Court orders demolition of golf course, resort and surrounding community

Golf course news and notes: February, 2022.
A view from Isla de Valdecanas Golf Club

The days are numbered for a golf resort and surrounding community located 110 miles southwest of Madrid, Spain.

The country's highest court ruled this week that Marina Isla de Valdecañas must be demolished because it was built on environmentally protected land in 2007.

The ruling overturns a 2020 decision from a regional-level court that declared such an action unfeasible due to cost. Experts had estimated that demolishing the property would cost the equivalent of $39 million, and that compensating current property owners would run another $126 million.

But in the wake of the Spanish Supreme Court's ruling, the government of the Spanish region of Extremadura will be on the hook for the estimated $165 million project, which is meant to return the island in the Valdecañas reservoir on which it sits to a natural state. That includes abandoning and remediating the golf course, designed by Alvaro Arana and opened in 2010.

Local environmental advocacy groups had argued against the resort's development since it was in the planning stages. Valdecañas' land is part of a European Union-designated network called Natura 2000, which encompasses "core breeding and resting sites for rare and threatened species, and some rare natural habitat types which are protected in their own right," according to the system's website.

The adage "better to ask forgiveness than permission" has seldom been so thoroughly contradicted.

(Hat-tip to GeoffShackelford.com for the initial note on this, which links to this CNN.com report.)

Other golf course news & notes

Chris Wilczynski's Astor Creek Country Club is part of a new housing development by Kolter Homes.

NEW COURSE ON FLORIDA'S TREASURE COAST - Architect Chris Wilczynski has steadily built a portfolio of thoughtful courses in real estate developments in southwest Florida, including Esplanade at Azario Lakewood Ranch, which opened in 2020. For his next course, Wilczynski is switching coasts within the state, laying out Astor Creek Country Club in Port St. Lucie. [LINK: The Golf Wire]

RELATED: Meet the architect of Florida's brand-new, popular golf course

SILVERADO RESORT SOLD - Silverado Resort, the Napa-Valley home of the PGA Tour's season-opening Fortinet Championship, was bought by a pair of investors that includes KSL Capital Partners, which owns interests in several other golf properties. The sellers include two-time major champion and veteran golf broadcaster Johnny Miller, who will split the $62.4 million in proceeds with several partners. [LINK: Napa Valley Register]

UPPER MONTCLAIR TO HOST LPGA - Upper Montclair Country Club, with 27 holes originally laid out by A.W. Tillinghast and later redesigned by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., will take over hosting duties for the LPGA Cognizant Founders Club from nearby Mountain Ridge Country Club, which hosted the event's first edition last year. The 2022 event is slated for May 12-15. [LINK: LPGA.com]

'GOLF COURSE OF THE YEAR' - Sweetgrass Golf Club, one of two courses at Island Resort & Casino in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, was recognized by the National Golf Course Owners Association as the 2022 "National Course of the Year." Sweetgrass hosts an annual Epson (formerly Symetra) Tour event that raises more than $100,000 per year for various charities. [LINK: MLive.com]

NEW CLUB FORMED IN WISCONSIN - KemperSports will manage the newly-formed Goldeneye Club near Lake Geneva, Wisc. The name is not a reference to James Bond, but rather to the area's popularity among duck hunters. The 6,400-yard course used to be called Lakewood Golf Club. [LINK: Wisconsin.golf]

GOLF-ADJACENT - Vandals sprayed graffiti on several signs around Open Championship host Carnoustie Golf Links. The signs have been replaced but the search is still on for the perpetrators. [LINK: Daily Record]

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Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for GolfPass. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
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Court orders demolition of golf course, resort and surrounding community