Villagers who were previously proud to show off the golf courses to their friends and family are now too embarrassed to take them golfing.
“I’ve lived in Sabal Chase for 17 years. I’ve never seen both the fairways and greens in such poor condition on the executive courses,” said Deanna Reidy. “I’m ashamed to have guests play after bragging about how many courses we have.”
Al Baughn of the Village of Belle Aire is grateful to fellow Villager Tom Novak, who spoke out about the problems with the golf courses this week before the Village Center Community Development District Board of Supervisors.
“Kudos to Tom Novak for highlighting this problem. Many golfers have been complaining for a long time but why hasn’t there been any improvement?” Baughn asked.
Village Dan Tharp said the problems at the golf course are quite obvious.
“The executive courses are riddled with weed-filled or dying greens. The sand traps never seem to be maintained and the tee boxes are in terrible shape,” Tharp said.
He added that there should be plenty of money to fix the problems.
“Golf is not cheap in The Villages and prices continue to go up while conditions get worse. These courses generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue causing one to wonder why the courses are this lousy,” he added.
Villager Tony Guinn said something needs to be done.
“I feel the courses that are in poor condition need to be closed and repaired. They need to stay closed and given time for them to establish good grass. Our executive courses get played on a lot and they need to be in top condition before the snowbirds arrive and they take a beating. Once the courses recover, they need to be maintained at a high level so they are prepared for the heavy use they get in the winter months,” Guinn said.
He put some of the blame on the Developer and all of the intense focus on construction south of State Road 44.
“Maybe the Developer should divert more money to maintaining what we have instead of building new areas at such a breakneck pace that they are,” Guinn said.