The Chula Vista, Calif. club, which opened in 2000 and has been owned and operated for the past six years by Highland Links Golf Group, LLC, announced it will close on March 18, citing “the rising costs of water and fewer golfers.” Four local-area high schools that use the club for practice and tournaments must now find other locations just as their golf teams’ seasons begin.
The sudden announcement on February 19 of the impending closing of Salt Creek Golf Club in Chula Vista, Calif. came as a great shock to every golfer who arrived for a day of play, station KUSI of San Diego reported.
“I read the notice on the door as I walked up,” Joe Rankin, coach of the Otay Ranch High School men’s team, told KUSI. “It really is a shame, it really is. We gotta figure out how it’s going to affect our golf teams, the season is just starting.”
Otay Ranch is one of four high schools that use Salt Creek Golf Course for practice and tournaments, KUSI reported. The kids are slowly but surely hearing the bad news.
The course, which opened in 2000 and has been owned for the past six years by Highland Links Golf Group, LLC, will stay open until March 18, KUSI reported. But unless an angel swoops down to save it, the clubhouse and the course will close down on that day.
“Golf is tough, it’s a tough business,” said Armando Najera, the club’s General Manager.
“The price of water is outrageous,” Najera added. “For 18 years we’ve tried; we’ve tried,”
Identifying the price of water as the main culprit is a bit ironic, KUSI noted, because the land that Salt Creek GC occupies is owned by the Otay Water District. And there is even a massive holding pond full of water on the grounds. Yet the price of getting that water is too much to stay open, the club says.
A message posted on the Salt Creek GC website by Najera and Highland Links Golf Group reads:
Salt Creek Golf Club is Closing
Dear Salt Creek Golf Club Supporters,
Unfortunately, the Salt Creek Golf Club will be closing on March 18, 2018. Highlands Links Golf Group, LLC has been dealing with the rising costs of water and fewer golfers, and the course has lost money since opening in 2000, despite our attempts and other owners’ attempts to make it work.
In the golf industry overall, the economic viability of new and existing golf courses is in sharp decline, with the exception of those supported by a residential development community, local municipality, private membership club or resort.
We’ll be working with anyone who has tournaments and events scheduled to find other arrangements. If you have a gift card or have given one to anybody, please encourage them to use them or bring them to the golf shop before March 18 for a refund.
A big thank you to everyone who has played here over the last six years and supported Salt Creek GC!
At this stage, KUSI reported, all of the high schools that have used Salt Creek are searching for another course to practice and play, and local players are doing the same.
“I think it’s a catastrophe; it’s the only course in this area that’s available to all of us,” said Bob Young, a long-time golfer. “It’s just heartbreaking, I hope someone picks it up.”
Right now, no one has shown an interest in buying a money-losing golf course, KUSI reported. But they have 30 days, and the general manager also has 30 days to help all of the people who will be losing their jobs.
“My task is to find a place for all the people who work here,” Najera said. “I hired almost all of them, and it’s my duty to help them out.”
Salt Creek joins at least five other golf courses in the area that have shut down lately, KUSI reported, including ones in Poway, Escondido and La Mesa.