Friday, July 8, 2016

Desolation Row, july 8, 2016

     Carmel, California. The clock is ticking on Rancho Cañada Golf Club, a going concern since 1969. The club’s West course was supposed to close today, July 8, while the East course is expected to survive until the end of the year. Golf Digest reports that Hans-Peter Wild, a German/Swiss multi-billionaire with connections to Muhammad Ali, Robert Trent Jones, Jr., and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company, had offered to buy the property and maintain an 18-hole course on it, but the landowners chose instead to accept $10 million from the Trust for Public Land, which has other plans. One other thing: It appears that Clint Eastwood, who’s long desired to build houses on part of the Rancho Cañada, is going to see his wish fulfilled.

     Pasadena, Texas. On its website, San Jacinto College says, “We love our golf here at San Jacinto College.” But that won’t stop the school from closing the affordably priced nine-hole course, which has been in business for 52 years. Citing a decline in play and an increase in operating expenses, San Jacinto will close the track when the students go home for Christmas break. And, as we all know, love means never having to say you’re sorry.

     Pipestem, West Virginia. Come the end of the golf season, a budget crunch in West Virginia will claim the nine-hole course at Pipestem State Park. The state’s legislators have decided to maintain the park’s 18-hole, Geoffrey Cornish-designed layout, but they’re pulling the plug on the “short” course sometime after Labor Day. If you’re wondering, West Virginia has golf courses at four other state parks.

     Morrison, Illinois. Time appears to have run out on Prairie Ridge Golf Course, which didn’t open this spring. The course made its debut with nine holes in 1911 -- at the time, and for decades thereafter, it operated as Morrison Country Club -- and Lowell Beggs changed its name and added nine holes sometime after he purchased it in 2007. Beggs hasn’t said what he plans to do with the property.

     Farmville, Virginia. The nine-hole golf course at Longwood University has closed its doors to the public, and maybe soon to students as well. In the near term, the school will allow its golf teams to practice at the 80-year-old track. Long-term, however, Longwood thinks the course might better serve higher education as a botanical gardens or an arboretum.

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