golf

South Florida golf courses feel economic pinch

 

Special to the Miami Herald

For golfers, it’s sad, but it seems to keep happening.

More and more, golf courses are shuttering their doors. In addition to that, few new courses — if any in South Florida — are being built.

The most recent course in South Florida to shut down is Deerfield Country Club, which had been in existence for 52 years. In late March, a sentimental sign was hung at Deerfield saying, “A Farewell Salute to Deerfield Country Club. Thanks for the Memories.”

The memories were apparently extremely good. The course was known for its friendliness — friendly golfers, friendly staff and even the holes were friendly, not being too long since it was a shorter executive course.

Two years ago, Calusa Country Club in Miami-Dade County was closed with a much less friendly sign: “No Trespassing. Private Property” hung from the locked gates at that course. Calusa’s owner, the famed Bacardi rum family, wanted to develop the property into an assisted living facility. Homeowners, by contractual means, refused to let that take place, and to this day the course sits there with overgrown foliage being its main landmark.

Unfortunately, the basic fact of running a golf course is that it is difficult for them to make money. Most courses need the help of the surrounding city, community, municipality or some other source to just make par in the money department.

The exception might be Donald Trump and the Blue Monster and the other courses at Trump National Doral. Trump sank his own money into purchasing the entire spa property and then splurged on a major revamping of the courses, including most famously toughening up the Blue Monster.

The Blue Monster is a premium course, but playing it also can cost a premium price — around $500 at certain times of the year.

BARRY PREPARES

The Barry men’s and women’s teams have been wearing out the practice range in preparation for the upcoming Division II national championships.

The women play Wednesday through Saturday at the 5,928-yard, par-71 course at Rock Barn Golf & Spa in Conover, N.C.

The Barry women have advanced to the NCAA tournament 10 times in the past 12 years. They were second in 2002, fourth in 2012 and third in 2013. This year’s team is coached by Shannon Sykora and boasts last season’s individual national champion in Nancy Vergara, a junior.

The men’s tournament runs May 19-23 at The Meadows Course (par 71 and 7,043 yard) in Allendale, Mich.

Coach Jimmy Stobs’ team is ranked No. 1 in the nation and will be trying to repeat as national champion. If they win, it would be Barry’s third men’s golf national title.

The format is three days of stroke play followed by match-play competition.

Leading Barry is the nation’s top-ranked Division II player, Adam Svensson. This season, Svensson has won a school-record seven individual tournament titles. In addition, Barry won a school-record seven titles when it won the South/Southeast Super Regional.

“The team finally caught up with Svensson,” Stobs said.

Read more Golf stories from the Miami Herald

  • Horsey takes 1-stroke lead at Russian Open

    David Horsey birdied four of his final six holes Thursday for a 7-under 65 and a one-stroke lead in the first round of the Russian Open.

  • Martin didn't reach LPGA Tour until she was 29, but patience paid off

    To judge Mo Martin only by her stature (she's 5-foot-2 before she puts on her golf shoes) or by her career victories (one, her women's British Open triumph this month) would be to completely miss why the former UCLA standout is so heartily worth appreciating and applauding.

  • Horsey leads by 1 in Moscow

    David Horsey fired a 7-under 65 on Thursday and grabbed a 1-stroke lead after the opening round of the Russian Open.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category