Special to the Village News
The last rounds of golf at Fallbrook Golf Club will be played this weekend as the course will be shut down effective Monday, March 14.
The sudden and surprising announcement of the closure of the course came midday last Saturday (March 5) when an employee received a phone call from the owner of the course, Jack Lamberson. The employee was told to create, print, and post signs stating, "Golf Course Will Be Closing March 14th. Restaurant/Range Will Continue To Be Open."
The restaurant is AJ’s Taphouse, which is located adjacent to the driving range and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
When contacted by the Village News Monday afternoon, March 7, Lamberson confirmed the closing of the course.
"It’s strictly economical," said Lamberson of his decision to close the 18-hole layout.
The closure comes after months of speculation regarding the course's future by residents of the Gird Valley area and golfers, conjecture prompted by Lamberson's known desire to sell the 116-acre property, which he purchased in a short sale in June of 2012 and soon found to be a losing investment.
"It’s always been a loser, and I’ve thrown money at it for four years trying to make it work as a golf course," said Lamberson. "We were at one time losing $250,000 a year. We got it down to $100,000 a year, and it still didn’t feel good."
Lamberson said closing the course will help him make his payments on the property.
"What it really boils down to is I can make the payments that I owe on the property with the losses I’ve been suffering," said Lamberson. "I don’t have the losses anymore, so that takes care of the payments."
Lamberson said his company (Fallbrook Golf Course, Inc.) has the entire property up for sale.
"The land value is worth a lot more than what the golf course is worth, unfortunately," said Lamberson. "The best for me is to quit fighting it. And I’ve had several offers for different things for it, but some of them just wanted to steal it."
Lamberson said the driving range, practice putting course, and AJ’s Taphouse will remain open while he seeks a buyer for the course.
When asked about future maintenance of the property, Lamberson said, "I’ve got a mowing machine. I’ll probably keep it mowed, but the big thing is I’m not going to throw water at it. That’s one of the reasons I’m closing it, because of the water cost."
Lamberson knows his decision to close the course and try to sell the land isn’t going to be a popular one with golfers and the course's neighbors, many of which are members of the organization Save Fallbrook Golf Course.
"I’m going to catch flack because I’m going to be putting something together that will be beneficial to me," said Lamberson. "I want to try to work something out to get out of where I’m at on it."