110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
Last day for golf Sunday, Sept. 9
By Jen Horton
posted Sep 7, 2012 - 12:03:11pm
The DeLand Country Club golf course will close Sunday, Sept. 9. The clubhouse will close following the meeting of the DeLand Quarterback Club on Monday evening, Sept. 10.
Richard "Dick" Kelton, president of the Country Club's board of directors, said a flagging economy has greatly impacted the sport of golf, nationwide.
"Last year, over 150 clubs closed," he said. "There were similar numbers the year before."
The decision to close is financial.
"We just reached a point where we didn't have the resources to maintain it," Kelton said. "And we didn't have the play."
The declining popularity of golf and the lack of money for maintenance combined to create a downward spiral, he said, because if the golf course is not properly maintained, fewer people want to use it; when there's less play, there's less money to maintain the course.
"It's the end of an era," Kelton said.
He said there is a private mortgage on the property, and he assumes the property will revert to the mortgage holder, who may decide to find another golf management company, or who may choose to hold on to the property, or sell it.
The DeLand Country Club golf course has a 90-year history in DeLand. The clubhouse, built in 1957, has hosted weddings and political forums and has been used as a meeting place for a host of local organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce and MainStreet DeLand Association. Countless rounds of golf have been played on the 18-hole course.
Lake Helen resident Mike Hughes and his wife, Connie, have been members of the DeLand Country Club for nine years.
Mike Hughes said the news was announced Thursday morning, Sept. 6.
"We're terribly saddened," he said. "There are members that have grown up on that golf course."
Hughes said the DeLand Quarterback Club will meet on Monday, and "that's it."
Golf will end at the close of the business day Sunday, Sept. 9.
"My wife and I play there four to five times a week," Hughes said.
The DeLand Police Athletic League (PAL) was advised it would have to find a new meeting place, said PAL director Lt. Bobby Lambert.
"We have to find another place to meet," he said. "We were advised it was closing, at least for now, and would not be available for the board."
The PAL program serves 600 children annually, through a variety of team sports and after-school programs.
The DeLand Country Club was originally founded in the 1920s, and disbanded in the 1930s. In 1957, the 18-hole course on Country Club Drive, off Orange Camp Road in DeLand, opened for business, and it has served the community for 55 years.
The Volusia County Property Appraiser's Office lists the property value as $621,475, more than $100,000 less than last year's assessed value.
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