The Elkton, Fla. property has seen its share of struggles over the last decade—reducing its playable holes from 27 to 18, and there was even a plan at one point to redevelop the property to add more homes. Director of Golf Wes Tucker says several courses in the area are also tackling renovation projects. “That’s pretty incredible that people are reinvesting back in the game,” he says. “It’s a trend and it shows where the game is, the growth in the game.”
An $8 million overhaul of the St. Johns Golf Club in Elkton, Fla. is on track to be completed in the fall as was originally planned, Director of Golf Wes Tucker, PGA told the Jacksonville Business Journal.
“We’re hoping early November,” Tucker said. “That’s our goal. I’m not putting a date to it yet.”
The renovation of the course and clubhouse is a nice boost for a facility that had a murky future for some time, the Business Journal reported.
The course reduced its playable holes from 27 to 18 about a decade ago, and there was even a plan at one point to redevelop the property to add more homes there, the Business Journal reported. At various times, commissioners have shown a reluctance to reinvest in the county-owned course, but that sentiment has changed with the current project.
“It’s a renovation but it’s going to be a brand-new golf course,” Tucker said. “Every major component of the golf course was touched during this [project].”
It’s helped that golf has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity that started during the pandemic and has seemed to continue, the Business Journal reported. In its last year of operation before closing for play in the winter, St. Johns Golf Club had about 62,000 rounds of play, Tucker said. At its most popular, the course saw more than 70,000 rounds, but Tucker said the 62,000 number is a healthy goal moving forward.
Tucker said he knows of a handful of other area courses that are seeing some level of renovation this year — including a major project at Julington Creek — and even more are scheduled next year, the Business Journal reported.
Added to that is the fact that St. Johns County will see its first new course in about two decades as Stillwater Golf and Country Club opens this summer.
“That’s pretty incredible that people are reinvesting back in the game,” Tucker said. “It’s a trend and it shows where the game is, the growth in the game.”
With money being spent on the course in St. Johns County, there is expected to be some kind of a fee increase when the course reopens, the Business Journal reported. A new fee schedule is on the County Commission consent agenda for an August 16 meeting. The increases are based on a 30-course market study in the vicinity and are generally modest.
The fee increase would put St. Johns Golf Club at comparable prices to nearby courses like the Palatka Golf Club and Royal St. Augustine as well as many Jacksonville courses, the Business Journal reported.
“For a public golf course, you really want to give your customer the best you can with the dollars that you have,” Tucker said. “And that’s how we’ve tried to operate since I’ve been here.”