By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
In many golf communities, the course and Country Clubs are privately owned and managed. When the golf business stops making a profit for its owner, the land and related facilities are put on the market, in hopes of finding a willing buyer.
However, there aren’t many buyers of golf courses these days. Often, a buyer is more likely to buy the land in order to build new homes or commercial properties.
The problem is, most homeowners who live in the community next to the golf course don’t like change. They want to keep open space and golf course views, even if they don’t play the game.
In some cases, Covenants and Restrictions prohibit redevelopment. In some cases, the CC&Rs won’t allow the landowner to use the land for anything except a golf course.
But a golf course owner cannot keep sinking money into an unprofitable business venture. So eventually the golf course closes and the owner stops maintaining it.
Then homeowners complain about the overgrown golf course. Sometimes the local government steps in and forces the landowner to maintain the property.
Homeowners and golf course owners end up in a legal stalemate. A court battle often follows. It can take several years to resolve complex legal issues, and settle on a more suitable use for the course.
Below are several examples of homeowners associations dealing with dying golf courses.
Genoa Lakes course will remain open
September 20, 2018
The southern Genoa Lakes Golf Course, senior of the two, will remain open for the rest of this season and next season, a partner in the company said on Wednesday.
However, owners are looking to sell the course and or the land.
“It’s the best way we can preserve the centerpiece amenity of the neighborhood and the property value,” Genoa Golf Group IV Managing Partner Fred Gartrell said.
While members of the Genoa Lakes Homeowners Association rejected all of the golf course owners’ proposals, especially turning the course’s back nine into homes, other factors played into the decision.
The owner of the golf course faces stiff opposition to further development. Homeowners have made it clear that the HOA will not purchase the golf course. The HOA is also unwilling to pay mandatory assessments or fees to keep the course open. So the owners will continue to try to find a buyer for the property.
True Life likely to bid goodbye to Ahwatukee Thursday
By Paul Maryniak, AFN Executive Editor Sep 20, 2018
The True Life Companies is headed for the exit door from Ahwatukee as former owner Wilson Gee prepares tomorrow, Sept. 20, to foreclose on his $8.6 million note the developer signed more than two years ago in its ill-fated quest to build an “agrihood” on the site of the defunct Ahwatukee Lakes Golf Course.
Unlike the last-minute move by the short-lived owner of the Club West Golf Course that stalled his foreclosure on a $1.3 million note by two weeks and has continued to leave uncertainty surrounding that course’s short-term future, Gee expects the Lakes trustee sale to proceed smoothly.
“Everything looks like a go,” Gee said. “I don’t expect any delays.”
Judge fines True Life $165K for conditions at Lakes
AFN News Staff Oct 9, 2018 Updated Oct 9, 2018
A Phoenix Municipal Court judge on Monday levied $165,000 in fines on The True Life Companies for leaving the defunct Ahwatukee Lakes Golf Course in a deplorable state for months.
The fines came on 66 citations against True Life that represented a total 132 charges with possible fines of $100 to $2,500 for each charge.
After hearing oral arguments from both parties, the judge imposed maximum fines on all charges but stipulated that the two fines on each citation were to run concurrent, resulting in the $165,000 total.
Ahwatukee homeowners are back at square one. Wilson Gee will once again own Ahwatukee Lakes Golf Course. And, at the same time, a judge has ordered True Life to pay $165,000 in fines for failing to maintain the Golf Course, while the company tried to convince homeowners to agree to convert the community’s centerpiece to a working, communal farm. Looks like the agri-hood trend has fizzled.
Twin Rivers residents hope to coax new owners for golf course
By ART STRICKLIN Special to the Tribune-Herald Sep 11, 201
In a Monday meeting, an overflow gathering of Twin Rivers homeowners hatched out a tentative plan they hope will attract a new owner and greatly enhance the condition of their golf course.
The residents discussed their strategy at the Twin Rivers Home Owners Association’s first meeting since the Tribune-Herald’s Aug. 26 story on the state of Waco golf, which in part highlighted the struggles of the Twin Rivers course.
“We don’t expect Augusta National (site of the Masters Golf Tournament), but we do expect a course that is playable and respectable,” said Baylor Vice Provost Wes Null, who is spearheading a new committee to bring the condition of one of Waco’s few semi-public golf courses up to a level which would attract members or outside play. Homeowners association officials said the committee is not formally connected to the association, though the committee members belong to the association.
The Twin Rivers HOA also discovered that under the city’s Planned Unit Development document, which was signed and delivered in 2000, the course where the Twin Rivers layout currently sit prohibits Richards or any owner for turning any aspects of the golf course into home sites.
A group of 75 homeowners met recently to form a committee that is not officially associated with the HOA. They hope to draft a “membership pledge” to convince homeowners to agree to make regular monthly payments to a Waco Golf Club. The group hopes to woo a new golf course owner who is willing to invest in upgrading the course.