The reasoning behind the closure of the Alister MacKenzie-designed golf course in Pittsburg, Calif., is unclear, though some members speculated that potential for drought played a role. The city owns the 6,317-yard golf course and is exploring its options.
The Delta View Golf Course in Pittsburg, Calif., is slated to close on March 1 and its fate will remain up in the air while the city, which owns the Alister MacKenzie-designed, 6,317-yard course, explores its options, the Walnut Creek, Calif., East Bay Times reported.
The news came suddenly for most and rumor circulated of a possible purchase by the Seeno family of developers, which has been working to build more than 350 homes in the Montreux subdivision for at least eight years, the Times reported.
“That has nothing to do with the golf course. They’ve never been exploring or entitled to the golf course,” City Manager Joe Sbranti said. “Every golf course in the area at this time has seen a drop in the popularity of the sport and it’s been a challenge for golf courses to survive. Delta View is no exception.”
Sunol Valley Golf Club in Pleasanton, Calif., and Shadow Lakes in Brentwood, Calif., both closed in late 2015. A combination of changing economics, declining popularity and increasing water costs have been pointed to as reasons for the wave of closures. In 2016, Roddy Ranch Golf Course in Antioch, Calif., closed and its General Manager blamed water costs, but later pleaded guilty to grand theft of personal property and insurance fraud, the Times reported.
“Managing a golf course is difficult and expenses that were coming due were significant,” Sbranti said. “I understand their situation and we’re parting on good terms.”
The reasons for the closure are still unclear. General Manager Eric Smith would only reply “no comment” to any questions from reporters. When the golf club closes, it will be one month before membership dues would normally be renewed, the Times reported.
“Nobody is sad to see this management out of here and there’s a litany of members out here who say the same,” said member Roger Draper.
Some members speculated that the potential for a drought scared off the managers while others pointed to successive years of bad management. The concessions portion of the lease—the bar, restaurant and banquet hall—have all seen consistent turnover in management over the years, the Times reported.
Still, the members who golf at Delta View are die-hards, touting its unique design among Bay Area golf courses. “This is the last of the undulating, tricky courses out here. It’s a tough course and makes you work and you have the hills to play up and down,” Draper said. “The fairways are relatively narrow and when people try to muscle this course, it teaches you.”
The course is the only one in the East Bay designed by MacKenzie, who designed the August National Golf Club in Georgia. “Even to know he’s walked here—it’s historical,” said member Mark Shoemaker. “(The closure) is just sad.”
The back nine holes were designed by MacKenzie, but the front nine were designed by Robert Muir Graves, former president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, the Times reported.
The city isn’t quite sure what will become of the golf course, but is working quickly to figure that out. “If we don’t act quickly, then golf courses don’t look like golf courses after awhile,” Sbranti said. “I’ve personally been golfing on that course for the better part of four decades. We’re trying to keep it alive, if that’s possible.”