By Ward Clayton
Julington Creek Golf Club, a centerpiece of the Julington Creek Plantation community since the late 1980s, closed this summer to renovate the course and is expected to reopen in the fall.
Ownership group Brown Golf Management made the announcement internally in December 2021 and posted the news on the website www.julingtoncreekgc.com in early May. The course was due to partially close on Monday May 16, with work due to begin on the front nine and the back nine still available for around another week. At the end of May, the entire course and practice facilities were due to close with a tentative reopening scheduled for October 1. The course is not operated by Julington Creek Plantation.
“We are planning a golf course that will be more player and maintenance friendly and up to the standards expected by the neighborhood,” Brown Golf Regional General Manager Sarah Minnis said May 6. for this course.
Minnis and Brown Golf CEO John Brown made the announcement on the website of the work, which they said would cost more than $1 million considering the renovation and loss of revenue from the closure. of the course. The renovation is expected to be carried out by Westscapes Golf Construction of St. Petersburg, Florida, and includes irrigation work, redesigning greens, bunkers and tees, improving the driving range with a new tee box and putting area enlarged green and a tree and grassed area around the course, which has not been renovated since the course opened in 1987. James Puckett, the superintendent of the Julington Creek golf course, has been involved with Westscapes during renovations on other courses and Westscapes was chosen from among seven candidate renovation companies, according to Minnis.
Minor irrigation work began in January, most of the course’s bunkers were cleared over the next three months, and 1,200 tonnes of sand were loaded into the car park in April to prepare for the start of work on the course. Greens should be renovated by stripping and hollowing out putting surfaces and using TifEagle bermudagrass as the new surface.
Due to ongoing work, 2022 memberships have been suspended and it is unclear if membership opportunities will return. Play fees this spring were $42 for weekday play and $55 on weekends. By comparison, nearby golf courses in the County Road 210 area this spring ranged from $49 to $86 on weekdays and $61 to $99 on weekends.
“We believe we will be able to relaunch an all-new asset that provides an enhanced experience,” Brown and Minnis said in the website memo, dated Dec. 17, 2021. “We appreciate the opportunity to evaluate our market position and pricing as we prepare to reopen this fall.
According to Brown Golf, capital projects after 2022 will include repaved cart paths, bridge updates and repairs, complete irrigation replacement, club building updates and club building updates. car park. Windsor Parke Golf Club’s sister course in Jacksonville will also undergo a renovation after 2022. Brown Golf operates 27 courses in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Minnesota, Missouri, Vermont and Pennsylvania.
Originally named The Champions Club at Julington Creek, the course debuted in 1987, designed by Atlantic Beach golf course architect Robert Walker and managed by Riverside Golf Group. Steve Melnyk of Jacksonville, a former American and British amateur champion and ABC golf broadcaster, designed the back nine a few years later while his company, Riverside Golf Group, managed the facility. Pacific Life Insurance Company purchased the course and Windsor Parke from Riverside in 1999 for $13 million. Current owner Brown Golf, based in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, purchased Julington Creek and sister course Windsor Parke, located near J. Turner Butler Boulevard in Duval County, in May 2015 for $2.7 million ( $1.2 million for Julianton Creek).
Photo courtesy of Julington Creek Golf Club
Hole 8 green of the Julington Creek Golf Club.