Economy, Drought Spur Sunol Valley Golf Club Closure - NBC Bay Area
East Bay

East Bay

The latest news from around the East Bay

Economy, Drought Spur Sunol Valley Golf Club Closure

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    The Sunol Valley Golf Club has announced its impending closure after 47 years in business. Raj Mathai reports. (Published Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015)

    The Sunol Valley Golf Club has announced its impending closure after 47 years in business.

    "The number of golfers over the years has dropped significantly," Perry Lee said. The Club's director of golf says the closure is because of economic reasons: fewer customers and bigger water bills.

    "It's gone up 500 percent over the last couple years," Lee said, explaining even heavy rains can't save it.

    "El Nino will actually make it worse for us during the winter because with we would have to close lots of days because of the rain. We'd lose a lot of revenue because people can't play. It's a double-edged sword," Lee said.

    Lee says the Club has to lay off 80 employees and had to cancel 22 weddings.

    Tuesday, there were no greens fees for the members - just a final thank you.

    Armed with clubs and memories, golfers were making the most of their final days at Sunol Valley, known as one of the more down-to-earth golf clubs in the area.

    "It's really sad. A lot of great memories. Good golf, great people," said Tim Drinkwater, who learned to play golf here with his dad 30 years ago. "I have not texted him yet to let him know. He'll be very bummed, I'm sure."

    Thomas Fisher, a pastor from Redwood City, and his 11 golfing buddies met at Sunol Valley 20 years ago. They've been teeing up and making friendly wagers ever since.

    "I'm on my way to victory. We play a dollar a hole," H. Winston Sherard said while playing Tuesday. "The Cypress course is where we've really had some battles, and you can't take away those kind of memories."

    According to a message sent by the Ivaldi family, who has owned the club since it opened in 1968, "Player's Club" members won't get their annual membership fee refunded but they will be allowed to golf for free one last time on either Dec. 15 or Dec. 19.

    The club's Palm course will be open until Dec. 20, the Cypress course will close on Dec. 31, and the facility's pro shop will close on Jan. 3 to allow people time to redeem any outstanding gift certificates.

    Get the latest from NBC Bay Area anywhere, anytime
    • Download the App

      Available for IOS and Android