BSR Golf Course: CLOSED
Last updated 10/3/2019 at 11:18am
In a surprise announcement on Friday Sept. 20, the golf course at the Borrego Springs Resort will not reopen for the 2019 – 20 season; the closure has also affected golf course operations at the Resort-owned Club Circle East.
All Resort golf club staff and maintenance personnel were abruptly terminated, and the water was shut off, leaving the long-term fate of the course in doubt.
“The financial viability of the golf course operation has not improved enough to continue operation for this upcoming season,” said Resort General Manager Erica Atmaca.
She reports that the Resort, Spa Serenity, and the Arches restaurant will continue operating as normal for the 2019 – 20 season.
The entire Resort, covering about 1,200 acres and designed for a community with over 800 homes, has not been developed as planned due to “inherited” grading issues.
“Ownership has spent hundreds and thousands of dollars and many hours working with FEMA and the County to rectify grading issues, but has not been successful in obtaining a solution which would lead to a cost-effective plan for further development of the course,” Atmaca said.
Club Circle East, part of the Resort property, recently announced a nine-month contract extension for water delivery just prior to the Resort closure announcement.
After the Resort course closure, Club Circle manager Susan Percival said that she was given assurances by Resort owners that they “intended to honor the contract.” But there was a caveat: “We were warned that there would be no one around for maintenance issues or emergency breaks,” Percival said.
Later, when Club Circle golf course superintendent Bob Moore went to turn on the water, it had been shut off because of what the just-terminated Resort greens superintendent said was “a water main break and no one to fix it.”
The sudden disruption in water delivery, combined with uncertainty over the future of the Resort water situation, resulted in Percival sending out a letter to Club Circle property owners after what was perceived at first to be a successful fundraising effort to keep the course open.
“Bob and I are not comfortable collecting money for something that we have no control over,” she wrote. “All payments that have been received recently, and payments that were on hold from the first quarter fundraising, will not be cashed,” she said, adding, “This is a very sad situation for the community and especially for the Club Circle property owners. It’s a shame Borrego won’t have affordable golf for this season and perhaps seasons going forward.”
The closure of both the Resort and Club Circle golf courses is sure impact wildlife populations inhabiting the various ponds which, without water, will eventually dry up.
Birds can fly to other water sources, but resident turtles will have to be retrieved and transported to other locations if they are to survive. Rich Pinel, General Manager at the RoadRunner Golf Club said he’d take “one or two” for Swan Lake.
As of Sept. 27, the water line from the well supplying both the Resort and Club Circle is said to be leaking, the water has been shut off at both locations, and they’re about to pack up the flags on the Club Circle greens.