Islander Newspaper May 1960The Key Royale Club was organized on April 2, 1965, with 96 founding members. The course opened for play on September 24, 1966, and the club house opened December 31, 1966.

The golf course was created to market a new housing development of 125 acres on what was School Key. School Key, a 150 acre island just off the north eastern side of Anna Maria Island, was mangrove swamps and jungles when it was purchased by developer Peder Mickelsen.

Mickelsen, who resided in Minnesota and wintered on Anna Maria Island, cleared the jungles and planned home sites with the goal of every lot having access to open waters. The Army Corps of Engineers excavated the canals and thus began the Key Royale neighborhood.

William Lee, a home builder also from Minnesota, built a home on Key Royale Drive and became the primary builder for the development. Howard Adams, a local real estate agent, was the primary real estate sale agent. As friends and neighbors, Mickelsen and these men decided that building a golf course would help market the project. It was decided that the course would be built on 29 acres that were not conducive to being dredged.

These three men and Arthur Reppenhagen, Sr., pledged $25,000, thus becoming the original financial investors for the club. Howard Adams became the first president of the new club in 1965 and Arthur Reppenhagen, Sr. was the author of the club’s original bylaws.


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