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Monday
Apr172017

PGA Of America "Divesting" St. Lucie Public Course, PGA Learning Center

In a letter to PGA Golf Club members, president Paul Levy announced the planned sale of the organization-owned St. Lucie Trail Golf Club and PGA Learning Center.

The PGA is retaining ownership of the rest of the PGA Golf Club facility in Port St. Lucie.

The letter to members of PGA Golf Club:

Attention buyers: St. Lucie gets solid reviews on GolfAdvisor.com.

More disconcerting, besides the sale of a public golf course at a time the PGA of America is so focused on growing the game, is the sale of the PGA Learning Center so close to their headquarters. Perhaps there is another element in the equation, but the "optics" are not great.

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Reader Comments (12)

The PGA Golf Club is a public facility, with 54 holes. It appears they are retaining that. The other club, which is located east of PGA Golf Club, seems like an outlier that doesn't fit into the grand plan. The divestment of the Learning Center is a head scratcher. This was built under Jim Awtrey's leadership (as was the Dye course) as a place for PGA professionals coming out of PGM programs to gain experience.

Perhaps St Lucie hasn't seen the population growth in core demos; it was hit hard in the Great Recession and hasn't capitalized on Jen bush's plan to create a biotech incubator (Scripps, etc). St Lucie sits *just far enough* from the northern border of South Florida proper that it still feels like a bit of a hike to get up there to spend the day playing or knocking around the Learning Center. 20 years ago, it felt like the expansion of the megalopolis of South Florida would reach there. Alas, it has not.
04.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterMack
PGA Village looks as good as it ever has...place has become really nice and worth the trip.
Divesting the Learning Center speaks volumes .......the three courses at PGA Golf Club are decent, but like any club being run by a committee, the product has been inconsistent over the years....hopefully the quality of the golf courses and service levels will improve.
04.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPro From Dover
Really bad decision re: Learning Center . It was the one part of the facility that stood out as something unique that no other club had. Bad thinking. What about all the Growth of the game initiatives this facility offered? Guess their not important any more? What an unbelievable group of boneheads !!
04.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Hall
I really hope the buyers keep the Learning Center open; it's a fantastic practice facility.
04.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterMiddle West Pro
I happen to be down there a couple weeks ago and hardly anyone was using the Learning Center and the PGA HOF used to be on site there but has since been closed. The 3 courses on site have improved drastically especially the Dye Course after he threatened to take his name off it awhile back cause it was in real bad shape. The 3 courses now are pristine. Sad to see St. Lucie West as I had known it for 20 years to be up for sale. It's the 2nd best layout there other than Dye.
04.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterVKM
Wow. Just played the St Lucie course this morning, and have been practicing at the Learning Center since arriving on Thursday.

A friend who is a member has said that whoever is running the operation has really been wanting to get this to a private club situation. The St Lucie Trail course used to be the club private course, and the Ryder/Wanamaker/Dye were the courses the public could play. That has been slowly evolving, now there are two "member courses" each day, and a "resort course" for "public" play. I use quotes because a lot of times you need to be staying somewhere to get on. This sounds great, except that, this week, the Wanamaker course i the "resort course." Which I could play, except I'm not part of the Q school for qualifying. So I need a member to make arrangements for me if I want to play the other two courses.

This happens quite a bit. It's been 7 years we've been coming down here, and I have to say I have never seen such a good property be run by such incompetent nitwits. I don't know what they think this will accomplish, but they appear to basically want to move this to a private club, and that really goes well with their "grow the game" mantra. Not.
04.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPat(another one)
VKM, a few years ago they got rid of the buckets and went to a straight daily pass system. $27 a day. I get that it's difficult to police those who just bought a bucket can't go to certain areas, but still. They really want to go to an upscale market.

A friend of mine, who is a PGA member, has been very near to a number of things that have gone on down here. I once said to him, it seems the attitude is "We're the PGA of America, and whatever we decide is the best, because we're the PGA of America." He just smiled. Too many decision makers have been living in a bubble and have no idea what the real world is like.
04.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPat(another one)
Pat

Totally get it. Not a good strategy to have. I know a few members there as well. Be careful what you wish for because you may just get it. I started going down there before the "Village" was even built and it was just St. Lucie West(now PSL Golf Trail). Then they came up with the North and South course along with the Learning Center. Adding a 3rd course on site was not a necessity but hindsight it 20/20. I used to frequent PSL allot in the winter as I have a few friends that live in the area. Everytime i'd go over to the LC it was a ghost town. I'm really not sure what happens next since there is a big disconnect in that the LC is on the west side of 95 and the Trail is on the other side of 95. Traffic is hell around that 95 intersection too.
04.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterVKM
Just raise dues on the thousands of members who are making minimum wage.

PGA forgets what "G" stands for, and is a borderline bait and switch game for its dues paying members

More and more clubs will learn that a "PGA" professional is an unneeded expense, after all, we don't need practice learning centers any more do we?? Just learn to stock the coolers and displays, everything will be fine
VKM, I think where they are really missing the boat is the value having the learning center adds to the membership. They have been pushing for people to join over and over. Every time I am down there are ads looking for people to join. Even got an email about month or so ago about it being the best time to join. I would be royally po'd if I had joined and then found out that is going away.

This is a penny wise and pound foolish decision by some bean counter looking to make himself a bonus. The place is busy in season, but like everything else golf related, not so much out of season. But because the vast majority of people who use it have already paid for it, the place "doesn't bring in revenue." I know that the areas at the three courses are nowhere near enough to handle all the members, so I hope they have thought that far. I hope, because nothing this group has ever done has ever given me confidence to say I know they have.
04.17.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPat(another one)
Pat

Agree just sell the Trail course and keep the LC as part of the other 3 courses basically onsite. Place is easy to get on in Summer time and for cheap around $30/35 any day pretty much. Who knows what their exact vision is. I used to be an apprentice over 20 years ago and got out after being required to do the old GPTP program which taught me zilch(money grab). Only way to learn this business his hands on development in all aspects of a golf facility.
04.19.2017 | Unregistered CommenterVKM

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