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About Admirals Cove

Paradise Found

From its inception Admirals Cove was envisioned as a community like no other, where the stunning beauty of nature perfectly frames the very best of everything in all her glorious splendor.


The land upon which Admirals Cove was built has always been special. But it took more than one visionary to transform it from subtropical wilderness to the fantastic active community it is today.


The land upon which Admirals Cove was built was actually originally owned by billionaire philanthropist John D. MacArthur. MacArthur, who built his empire in the insurance industry during the first half of the 20th century, moved on to real estate, acquiring over 100,000 acres of land in Florida in the 1950s and 60s.
In addition to the tracts that became the City of Palm Beach Gardens and the Village of North Palm Beach, MacArthur’s land formed the foundation for nearly all of the development in northeastern Palm Beach County.

MacArthur also began developing some of it himself by excavating miles of canals, despite not having the permission of either state or county governments at the time. MacArthur’s canals were not connected to the Intracoastal Waterway at the time, so he was able to successfully claim that he did not need government approval. Eventually, natural erosion opened the canals to the Intracoastal.


Before his death in 1978, MacArthur created the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, to administer his vast fortune. In 1985, the Foundation made a tract of land known as “Project 57” available for purchase. The 727-acre parcel caught the eye of real estate developer Ben Frankel, who had just completed development of Hunter’s Run in Boynton Beach.
Frankel instantly saw the value of the parcel and partnered with Mutual Benefit Life Insurance to purchase and develop the land. In consideration of the 5.5 miles of navigable waterways that were by this time opened to the Intracoastal Waterway, the project was named “Admirals Cove.” Development began in 1986, with the first model homes completed by year’s end.

The Marina General Store (pictured in 1988)

Photo by Sargent Photography

Early construction photos show the location of the first pool, long before the addition of the Youth Facility or Marina Cafe.

The original 57‐slip Marina could accommodate yachts up to 120 feet in length. Photo by Sargent Photography

This 1987 aerial photograph gives a bird’s eye view of the

Admiral's Cove. Five model homes can be seen along one of the central canals. Photo courtesy of Richard Sheehan.


From the outset, Admirals Cove was conceived as a different kind of development. Frankel’s vision was very forward-thinking. Not only did he envision an “all-inclusive” community with on-site amenities that would include an inn, a bank, and a spa as well as a clubhouse full of different dining options, but he was also determined to preserve the natural environment of the property as well.
Despite being approved for over 1,200 units, they instead opted for less density and more natural spaces. Thousands of mangroves were added to shore up the marine landscape. Oceanographic and environmental engineer Bob Snyder and biologist Michael Landrum worked with the Army Corps of Engineers, Florida EPA and other environmental and conservation agencies to ensure the protection of all endangered species during development. This helped ensure that Admirals Cove could maintain an environment friendly to the many species of waterfowl and fish, as well as manatees that could be found there.


The first Admirals Cove residents began moving in over the 1987-88 winter season. Both the marina and 18-hole championship (east) golf course opened in 1988. For the first two years, the Harbor Master building served as a temporary clubhouse until the clubhouse was completed in 1989.

The club was always intended to be member-owned, and became an equity club in 1988. During the 1990s negotiations took place between developers and resident /members, culminating in a transition to full member equity ownership in November 1999.

Since that time, the club has undergone several improvements and upgrades, with the most significant, which included a complete renovation of the clubhouse porte cochère, spa, and wellness center being completed in early 2020.

Admirals Cove today stands as a proud legacy to the visions of both MacArthur and Frankel, as well as the many residents who have contributed to this very special and unique community.

The Club at Admirals Cove is a preeminent waterfront Country Club committed to providing members and their guests with exceptional service, comprehensive amenities, and the highest quality of programs and facilities within a unique sense of community.

The Club at Admirals Cove’s vision is to provide our members with a world-class membership experience.

Core Values

  • Welcoming, friendly, and unpretentious culture
  • Respect for diversity and individuality
  • Importance of community
  • Commitment to excellence

Leadership Values

  • Stewardship of the Club as a perpetual entity
  • Fiduciary leadership
  • Financial accountability to the membership
  • Fact-based decision making
  • Open and honest communication
  • Accountability to a long-range strategic action plan
  • Integrity and professionalism in governance, management, and communication

Cultural Values

The cultural values embody the beliefs and standards that are the expression of member behavior, civility, harmony and decorum defining The Club at Admirals Cove way of life.
  • Members treat each other and guests with respect, kindness, and civility.
  • Members are respectful of staff and treat them as professionals.
  • As brand owners and ambassadors, members contribute to the Club’s vitality and sustainability through the recruitment and welcoming of new members.
  • The membership is committed to supporting the greater community with philanthropic initiatives through the Admirals Cove Foundation.
The Club at Admirals Cove will promote consistent financial policies intended to ensure the stability and fiscal health of the Club. These policies shall be guided by the “perpetual entity principal” and not by individual life expectancies. This requires views with a long-term horizon. Specifically, the Club should avoid decisions that improve cash flow in the near term and defer expenditures to future periods.

Management shall operate at optimal efficiency and effectiveness to meet all financial obligations, provide reliable financial information, and assure all assets are safeguarded. And all funds are spent prudently with oversight of the Finance Committee and the Board of Governors.