to West Palm Beach in 1992.

According to The Shiny Sheet, the club now has about 90 members, who meet for lunch, cards and golf (especially in season), as well as outings and monthly dinners with their wives.

Welcome home.

Photo courtesy of The Palm Beach Daily News

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