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Eric Strulowitz

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Sugarloaf Mountain closed?
« on: February 04, 2013, 04:36:48 pm »
Mentioned in another thread, is this true?   How sad,  currently  planning a 10 day swing through Florida in the spring,  a replay here was on the list.

What happened, just another unforunate conseqeunce of the economy?  Any plans to reopen?

Howard Riefs

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Re: Sugarloaf Mountain closed?
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2013, 05:23:47 pm »
Yes, closed. Some details here:

Apparently things have gone downhill at Sugarloaf Mountain- Golf Operations have CLOSED and the place is now DEFUNCT. I was reading through the boards in search of decent Orlando Golf options amongst the multitudes and quickly spotted the Crenshaw and Coore's design.  After trying to get a tee time only to encounter a disconnected number, I called their management company Hampton Golf and was told the news.

This is pretty sad information in light of the fact that there are so many mediocre golfing options in Orlando.  But, hey I guess those courses are strategically close to I-4 corridor where Mickey resides.

I think I am going to have to shlep up to World Woods, after all.

Hi Everybody - As usual with these situations it is complicated (Note: I am a member of the course but otherwise not affiliated).  Golf Operations are closed for the foreseeable future (through at least the end of the year), but it is due to the ownership structure and may or may not be permanent.  The land and development has been in bankruptcy for some time but the golf operations had been funded by a potential buyer of the property.  The main contribution was to cover the insurance on the land to allow the golf course to operate.  That buyer has pulled out but there are other negotiations taking place. The operating and maintenance budget were extremely small since nobody actually owned the golf course.  Hampton is just the management company.  As a side note the course is still being maintained; but golfers are not allowed due to the insurance gap.

The course needs to draw the local market as well as snowbirds to be successful.  It is pretty remote and the conditioning challenges are well documented.  Ultimately though there were a few design features built in that the land could not support which lead to the course's decline.  This was a combination of the general shape of the land and soil properties combined with the severe rainy climate.  As an example the course opened with a lot of open sandy areas, most notably in front of 15 tee.  The slope from 15 down to 14 fairway is severe, and when summer rains dumped 6 inches in two hours, a lot of the sand slid onto 14 fairway.  This caused some asthetic issues to 15 (grassed over with grass that doesn't match) and major conditioing issues to 14, which has never recovered.  Many of the C&C bunker faces have fallen in as well which were subsequently dumbed down for the worse.


"Golf combines two favorite American pastimes: Taking long walks and hitting things with a stick."  ~P.J. O'Rourke

Pete Buczkowski

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Re: Sugarloaf Mountain closed?
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2013, 11:01:56 pm »
I spoke with the DoG last month and they have released all staff, so will be closed for a while. Still in talks with a buyer but it isn't promising.  Basically 2 major issues -- the liability insurance wasn't renewed by the note holder, and there is a potential environmental issue with an indigenous animal (snail?) which is holding up the sale. From what I heard the buyer didn't seem to have realistic expectations for the future (ie wanted a very high end club/housing community)

Mark Alexander

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Re: Sugarloaf Mountain closed?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2013, 06:31:48 am »
This is a terrible shame, especially with all the interest being generated by C+C's (TD's) design at Streamsong.
Sad to hear.

Charlie Gallagher

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Re: Sugarloaf Mountain closed?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2013, 07:46:00 am »
This news is a real shame. I have played the course twice and really enjoyed its unique features for it is not typical Florida golf. Additionally, as far as the Orlando market is concerned, it is not that far off the beaten track. If memory serves, it is about 35 minutes from the airport.

Ben Cowan (Michigan)

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Re: Sugarloaf Mountain closed?
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2013, 03:46:44 pm »
Any new updates on Sugarloaf?  That is sad.  A great track and worth an hour drive to play.  It's like not being in Florida.  It wasn't it good shape when i played, but i overlooked it.  The land is amazing for Florida!  Hopefully a Golf enthusiast buys it instead...  I think a Kingsley model would work great there or a semi-private.  Playing a track in Florida without holmes is a feat, let alone C&C!  Highest elevation in Florida...  Pete thanks for info and keep us informed of any positive news.  
'' I am in my own way trying to justify the thousands of hours I have spent chasing a little white ball with a stick''- Jay Mickle