Tuesday, April 10, 2012

SPORTS >> Greystone operating again

Leader sports editor

For the first time in more than eight months, golf was played at Greystone Country Club on Saturday. Mark Forret of Cabot hit the first tee shot at 8 a.m. on the old Mountain Springs course, officially opening play for the first time since Metropolitan National Bank closed it and the Cypress Creek course last August, when membership numbers dropped and the courses began to lose in excess of $40,000 per month.

Jim Cooper of Melbourne bought the Mountain Springs course for $650,000 in March, a week after the bank rejected the highest bid at auction. He also owns Cooper’s Hawk Golf Course in Melbourne, and Greystone members can play that course for a $12.50 trail fee.

The back course, Cypress Creek, was bought by a separate group of investors and is tentatively scheduled to open sometime in July. It was in a much greater state of disrepair and sold for $415,00.

Former Cabot High School athletic director and golf coach Johnny White is the new director of golf at Greystone Country Club. Like most of the new members, White lives in the Greystone community.

“I live out here in this community and I want to see it be successful,” White said. “Everybody realized when we lost this course for eight months how important it was. Everyone is very optimistic and very positive about this.”

The bank that took over the property kept the course in good enough shape for play, but there will be some changes and improvements.

About a half dozen bunkers will be re-filled and the waterfall on the 18th hole will be operating again soon. There are also improvements to other amenities in the works in order to attract more members.

“We’re redoing the swimming pool and we’re going to redo the tennis courts,” White said. “It’s going to be all positive changes. It’s going to be fun.”

A membership drive through April has membership cost set at $195 per month and includes unlimited golf and access to all amenities. Family memberships are on sale through April for $220.

More than 160 people had bought memberships by the end of the opening weekend.

The course will also be fully open to the public and will be open seven days a week. On weekdays, greens fees will be $38 and $48 on weekends.

There are also social memberships available for $65 per month to Greystone residents, and $75 per month to non-residents.

A few corporate outings have already been scheduled and White hopes to start bringing in fundraising tournaments again in the near future.

White worked closely with Greystone when he was golf coach at the high school, and held the school and athletic department fundraisers at the course.

“We hope to bring that back here next year,” White said. “The school administration had to get that scheduled before we could get everything organized here.”

The Cabot golf team will also host matches and tournaments at the course.

“We want to work closely with the school,” White said. “They were always so ready to help us when I was coach and we want to renew that relationship, as well as build others throughout our community.”