Hyland Hills Course Closes in 'Transition'
The Moore County golf sector may have its first casualty of the recession.
Hyland Hills Golf Club, a public course on U.S. 1 north of Southern Pines, is closed indefinitely while the ownership and its bank work out a deal. An unknown number of employees have been laid off.
Woody Davis, president of Avestra Golf, which manages the club, said that it would be closed during a "transition with the ownership and its lending institution." He said it would reopen by spring.
Despite several calls, The Pilot could not reach anyone from Old Saybrook Hyland Hills LLC, the owner of the course. Davis said that Avestra only manages the course and that it would be wrong for him to speculate about the details of the transition.
Rumors have been swirling ever since Hyland Hills shut down. The last day of play was Monday, Davis said. There have been rumors that the bank has foreclosed on Hyland Hills and that it's up for sale.
"It's not as dire as everybody wants to make it," Davis said.
Davis said the bank has not foreclosed. He said the ownership and the bank were working on "legal things." He didn't deny that it might be up for sale. He said that everything can be bought for the right price.
"I doubt there is any course in this town that is not up for sale," he said. "But no, there is not a 'For Sale' sign out front."
While Hyland Hills is a public course, it does have members. It was part of a deal in which members of the Country Club of Whispering Pines and Foxfire Resort and Golf Club, both Avestra-owned courses, can play Hyland Hills for cart fees.
Avestra sent a letter to members saying that the course will be closed for 90 days while it undertakes a course maintenance project. Davis said the course ownership asked Avestra to do some maintenance while the course closed. Work will begin after the New Year, he said.
"It's a beautiful time (the off-season) to do it," Davis said. "It's direly needed."
Hyland Hills is a Tom Jackson-designed course that has historically been popular with players who like a challenge at a bargain price.
Located at what is essentially the entrance corridor of Southern Pines, the course is something of a landmark. It's often the first course spotted by tourists driving down U.S. 1 from the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
Golf courses everywhere are feeling the pinch in these hard economic times, Davis said. There's no reason why Moore County should be different.
"It's just a real tough time," he said.
He did say that some employees had been let go, though he added that some cuts are always made in the winter.
"I think everybody has been having some people cut back," he said. "Even if this were a normal time, people would be cutting back."
Contact Matthew Moriarty at 693-2479 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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