You may have played a round of golf on Cape Royal Golf Course in Cape Coral once or twice. In 2016, it was what some people considered an “ok” course. Then it closed.
It wasn’t just Cape Royal or 'Royal Tee' as it was called at the time that closed. In 2016, The National Golf Foundation says 211 golf coursed closed nationwide.
Cape Royal fell into the trend that year because the owner at the time was close to retirement, and before neighbors, staff, and golfers knew it, it was closed.
“It was sort of a shocked how the golf course closed,” said Edward Harrington, who was on the community Homeowner’s Association at the time.
Edward Harrington, and Donald Wegand, who was also a former board member, and President of communities the Homeowner’s Association, sprung into action to get the golf course back. They tell Fox 4, they held meetings educating the neighborhood about the pros and cons of a golf course closing down. But that was an obstacle because 90% of the people who lived in the community did not play golf. Both men say the convincing factor was development.
“We didn’t want a developer coming in putting homes or condos down our fairways,” said Edwards.
“Almost 98% of the people here have a golf course or a lake view, that could go away in a minute,” said Wegand.
It turns out, that argument worked. That same 90% voted to acquire the golf course property. The Homeowner’s Association bought it for $1.4 Million, and have a partnership with the Green Golf Partners for a 10-year lease to run the property.
Now two years later, the golf course is full of life and golf courses all over the country are asking how they pulled it off.
“We came from a closed golf course that was degrading rapidly to one that’s become a viable product here in the local golfing arena, the community was a major reason that the golf course has become a success,” Donald Wegand said.