More Golf Vacation Tips

Notable Recent Golf Course Closures

on

It had been whispered about for a while, but just the other day it became official.

Wynn Golf Club, right on the Strip in Las Vegas and one of the most expensive golf courses you can play, will be closing for good sometime in the next few months.

The Strip will say sayonara to Wynn Golf Course soon. (Wynn Las Vegas)

The Strip will say sayonara to Wynn Golf Course soon. (Wynn Las Vegas)

Gone will be the compact, 6,400-yard Tom Fazio-designed par-70 course in the shadow of the Wynn Las Vegas casino and hotel. Billionaire owner Steve Wynn and his company will be converting about half the acreage of the course into Paradise Park, a new resort amenity centered around a 20-plus-acre manmade lagoon, in which Wynn guests and visitors (for a fee) will swim, eat, drink, see and be seen. A new hotel tower and a quarter-million dollars in convention space is also planned for the site, at a total estimated cost of $1.5 billion.

Whereas the Wynn Golf Course has historically earned about $5 million per year, Paradise park could earn a hundred times that. So this move is not some heartless gesture toward golfers, or even an indicator of the game’s troubles. It’s just business, baby.

Wynn Golf Club is far from the only high-profile golf course closure to happen recently. Here are some other lost links of late:

Lost Canyons Golf Club – Simi Valley, Calif.

Lost Canyons occupied a striking landscape, which is now reclaiming its courses.

Lost Canyons occupied a striking landscape, which is now reclaiming its courses.

This 36-hole complex, with its Sky and Shadow courses built as a unique collaboration between Pete Dye and Fred Couples, fulfilled the promise of its name when it shuttered in June 2016. However, there have been plans to revive the Sky Course and convert the Shadow layout into housing, though plans have not been finalized. If golf returns to Lost Canyons, here’s hoping it’s more player-friendly, as both original courses had reputations for being extremely difficult.

Ocean Breeze Golf Course – Boca Raton, Fla.

Ah, local politics. Ocean Breeze, a 27-hole layout that closed in mid-2016, cits at the center of some big plans the Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District has. Earlier this year, the District agreed to pay Ocean Breeze owner Lennar Homes LLC $24 million for the defunct course and adjacent hotel structure. Likewise, it plans to rehab Ocean Breeze into a spiffy new municipal golf facility – at an estimated cost of $10 to $12 million – and sell its existing muni course for as much as $70 million to one of a few developers, who will then turn the property a few miles west of town into a housing development. But while plans to sell the muni are proceeding, the Ocean Breeze purchase isn’t 100% final. Again I say: ah, local politics.

Twin Lakes Golf Course – Canton, Texas

Located a few miles west of the city of Tyler, Twin Lakes went out of business at the end of July. The course was less than 20 years old, and was beloved of the locals for the quality of the layout and the relatively inexpensive green fees. It was a picturesque course, too, with a run of holes set around a lake. The owner, South African native and tree farmer Deon Dekkers, decided to put the land to other uses after tornadoes ravage part of the property earlier this year.

Myrtle Beach, S.C. (multiple courses)

Black Bear touted "18 holes immersed in nature." Nature won, 10&8.

Black Bear touted “18 holes immersed in nature.” Now that’s truer than ever, as the course one of several to close in Myrtle Beach recently.

Following a rash of course closures in the early- and mid-2000s, it seemed the Myrtle Beach golf market had stabilized. But another group of closures has sprung up in the last four years. Wicked Stick Golf Links, a John Daly Signature Course, closed in September 2015 after about 20 years in business. It succeeded the demises of three other, older layouts: Cypress Bay Golf Club in North Myrtle Beach, Heron Point Golf Club in Murrells Inlet and the 27-hole Waterway Hills Golf Links, long known for the iconic tramway which conveyed golfers from the parking lot across the Intracoastal Waterway to the clubhouse for nearly a half-century. More recently, Island Green Golf ClubBlack Bear Golf Club and Brierwood Golf Club have also shut their doors. The Grand Strand’s southernmost course, Wedgefield Plantation, also closed recently, but in the last few weeks it was bought by a couple who intend to reopen it. Another course, Heather Glen Golf Links in Little River, may be redeveloped as early as early 2018.

Riddell’s Bay Golf and Country Club – Warwick, Bermuda

Not all golf course closures are created equal, so one that occurs on a 21-square mile island, especially with a course designed by one of the great Golden Age architects – Devereux Emmet, in this case – really stings. The oldest 18-hole layout on the island, Riddells Bay closed about a year ago, though to date no new construction has taken place there. There remains some hope that the golf course may reopen at some point.

Glen Abbey Golf Club – Oakville, Ontario, Canada (???)

Many-time RPB Canadian Open host Glen Abbey is a fixture on the PGA Tour, but it may be going away in the near future. (Visit Oakville)

Many-time RBC Canadian Open host Glen Abbey is a fixture on the PGA Tour, but it may be going away in the near future. (Visit Oakville)

It’s strange to contemplate the host of one of the longest-running professional golf tournaments potentially closing, but that’s the dark cloud lingering over the Jack Nicklaus-designed Glen Abbey, which has hosted 29 of the last 41 playings of the Canadian Open. The course is located on prime real estate in the incredibly hot suburban Toronto market, and owner Clublink is eager to build as many as 3,200 residential units, commercial and retail space on the property. But just two weeks ago, the Oakville town council placed special status on the course under the Ontario Heritage Act, potentially saving it from redevelopment. But another appeal by Clublink will be made to the town in a few weeks, so the course may not yet be totally safe.

Legacy Golf Club – Las Vegas, Nev.

The strike-through is because this one’s taken a positive turn. After course owners closed the course earlier this summer, homeowners in the surrounding community took them to court, ultimately earning a Temporary Restraining Order that dictated the course be maintained and reopened as soon as October 1. The more than 40 local homeowners who came to court for the hearing are confident the course will remain open for at least the next 30 years.
Heard about any other notable recent or near-future course closings? We’d love for you to share them with us and your fellow readers below.

16 Comments

  1. Jan Behney

    September 5, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Monroe Valley Golf course closed in Lickdale, Pa (Lebanon County) this past year due to decline in business and water availability

  2. Marshall allen

    September 5, 2017 at 11:21 am

    They also closed Coffee Creek in Edmond Oklahoma

  3. Matt Bentson

    September 5, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Tucson City Golf courses have been bantering about the survival of their courses. Tucson City has OB Sports managing their 5 courses, yet each year they can’t seem to break even. The City has been looking at closing 2 or 3 of their courses and resell the land but laws may limit actions. City council members have considered closing one of the main courses to become a park; what may eventually become what I call a ‘Homeless Campground’.

  4. KK in MA

    September 5, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    Dutchess Golf and Country Club in Poughkeepsie, NY, opened in 1897 and host to every major amateur golf championship contested in NY State. Closed in the spring of 2017. A classic old golf course with a real history.

  5. Filip Bis

    September 5, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    The closure of the Wynn is a bit suprising, but I have to admit, on my recent visit to Vegas, I was passing the Wynn course while riding the Monorail. The condition did not look good at all, certainly not for a course of this price range. I had considered either Wynn or Shadow Creek and was very glad I chose the latter. That being said, Cascata was still the best golfing experience in Vegas.

  6. Bobby Flournoy

    September 5, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    The Golf Club of Dallas (formerly Oak Cliff County Club) is on the sale block for a housing development. A Press Maxwell design that hosted the Dallas Open (now Byron Nelson) and senior tour events.

  7. jack@parkerholdings.com

    September 5, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    I have been in the golf industry all my 86 year old life as a developer, manager, owner and now have a golf travel company. I have a client that is an international developer and has purchased two closed courses in the last year through our real estate company. If you know of an owner or operator whose course is in trouble please contact me at my email address, jack [at] parkerholdings [dot] com or my cell 210-326-2421, help might be on the way!!!

  8. Mike Marshall

    September 5, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Closures are so much a part of life that a new hobby has sprung up– golf course archeology. One can wander the old cart paths of Kapalua Village course in Maui and look for tee markers. I like to say that of the 16 courses on Maui, I’ve played all 18 of them!

  9. GS in Edmonton, Alberta

    September 5, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    A Good News Story. Devastated by a historic flood in 2013 the 36 hole iconic Kananaskis Golf Courses located in the Kananaskis mountain range, west of Calgary Alberta are scheduled to reopen in 2018. Originally designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. in the late 1970’s Kananaskis is a government owned facility and after much political hand wringing the funds to repair the flood damage were approved 2 years ago. Both are top 50 golf courses in Canada.

  10. Walkie Talkie Man.

    September 5, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    Wynn closing.
    Wynn has purchased land in vacant outlying area with plans to build a Spectacular new golf course, better then the Shadow Creek he built…and sold to MGM group.

  11. Larry Gavrich

    September 5, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Tower Ridge in Simsbury, CT, a fine and quirky layout at the base of Avon Mountain, looks for all the world that it is dying — literally and figuratively. Large burned out patches on fairways and greens and a pro shop stripped of much of its merchandise. The young guys in the clubhouse said things were improving but an earlier trip to tne course tells me the opposite. Sadly, looks like time for the embalming fluid.

  12. Jay Risso

    September 5, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    Shadow Lakes and Deer Ridge of Brentwood, CA are attempting to combine to make one course. Shadow Lakes has been closed since December. Awaiting city council and planning commission okays.

  13. John dorian

    September 6, 2017 at 8:24 pm

    Hillcrest golf course in Hollywood, Florida. Really nice course with a great island green finishing hole. Closed for developers in the past year.

  14. Dale Tucker

    September 7, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Andover Golf and CC in Lexington, Ky. Great course, but poor management. Open 27 years and never a dime spent on the principle. Bank took it over and closed it.

  15. Purisima Pete

    September 13, 2017 at 2:48 am

    They recently closed Marshallia Ranch Course in Lompoc, California due to water costs. Operated as part of Vandenberg Air Force Base, it was a spectacular 18-hole public course with many of its holes winding through towering stands of Eucalyptus. If you ever played it, you know that we lost a great course. It will be revived someday, but not until someone in the know figures out how to get the government to dig a water well on government land.

  16. Tom Mancuso

    September 13, 2017 at 11:08 am

    I don’t know whether Shadow Pines of Penfield NY, suburb of Rochester NY has made the list. It was one of the most well designed golf clubs in the area and rivaled the most well know Country Clubs in the area for playability. It had all the elements that the best in the country contain. It will be remembered as the best golf test available to everyone who ever visited Rochester.

Share Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.