By: Sharon Aron Baron
The Heron Bay Golf Club plans to close for six month citing rainy season as one of the issues making the course playable.
Brent Bender, Regional Director for ClubLink said there are many reasons behind closing the course. He gave an example of the recent heavy rains that have recently drenched South Florida: the course becomes tough to maintain and the conditions are not desirable for the golfing public. After the past several years of financial results, they decided to close it for the summertime. “The golf course as it currently functions is essentially unplayable for most of the summer.”
Heron Bay Golf Club opened in 1996 and stretches from Coral Springs to Parkland. It was purchased by ClubLink in 2010. Bender said the course will be closed from beginning June 1, until sometime in December.
“We define summer somewhat differently,” said Bender. “To us the summer is the rainy season, and it really doesn’t dry out sufficiently until late November or early December.”
Once they get past the summer, he said they will do many things to improve the course and its financial ability to survive. He assured that during the closure, all memberships will be transferable for play on other ClubLink courses including: Palm Aire, The Woodlands Country Club and Eagle Trace. These courses will remain open because they do not have the issues Heron Bay has because they are designed differently.
“It has to do with the drainage on the property. How the course was designed. How Westinghouse and WCI decided to build Mark McCumber’s design,” said Bender. “It also has to do with South Florida Water Management District’s choices on the water level in the canals surrounding the golf course.”
Bender said it was a much smarter decision at Heron Bay to close the golf course during the rainy season and avoid all the headaches that come from people who are upset with their balls “plugging” the fairway or losing them. They want to try something different because past years’ experiences have taught them that staying open is not a smart move, so they’re going to use it as a test case to see if its viable.
Bender said that the greens will continue to be maintained over the summer as they don’t want to get in trouble with code enforcement. “We’re trying to be good neighbors. This is a test-case scenario and I’ll let you know in November how it plays out.”
He insisted that both ClubLink and Heron Bay are financially viable and just want to remain that way. They will reopen again for the Dixie Amateur which will be held at Heron Bay on December 18.
ClubLink Member Patrick Noud said that Heron bay has always had a drainage problem. “They always blamed South Florida Water Managament. It can be very tough. I’ve known and accepted that.”
Noud, a resident of Heron Bay, has been playing on the course since it was owned by Tournament Players Course, or TPC, course back in 2000. He remembers two years ago when they revamped all the greens, however, he said that lately they weren’t putting a lot of work into them. “In the summer months people would drive on the fairways and they would get torn up,” he said”
He was upset about the closure and wrote about it on the NextDoor App online. Noud said that after speaking with General Manager Julian Gil, he felt a little more reassured.
“I can’t imagine they aren’t going to reopen,” he said. “What happens next year? My guess is ClubLink is going to look at this and reexamine what they’re going to do for next year.”