After struggling financially, Antioch’s Roddy Ranch Golf Club to close August 11
Follows years of challenges and ultimate sale of the land for the planned, surrounding gated housing community
By Allen Payton
After facing financial struggles for at least this year, it was announced on Saturday, August 6, 2016 that the Roddy Ranch Golf Club, located on Antioch’s southern border, will permanently close as of Thursday, August 11th.
This past week, Jack Roddy, the principal of Roddy Ranch, LLC which owns the course, brought in Touchstone Golf to operate the course. For the past two years, the course had been leased to Roddy Ranch Golf Management, which is owned by Kevin Fitzgerald, who is a PGA Golf Pro and served as General Manager for the course.
Opened in 2000, the 235 acre course was to be the centerpiece of an embattled gated, new home community. But, that same year the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors voted to move the on land outside of the county’s Urban Limit Line which was approved by the voters in 1990.
Then in 2005, Antioch voters passed an initiative which established the city’s own urban limit line, moving the land back inside, and allowing for a 700-unit, half-acre lot home project. The initiative also required the Roddy Ranch housing development to pay “$1,000,000 for improvements to State Route 4 Bypass and/or Vasco Road. The developer would also be required to donate $1,000,000 to the Antioch Unified School District for performing arts, music and sports programs, and to contribute $50,000 to the City of Antioch to study a potential business park.”
But, after almost 20 years of work to obtain approvals for the 700-acre development, continuous delays by Antioch city staff, more developer fees, and agreement by then-City Manager Jim Jakel and Antioch Mayor Wade Harper, the land surrounding the course was sold to the East Bay Regional Parks District in 2013.
In an editorial about the sale, Harper stated that “the residents of the entire Northern California area are better served by a regional park…than by yet another subdivision.”
The sale left the course located in the middle of open space, and eliminated the possibility for the long-planned, executive, upscale housing development, which supporters believe would have been the “Blackhawk of Antioch” and helped attract business owners and executives to Antioch, who would have located their businesses in the city. It also eliminated the funds for Antioch’s schools and regional roads.
After being housed in temporary buildings since the beginning, the course added a new clubhouse, earlier this year, with a new bar, deck, banquet and event room, and offices. At one point there were plans for a two-story, rustic-looking hotel on the site.
In an email from Brian O’Connor, Tournament Coordinator for the course, to paid members of the golf club, on Saturday, he blamed the high cost of irrigation water for the course, and the outstanding debts that had accumulated, for the course not being “financially viable.”
Following is the main excerpts from the email message O’Connor sent:
Dear Roddy Ranch Member,
As you may be aware Roddy Ranch LLC, the lessee of Roddy Ranch, is no longer involved with the golf course and our firm, Touchstone Golf, was engaged by the owners of Roddy Ranch to operate the golf course last week.
With the termination of Roddy Ranch LLC , lease we have discovered that the golf course is not financially viable as a going concern. This is due to outstanding debts of the previous operator and the high cost of irrigation water for the golf course. As such, we are informing you that on Thursday August 11, the golf course will be permanently closed.
We appreciate that this news is sudden and we know that the course has been a part of some of your lives for many years. Your involvement with Roddy Ranch over these years is appreciated and we thank you for being a part of the Club.
Thank you once again for your support of Roddy Ranch and we wish you well in the future.Sincerely,
Golf Professional / Tournament Coordinator
A separate email was sent to patrons of the course:
To our valued Roddy Ranch guests,
It is with sadness that we inform you that after 16 years in operation, Roddy Ranch Golf Club will be permanently closed on August 11.
The increasingly high cost of water has impacted individuals and businesses throughout the state for many years and Roddy Ranch is no exception. Ultimately the expense associated with irrigating the golf course has burdened the Club to the point that it is no longer economically feasible for the course to stay in business.
We would like to thank the thousands of golfers who have enjoyed playing golf at Roddy Ranch over the years including our hundreds of loyal members.
Finally, our staff at Roddy Ranch has always worked tirelessly to create a family atmosphere for those visiting the course. We are eternally grateful for their contribution to the success of Roddy Ranch.
Please join us in the next few days for one last round at Roddy Ranch and we wish you well.
Thank you for your support.
Roddy Ranch Golf Club
Attempts to contact Roddy, Fitzgerald and O’Connor were unsuccessful before publication time. Please check back later for any additional details.
the attachments to this post: