Residents who live around the Turkey Creek Golf Club felt they were at a loss when the golf course closed almost seven years ago, but nearing their funding goal has brought new enthusiasm to the community.
The golf club, at 11820 Turkey Creek Blvd. in Alachua, was an essential part of Turkey Creek and its property owners. When the club closed, residents felt a vital part of the community had been lost because of both the financial and social value the course held.
Turkey Creek Golf, LLC has reached the halfway point to raise $500,000 for renovations and hopes to reopen in the fall.
The club closed in March 2011 when the economy went stagnant and attendance dropped. The club’s decline made surrounding property values decrease as well, according to Forest Hope, president of Turkey Creek Golf, LLC.
After the course closed, the residents of Turkey Creek Master Owners Association decided to take matters into their own hands and purchased the golf course to restore its value. With the help of Fred Settle, president of International Golf Services, the community intends to renovate and reopen the course as soon as possible.
Settle is confident that the course will come back to life, especially since he previously worked with Arnold Palmer as vice president of Arnold Palmer Golf Management.
The first phase of the reopening is set for September with the setting of the grass. There are additional challenges that the course faces before opening to the public, such as funding is needed for irrigation and course development.
Though the land faces little flooding issues, some areas like bridges still need to be renovated, especially after Hurricane Irma. Additionally, the grass and paths of the land must meet certain standards, according to Settle.
However, Settle is hopeful the course could be one of the best in North and Central Florida with the potential to bring in $2 million in annual revenues.
Today, many residents are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. The course is a way to give back to the community that has been so concerned about the course, according to Hope.
Loretta Shane, a homeowner in Turkey Creek and member of the marketing committee for Turkey Creek Golf, LLC, was a resident who felt a loss when the course closed. She joined the marketing committee to help sees a significant improvement in the community’s willingness to be a part of the redevelopment.
The day before closing, Shane said she played her last round of golf on the course until dark, just to take it all in. Afterwards, she said neighbors became strangers and it was devastating for the community. People began to care less about their houses and it could be seen just by their lawns, according to Shane.
With the upcoming course redevelopment, Shane sees people care more about their houses and younger families move into the neighborhood. She, too, is excited about the developments and mentioned she will be there on opening day.
“I feel the life is coming back,” said Shane.