The Florida course was purchased by James Price in 2018 for $2 million. Residents worry about property values and hope a buyer moves in quickly to salvage the course, before conditions decline further.
The Orange Park (Fla.) Country Club, open since 1990, has abruptly closed some of its amenities, WJXT-TV4 of Jacksonville reported. And more than 600 residents who bought into the golf-community lifestyle are now wondering about the future of their private, gated neighborhood, the station reported
WJXT reported that its News4Jax I-TEAM started receiving e-mails and phone calls during the last week of February from people who were surprised to find out that the golf course, the driving range and tennis courts have all been closed.
Resident Tom Raffo said the clubhouse shuttered its doors with little warning, according to the WJXT-TV4 report. Golf is one of the reasons why he purchased a house in the Orange Park property, Raffo said.
“It’s sad. It’s really sad,” Raffo said. “We don’t know what will happen.”
The sudden closure is surprising because locals said the course, the tennis courts and the clubhouse used to be the center of the thriving neighborhood, WJXT-TV4 reported. But according to John McCormack, president of the homeowners association, former owner James Price had a hard time making ends meet and decided to just walk away.
“There was a change in ownership April last year. We had a lot of rain. And golf is a competitive business and there are a lot of options out there,” McCormack said. “We had inklings that he wasn’t having a lot of success.”
According to property records, Price purchased the golf course and country club for $2 million in April 2018, WJXT-TV4 reported. Locals said they then witnessed a decline in the conditions of the course, such as the green on the fifth hole, which is now overrun now with weeds and dirt. With warmer temperatures on the way, residents now worry that all 400 acres will soon be overgrown.
“Hopefully, there are buyers out there that will come out quickly before it’s damaged beyond repair,” McCormack said.
Homeowners fear that their property values are going to plummet if the situation continues without change, WJXT-TV4 reported. That is not what Raffo said he paid for when he purchased his house. “It’s never the same when you have to get in your car [and] load your clubs,” he added.