Matanzas Woods Golf Course Under Sale Contract

Jim Cullis and investors have the closed golf course under contract. Reopening the course is an option that will be evaluated, but other uses are more likely. Local residents’ input will be important.

Palm Coast, FL – October 10, 2013Jim Cullis, head of Grand Haven Realty and former Landmar executive has placed the Matanzas Woods golf course in Palm Coast under contract. The deal is in the due diligence phase. Options on what to do with the property are limited.

Designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, Matanzas Woods has been described as a "beautiful monster" and was once named one of Golf Digest’s "Best New Resort Courses". It was one of Palm Coast’s four original golf courses along with Palm Harbor, Cypress Knoll and Pine Lakes. Palm Harbor, after being operated by Lowe Development, is now a municipal course owned by the City of Palm Coast. The other three were bought in 2004 by Landmar and reconstituted as the Grand Club.

Landmar planned to close one of the three courses each year for improvements. Cypress Knoll was first. The Gary Player-designed course was redone and a new clubhouse built. Pine Lakes, originally designed by Arnold Palmer, was next. It reopened after course improvements with a remodeled clubhouse.

Last on the list was Matanzas Woods. Many think that Matanzas was the best course in the area; certainly the best of the original four courses. Its renovations were to be the most extensive with parts of the course being rerouted with new holes and a new full-service clubhouse. The complexity of the new plans dragged out the permitting process. The real estate bubble burst, the project stalled and the course remains closed.

Landmar, part of Crescent Resources, went into chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009. Its local holdings were gradually sold. Golf Group of Palm Coast bought the Pines Course, Cypress Course and Matanzas Woods in 2011. The Golf Group has admirably kept the closed Matanzas course from becoming overgrown, but as each year passes, the likelihood of Matanzas ever reopening as a golf course fades.

Cullis faces challenges. The golf industry is still in a prolonged recession. Courses have relative fixed costs. They must be maintained regardless of how many rounds are played. Golf is predominately a discretionary income funded activity. There hasn’t been much discretionary income around lately. And demographics are changing too. Younger people are less inclined to take up the game.

Nationally, the number of rounds played has been dropping for years. The number of courses closed each year exceeds the number of new courses opened. Some estimate that the industry is still overbuilt by as much as 15%.

The City of Palm Coast acquired the closed Palm Harbor course at no cost from Centex and spent about $5 million rebuilding the layout with a modest “temporary” clubhouse. Only a few years later, the fully operational Jack Nicklaus-designed Grand Haven Golf Club, including its large clubhouse on the Intracoastal Waterway, sold for less than $2 million. Palm Harbor, with no debt repayment, is operating this year with a projected deficit of $100,000.

Formerly private local courses have reluctantly reduced or eliminated initiation fees and begun to offer “outside” memberships. Grand Reserve, a daily play course, is operating after a foreclosure. The Grand Club reportedly has suffered from a significant membership decline. It’s hard to justify spending millions to rejuvenate Matanzas Woods golf course.

The Matanzas area lacks the recreational facilities found throughout much of Palm Coast and Flagler County. No water features. No trail system. And for the past several years, no golf course. If a golf course is unlikely in Matanzas Woods’ future, are there other realistic possibilities? Here’s what I see; starting with the least desirable and moving up.

  • Financial pressures could force the existing owner to reduce or cease maintenance activities, resulting in the course property becoming increasingly overgrown, unsightly and perhaps dangerous.
  • The 277.4 acres are designated as Greenbelt in the city’s Comprehensive Plan, meaning that the golf course can be replaced with low density housing; one residential unit per acre. That means that up to 277 homes could be built, each on a one-acre lot.The disadvantage of the one/acre plan is that such development is very inefficient. Infrastructure will be more expensive to build and services more costly to provide. This option would likely have significant visual impact on residents that border the golf course property.
  • The property is zoned MPD (Master Planned Development). All other options will require city approval with an opportunity for local residents to weigh in with their opinions. One possible scenario is a development order permitting the entitled units to be clustered so as to minimize the visual impact on existing residents while converting the larger green areas into passive parkland. A trail system and access to the city’s fresh water canal waterways might be possible.

Cullis understands the challenge and knows that buy-in by local residents will be important. These same residents have been dealt a lemon – not of their making. Will they be satisfied with making lemonade? If not, the less desirable options become more likely.

33 replies
  1. rhweir
    rhweir says:

    Not really being well maintained.

    It is a lemon by any other word, it is a lemon. I own a home on the course and bought it with the hope the course would reopen. A re-open looks highly unlikely now. It is not really being well maintained.I witnessed a man with a bow chasing a deer last week. Called the sheriff and when they arrived, they stated they had been chasing bow hunters on the property all morning. There are homeless on the property, lots of vipers that come into our yard, 6 foot and taller weeds. Really something needs to be done with the property. I would support low density, upscale homes with green spaces if a golf course is not possible. Just no more Maronda homes.

  2. rhweir
    rhweir says:

    A gold course is #1.

    I would like to add that a golf course would be the #1 choice. If that’s not possible, then an upscale development with parkland and green space buffers would probably be the best solution.

  3. rhweir
    rhweir says:

    Only a golf course.

    I rescind my previous comments. I oppose any development on the Matanzas property unless it involves a golf course. It will bring increased traffic to the area and new roads. Also, I bought a home on a golf course and I fully expect it to remain a golf course whether it be a closed or an open course. If the Grand Club cannot maintain the property, let the city do it and bill the Grand Club.

  4. George Edward Chuddy
    George Edward Chuddy says:

    Encumbrances F.T.C. C-2854

    The Mantanzas Woods Golf Course is a pledged Amenity, recorded at H.U.D., and encumbered by the Federal Trade Commissions ‘Consent Agreement’ Docket C-2854.
    Residents in /around the Mantanzas Woods Golf Course are automatically part of a Homeowners Association to control that REDRESS Amenity.

  5. George Edward Chuddy
    George Edward Chuddy says:

    Automatic Matanzas Woods Golf Course Homeowners As

    For those Palm Coasters living with the ‘ Palm Coast Community of Matanzas Woods’ – wanting to see / read the automatic Homeowners Association for the Matanzas Woods Golf Course –
    Contact H.U.D. and ask for O.I.L.S.R. # 30564 , O.I.L.S.R. # 29870, O.I.L.S.R. # C-1092-09.
    For those wanting to read more of the Encumberance(s) – contact the F.T.C. and ask for F.T.C. ‘Consent Agreement’ Docket C-2854 along with the ‘ 15 yr. Compliance Report ‘ with Exhibits A & B.

    RE: Automatic Homeowners Association to my knowledge also applies to the ‘Palm Coast Community of Cypress Knoll’ – the Cypress Knoll Golf Course.
    They are Sections # 35 or maybe #37 or close to that.

  6. George Edward Chuddy
    George Edward Chuddy says:

    Sections # 34 and Sections #37

    PART V
    Every record owner of a fee simple undivided interest in any lot in Sections 34 and 37, Palm Coast, shall automatically be a member of a Homeowner’s Association, a non-profit corporation organized; (a) for the purpose of maintaining and preserving the golf course and appurtenant facilities by means of a general and special assessments levied by the Association against land within the Subdivision, (b) to adopt and enforce rules and regulations for the use of said golf course and appurtenant facilities and (c) to establish a schedule of use fees and admission charges for such facilities. These reights of the Homeowner’s Association with respect to the golf course shall become effective only if a duly recorded assignment or conveyance of the golf course and appurtenant facilities made to the Homeowners’ Association by the Company or its successor. etc., etc., etc….

  7. George Edward Chuddy
    George Edward Chuddy says:

    Suggestion for the Community of Matanzas Woods Pal

    A suggestion : Perhaps the Palm Coasters living in the Community of Matanzas Woods may want to look into this possibility.
    Perhaps see if anyone wants to work on a State of Florida Heritage official MARKER for the Golf Course or maybe even all four of the ‘Four Sisters’ Golf Course. Look into the possibility of then see IF / How you can be included in the State of Florida Golf Trail upcoming Publication / Magazine; inquire about any possible funding that you all may / may not be eligible for. Work with the owners and work out some mutually beneficial Solution.
    IF you all pursue / check into this option please feel free to see if you like the MARKER we have; I will provide the documentation which should help you all pursue this OR you can acquire the documentation for the State of Florida so you can, if pursued and if successful, springboard off of our MARKER. To see what a MARKER would like like for you’ all – drive by 13 Clark Lane and look at the MARKER there.
    Pls. let us / me know via TOBY how we can help, xeroxing, collation, or whatever.

    P,S. – Ours is a LEVITT ‘ Santa Rosa ‘ Model; It is Levitt I.T.T. Jobsite #35, presently we are restoring the Levitt ‘ African Safari ‘ theme interior and hopefully, in time, you all can SEE it –

  8. Ruth Welsh
    Ruth Welsh says:

    Executive course?

    Realizing that it is very expensive to build & maintain a golf course today, I would love for the owners to consider a 9-hole par 3 executive course; the rest of the land could be park, trails, etc. This would give us something in golf that we don’t have and those of us who are busy time to play a little; it would maintain the property of the owners around the golf course and also give the area a much-needed park, greenspace, etc. Something to think abou!

  9. Smarter than RHWeir
    Smarter than RHWeir says:

    State the obvious

    Let the City maintain Matanzas and bill the Grand Club? Hahahaha! The City does such a good job with their maintenance on their own property! Better yet…lets contract Kemper to do it! What kind of "special" person suggested that? Everywhere you look there are opinions from RHWeir…but never a solution! Why don’t you buy Matanzas and make it your course! Fast pace of play so you can stop crying about Palm Harbor. Wide open for your "low" handicap so your crying about Cypress stops. The only reason you bought a house on a golf course was because the course was closed and cheap! I hope a 711 is put in behind your house! Come up with the money to purchase Matanzas and the MILLIONS of dollars in renovation cost…otherwise keep your opinions to yourself! Next time you are at a golf course why don’t yoy, RHWeir, stop in and talk to someone educated on the golf business!!! Atleast then your "handicap" will not show the next time you feel the need to let your opinion be heard!!!

  10. rhweir
    rhweir says:

    9 hole course idea.

    I for one will oppose anything but an 18 hole course on the property. There is something wrong here. Why would anyone want to build more housing in Palm Coast at this time? We already have a housing glut. If we allow anything, and I mean anything but an 18 golf course on that property, we are opening a Pandora’s box of trouble. How soon we forget the Putnam Bank escapade of a few years back. I have not seen any postings regarding public hearings on this matter. I encourage all residents of L to contact city, county and state officials regarding this matter. Also, I for one, will be boycotting the Grand Club courses. Some of us, I for one, still spend quite a bit on golf. The Grand Club will not get a penny of my golf dollar. We don’t have to accept this, we don’t have to make lemonade out of lemons. I found that statement to be patronizing. We’re adults and voters.

  11. Smarter than RHWeir
    Smarter than RHWeir says:

    State the obvious

    Let the City maintain Matanzas and bill the Grand Club? Hahahaha! The City does such a good job with their maintenance on their own property! Better yet…lets contract Kemper to do it! What kind of "special" person suggested that? Everywhere you look there are opinions from RHWeir…but never a solution! Why don’t you buy Matanzas and make it your course! Fast pace of play so you can stop crying about Palm Harbor. Wide open for your "low" handicap so your crying about Cypress stops. The only reason you bought a house on a golf course was because the course was closed and cheap! I hope a 711 is put in behind your house! Come up with the money to purchase Matanzas and the MILLIONS of dollars in renovation cost…otherwise keep your opinions to yourself! Next time you are at a golf course why don’t yoy, RHWeir, stop in and talk to someone educated on the golf business!!! Atleast then your "handicap" will not show the next time you feel the need to let your opinion be heard!!!

  12. Smartguy
    Smartguy says:

    State the obvious

    Let the City maintain Matanzas and bill the Grand Club? Hahahaha! The City does such a good job with their maintenance on their own property! Better yet…lets contract Kemper to do it! What kind of "special" person suggested that? Everywhere you look there are opinions from RHWeir…but never a solution! Why don’t you buy Matanzas and make it your course! Fast pace of play so you can stop crying about Palm Harbor. Wide open for your "low" handicap so your crying about Cypress stops. The only reason you bought a house on a golf course was because the course was closed and cheap! I hope a 711 is put in behind your house! Come up with the money to purchase Matanzas and the MILLIONS of dollars in renovation cost…otherwise keep your opinions to yourself! Next time you are at a golf course why don’t yoy, RHWeir, stop in and talk to someone educated on the golf business!!! Atleast then your "handicap" will not show the next time you feel the need to let your opinion be heard!!!

  13. Ray Douglass
    Ray Douglass says:

    Contact your representatives.

    I would urge everyone in the L section to contact our mayor, city councilman, city manager, county commissioner, state representative Hutson and Governor Scott about the matter. Also, Mr Cullis needs to know what is and what is not acceptable land use in this neighborhood. You need to vocalize your preferences on this matter.

  14. rhweir
    rhweir says:

    RE: "Posted by Smarter than RHWeir&qu

    Could "Posted by Smarter than RHWeir" be someone from the Grand Club? I con’t know you could have determined who I am since I did not used my real name. Have no idea what the references to Cypress are about.But, I don’t like that course. Whoever, you may be, I hope they put a 7-11 behind your house as well! So there! To get back to he land use issue, when we in L bought our homes, we bought on a golf course whether it be opened or closed. It should remain a golf course. As the realtor who sold me the home stated, once a golf course, always a golf course. I have to agree with her. If you think you know who I am and would like to speak to me directly, please by all means, contact me like a man and we’ll talk about land use.

  15. Resident
    Resident says:

    No answer

    @RHWeir…I agree, to a point, with what your saying. No one should have to live on a closed golf course. You forget that the current owners of the Grand Club were not the people responsible for closing Matanzas…it was Landmar and Hampton Golf. Do you have any idea of the cost associated with operating a golf course? Or to renovate one from the ground up…millions of dollars, not 1 not 2 not 3, we are talking 4 plus million. Mr Cullis is a smart man that realizes that there is no way to make his money back with a golf course. The dollar amount for a memberahip or round of golf would be through the roof! Like one of the other comments said…contact a golf industry professional and they will educate you on the subject.

  16. SmarterthanRHWeir
    SmarterthanRHWeir says:


    Nope, not an employee…sorry that would be too easy. Just a resident that gets sick of your negative comments everytime I read about golf course in Palm Coast!

  17. Ray Douglass
    Ray Douglass says:

    Posts by residents of L section.

    I think we’re getting quite a few posts by people who are not residents of the L section and who do not live on the course. It is nice that Toby has lent his website for this forum. However, a comment as aggressive and ill informed as a 7-11 in your backyard, is not constructive. This is not how land use and urban planning issues are developed and decided.I surprised to note that there seem to be quite a few people who are making negative remarks about golf in general. If you check golf courses per capita in metro areas of say Ohio, compared to here, you’ll see that this area is under served. What we do have here are courses that are run very inefficiently and initiated by people who are under capitalized. Combined with a weak local economy, they fail. Lets voice our opinions to local government and those who make public policy. Realtors do not make public policy.

  18. George Edward Chuddy
    George Edward Chuddy says:

    Palm Coasts’ Historic Matanzas Woods Golf Course

    Mr. and Mrs. George E. Chuddy
    28 Lake Drive
    Darien,Connecticut 006820
    Dear Mr. and Mrs. Chuddy:
    Because you have made a commitment in Palm Coast by establishing your home here, we believe you should be aware of an agreement that we recently reached with the Federal Trade Commission.
    ITT Community Development Corporation ( ICDC) has signed a Consent Agreement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) concerning the furture development of Palm Coast. Signing the agreement does not constitute an admission that any law has been violated, as the agreement itself states. We feel the agreement is important in order to attain our primary goal — the development of Palm Coast as a balanced, well-rounded community.
    An important part of the Consent Agreement calls for the execution of plans, within six years, which we believe, in the long run, will be good for Palm Coast. In brief, among other things , we have agreed to the following:
    1. A shopping center with at least 400,000 square feet of floor space will be provided.We are already in contact with prospective developers of individual stores, including a supermarket.
    2. With appropriate governmental agreement, a traffic interchange on Interstate Highway 95 will be constructed to serve Palm Coast according to plans we submitted to the Florida Department of Transportation in August 1972. ICDC will pay for the interchange as originally designed.
    3. An office and research park area will be developed with appropriate roads and utilities to serve it and landscaping to make it an attractive part of Palm Coast. Planning for this already is under way.
    4. A multi-purpose office building, with at least 5,000 square feet of floor space, will be constructed for tenants in the office and reserch park. This structure, also, is under planning.
    5. We will move the headquarters of ICDC to Palm Coast. We plan to be substantial employer contributing much to the economy of Palm Coast and Flagler County.
    The agreement also provides for us to restrict our developoment efforts to 42,000 acres for a period of 15 years ( with possible extension for another five years). This will allow appropriate construction in areas set aside for commercial establishments, light industry, recreation, preservation and conservation and other residential uses. Moreover, during this 15- or 20-year period, sales will be limited to 48,000 registered lots of which over 36,000 already have been sold.
    The aforementioned are some of the most important points contained in the Consent Agreement as it affect you and the balanced development of Palm Coast. You will also be interested in knonwing of additional projects that we believe further enhance the community.. Here are some examples:
    We have donated two acres of land, adjoining the furture Emergency Services Building site, to the Palm Coast branch of the YMCA to be used as the location fo a Community Activities Center. We will bear the cost of constructing this facility for all community residents and for sharing in operational expenses during its first three years — a gift totalling more than $400,000.
    We have provided as a gift a site of 57 acres to the Flagler County School Board for a junior-senior high school. The first class of proud seniors was graduated from Flagler-Palm Coast High School last spring.
    ——–>We have designated a number of sites for recreation parks, preservation and conservation, and other public areas. <————One site, in Section 1-A, now is being developed and a paved bicycle path has been constructed. Another bike path, starting near the Yacht Club, is in use. We are working with the Palm Coast Civic Association so that Palm Coast residents can form a legal entity to which we can donate oa one-acre site and an Emergency Services Building to house fire and security forces, an ambulance, and facilities for community activities. A preliminary blueprint fo the structure has been approved by a committeee from the Community.
    As you know, we donated a $36,000 pumper fire truck to the Palm Coast Volunteer Fire Department , which will be stationed in the Emergency Services Building..
    Palm Coast’s first church building, St. Mark by the Sea Lutheran Church, ws dedicated on the morning of July 4. Catholic and Baptist church organizations have purchased sites for their proposed churches. And Temple Beth Shalom is considering building a Synagogue. We at ICDC are very pleased, as we know citizens of Palm Coast are, to witness this growth and progress in the vitally important religioius life of our community.
    Palm Coast’s first financial institution, a branch of the Security First Federal Savings and Loan Association, recently opened for business. We believe others will follow with the growth of the community.
    These and many other facilitites will be needed to serve Palm Coast’s growing population. And it is growing. During the last nine months, construction of over 200 homes began. We now have over 1,000 people living and enjoying the good life at Palm Coast.
    In closing, let me assure you that the ITT Community Development Corporation believes very strongly in the furture of Palm Coast and that we are determined that it will grow and progress in a balanced and healthy manner.
    Sincerely yours,
    Alan Smolen

  19. George Edward Chuddy
    George Edward Chuddy says:

    Palm Coasts’ Four Sisters historic Golf Courses

    Palm Coast is a community of communities. Eleven, to be exact. And each, from the pine forests of Seminole Woods to the waterways of Palm Harbor, has distinct virtues making it a special place to live. Yet collectively, they fly under the same banner, and that’s what sets them apart from the rest of Florida. They all are part of Palm Coast, "one of the finest planned communities in the United States.". The Palm Coast liefestyle is what unites them. The golf courses, tennis clubs, swim clubs, marina and other Palm Coast amenities make every homesite in every community a prime location. In fact, there is a wide variety of choice homesites still available throughout Palm Coast. In Pine Lakes, with its country club. In Belle Terre, where the swim and racquet club and Belle Terre Middle School are located. ————->In Matanzas Woods, where the new Arnold Palmer-designed golf course will be completed in 1985.<——————- In Seminole Woods, within five miles of the high school and the cities of Flagler Beach and Bunnell. In fact, some of the best homesites in Palm Coast are still for sale. ITT Community Development Corporation makes the decision to purchase the homesite less difficult. There are ffinancing choices to suit almost any budget. Talk to a Palm Coast land sales representative to find out more, at 1.800.874.1828, in Florida, 904.445.3411, or at your nearest Palm Coast sales office. In the meantime, here’s a quick look at the diverse communities that are Palm Coast:

    Belle Terre -Site of the First Palm Coast Triathlon, the Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club, with tennis courts, heated 50 meter pool, Nautilus room and Fitness Trail, is a focal pint of this community west of I 95, where the modern Belle Terre Middle School opened in 1982. Forested homesites compliment beautiful homes.

    Cypress Knoll – The site of Palm Coast’s fourth golf course, to be completed in 1990, Cypress Knoll borders Highway 100 and Belle Terre Parkway. Near Flagler Palm Coast High School, homesites here offer convenient access to Flagler County’s other major towns, Bunnell and Flagler Beach, and to the amenities of Pine Lakes and Belle Terre.

    Grand haven – Grand Haven is the community of The Woodlands neighborhood, home of Tennis Pro Tom Gullikson and family, and Woodhaven Condominiums. Its 3,500 acre conservation area borders the Old Kings Road entrance to Palm Coast east of I 95, one of the most beautiful travel routes in the community.

    Indian Trails.- One of Palm Coast’s fastest growing communities, Indian Trails is north of St. Joe Road, west of I 95. The beautiful new Methodist Church is here, and Palm Coast’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) designates three school sites in the community. Indian Trails’ entrance is within two miles of the Palm Harbor Shopping Center, even closer to Pine Lakes Couontry Club.

    Lehigh Woods – Just south of the Pine Lakes Community, Lehigh Woods homesites are within four miles of the country club and Belle Terr’s swim and racquet club, as well as Highway 100. the quickest route to Flagler’s beautiful beaches.

    ———–>Matanzas Woods – In 1985, Matanzas Woods will be home to Palm Coast’s third golf course, once again a design of Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, who worked their magic at Pine Lakes Country Club. <—————Matanzas Woods is the Palm Coast community closet to the entertainment and atmosphere of the oldest city, St. Augustine, less than 25 miles north.

    PALM HARBOR – At the heart of Palm Coast, Palm Harbor, contains homesites bordered by 23 miles of salt water calans, and many of Palm Coast’s community facilities, including the shopping center, marina, tennis club, Harbour Restaurant, Community Center, professional office park and Palm Harbor Club, home course of LPGA star Nancy Lopez.

    Pine Grove – To the south of the Belle Terre community. Pine Grove homesites offer the same advantages as those in Lehigh Woods – close proximity to the amenities of Pine Lakes and Belle Terre and to Highway 100, Flagler County’s main transportation artery that ends at the Atlantic Ocean.

    Pine Lakes – Home to the elegant Pine Lakes Country Club and its Arnold Palmer designed championship course, Pine Lakes also offers some of Palm Coast’s most beautiful homes, including the popular villas and new models coming in 1984.

    Quail Hollow – Site of the new Flagler County Council on Aging headquarters, Quail Hollow is a beautiful community south of Highway 100, where less that two miles east are the Flagler County Airport and Flagler Palm Coast High School. Bordering U.S. 1, Quail Hollow offers homesites that make quick trips to Daytona Beach even quicker.

    Seminole Woods – Also south of Highway 100 and due east of Quail Hollow, Seminole Woods is the Palm Coast community whose entrance is within four miles of the Arlantic Ocean. The wooded homesites here, as in Quail Hollow, are close to Daytona beach, yet less than ten miles from the attractions of the communiity there are a part of – Palm Coast.

    Wherever you’ve purchased or decide to purchase in the future, you can rest easy knowing there’s a beautiful piece of Palm Coast waiting for you. And Palm Coast is Florida at her finest.

    *Florida Builder 1982

    News for Current Homesite Owners

    If you already own a homesite purchased from ICDC, and you’re ready to build with Palm Coast Construction Company, take advantage of Palm Coast’s Exchange Priviledge Program. You can trade in your homesite for a house/lot package elsewhere and receive credit toward your home purchase. Get all the details by contacting your nearest Palm Coast Inc. sales office or calling toll-free 1.800.874.1828. It could be the best move you make in your life

  20. Ray Douglass
    Ray Douglass says:

    Neighborhood Meetings

    Like I said, posts by people who do not live in Matanzas Woods. I understand that there will be meetings held by Mr Cullis to determine the opinions of those, in the community, regarding how they feel about the property in question and its future use.

  21. Ray Douglass
    Ray Douglass says:


    Nothing happens without Mr Cullis going thru with the sale, the neighborhood meeting process, planning board meetings and the variance process. The land in question is not zoned residential at the current time and nothing may be built at the current time. There is no need for L section property owners to make lemonade out of lemons. We do need to express our opinions on the matter.

  22. ray douglass
    ray douglass says:

    Property was not marketed.

    The thing is, the amount the man is rumored to be paying is only $201k! Surely, there is a golf course developer out there or even a neighborhood group that can pony up more than $201k for 277 acres! From what I have heard, the Grand Club is hard up, can’t afford to cut the grass and pay the tax on the land. I doubt they even actively marketed the property. I found nothing regarding an active marketing when I did some searches. It’s a heckuva opportunity! No, I don’t have $202k in my back pocket but I would be willing to partner with residents or an investor to make it happen.

  23. Resident
    Resident says:


    @Ray Douglass…Its all speculation and rumors! The News Journal reported that the property was appraised at $222,000. No mention has been made of the sale price! The appraised value is the property alone…no other assets. Would you sell your house for what it appraised for? Chances are you would want what you feel its worth! The county just appraises property not what is involved with the said property. Its been stated in earlier comments…contact a golf industry expert and then formulate opinions…rumors will then cease!

  24. ray douglass
    ray douglass says:


    Hey, I’m just giving opinions and I use my real name so there is no doubt I live on the course and I am a resident of the L section. Toby asked for opinions and I am providing them. At least I use my real name. I’m really interested to know if this property was actively marketed or just sold to a friend for a song. Do you know if it was actively marketed and how many bids there have been so far and the amounts of those bids?

  25. Expert
    Expert says:

    The facts

    Ok, let’s run the numbers of a golf course construction and put this to rest…on average a USGA green cost $4-$7 per square foot to construct from the ground up, depending on turf type, labor cost etc. The average golf course has 3 acres of greens. Let’s take the average of $5.50…thats $239,580 on greens construction. It is safe to say that all irrigation heads need to be replaced. An irrigation head cost roughly $120. Figure there are 30-40 heads on a hole…18 holes plus driving range. Take the average 35 heads…$79,800 in irrigation heads. An irrigation control box cost $3,000-$7,000. There needs to be atleast one per hole. $5,000×19=$95,000. To replace the existing irrigation pipe over 277 acres is roughly another $500,000…that’s almost $700,000 in irrigation materials. Industry standard dictates that labor cost 70% of material cost. There’s $490,000 in irrigation labor. $1.5 million will get you greens and irrigation. That’s not regrassing or reshaping any tees, fairways, rough. With the "over grown" conditions, I am sure that there is much tree and debris removal needed…tack on more money. From what I remember of Matanzas, there are four or five bridges that will need replacing..more money. Cart path repair/replacing…open up the check book. All this and we haven’t talked about a clubhouse or comfort stations. There is $5 plus million in renovation cost before a tee time is booked. AND then you have to maintain it with a decent operational budget!!! Not as easy as everyone here makes it out to be!!!

  26. ray douglass
    ray douglass says:


    Well, that settles it then expert! No need to look further. We have no idea who you are or who you represent. But, you are the expert! Expert in thinkology no doubt. I feel like I have found the Wizard of Oz! But this ain’t Kansas my friend. We have no idea who you are or how you how you came up with the information. The Ocean course down in Flager is taking bids for renovation. Why don’t we rate up here? Oh yeah, we have to make lemonade from lemons. I’ve never heard such insulting garbage.

  27. ray douglass
    ray douglass says:

    Thanks Toby.

    I have had my say. I would rather the property stays abandoned than turned residential. Once one house is allowed on that property, all hope of a golf facility ends. There is still hope, not now with the current owner or potential buyer, but in the future. If the current owner abandons the property, then the legal and governmental systems will deal the the owner as appropriate. Do not use us to get the Grand Club off the hook. They made their bed,let them lie in it. They are in over their heads, that is not our problem. This will totally ruin our property values once and for all. No to anything but a golf course. See you at the public hearings.

  28. George Edward Chuddy
    George Edward Chuddy says:

    Historic Matanzas Woods Golf Course – Compliance R

    December 1, 1989

    Federal Trade Commission
    Atlanta Regional Office Room 1000
    1718 Peachtree St., N.W.
    Atlanta, GA 30367

    RE: Federal trade Commission Decision and Order issued December 10, 1976 ( Decision and Order ) a- In The Matter of International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation and Palm Coast, Inc.

    Dear Sir:

    The following is in response to the reporting requirement set forth in the unnumbered paragraph on Page 16 of the Decision and Order.

    From an historical perspective, in 1969, ITT Community development Corporation ( CDC) began a master plan of a community now known as palm Coast. As a significant step in that process, in 1974, CDC entered into an Agreement with Florida’s Division of State Planning for the purpose of developing a Comprehensive Land Use Plan ( CLUP ) as a logical and effective process to guide and control the orderly development of Palm Coast. The CLUP is a five volume, 1400 page guide for residential, commercial, industrial and public service growth for the 42,000 acres. The development plans extend to the 21st Century for the community which is capable of supporting 224,000 people.

    In accordance with the CLUP and consistent with the Decision and Order, of the 48,000 total available acreage, the 42,000 acres mentioned above are planned for community development, including

    Federal Trade Commission
    Page Two of Three
    December 1, 1989

    + 46,000 registered homesites ( + 43,000 of which have been sold ). 4 industrial parks, shopping centers and various amenities.

    Since 1980, all homesite infrastructure improvements, i.e. roads ( 533 miles), drainage, central water ( 529 ) miles ) and central sewer (508 ) miles have been completed by CDC. In addition, CDC has constructed an extensive water management system designed to replenish the area’s water table that includes 46 miles of freshwater canals and another 23 miles of saltwater canals bordering many homes and homesites, leading to the Intracoastal Waterway. Water and wastewater plants operated by Palm Coat Utility Corporation have consistently won numerous state awards for operating excellence.

    The 4 industrial parks mentioned above, currently home to approximately 35 companies, have been developed to balance the economic development of the community and provide employment. Some facilities are in the construction stage and negotiations continue with more than 30 additional industrial prospects. Exhibit A attached to this letter provides a complete listing of present industrial operations in Palm Coast.

    In the commercial area, in 1979, the Palm Harbor Shopping Center became a reality. The shopping center consists of 26 merchants and is achored by a 36,464 square foot Publix Supermarket and Eckerds Drug Store. In 1987, CDC opened St. Joe Plaza, a new CDC shopping Plaza as a major store in a group of 19 stores and restaurants ( total of 85,000 square feet). More recently, in the southern end of the community, another 85,000 square foot shopping center opened this year containing 20 merchants and is anchored by Winn Dixie Supermarket and Rite-Aid Drugstore. See Exhibit A for an extensive reference to the commercial enterprises in Palm Coast.

    On the governmental level, a 7.5 million Federal Aviation Administration ( FAA) facility opened in Palm Coast in 1987. The 133,000 squire foot complex of dormitories, classrooms and support facilities train some 3,300 FAA managers yearly having a multi-million dollar impact to the regional economy over 20 years, the county government has expended in excess of $ 900,000.00 for construction of a new main fire station and a recreation complex focused on an olympic sized pool.

    Recreation has always been an important ingredient of Palm Coast lifestyle. CDC has constructed three 18 hold Championship Golf

    Federal Trade Commission
    Page Three of Three
    December 1,1989

    Courses and the fourth Championship golf course is currently under construction. The Palm Coast Players Club, opened in 1986, is a 18 court tennis complex that is one of the few in the nation with hard court, clay and grass tennis playing surfaces. The Club earned the distinction of " 1987 Court of the Year" from Tennis Industry Magazine and the American Society of Landscape Architects. The Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club is a complete fitness facility with a 25 meter heated pool, four tennis courts and comprehensive Nautilus Room. The Palm Coast Marina, recognized as one of the finest harbors between Hilton Head and Fort Lauderdale, opened in 1979 and serves boaters with 80 slips and comprehensive services, including a ship’s store for supplies and gifts. The marina is now part of a resort setting on the Intracoastal waterway that included CDC;’s 154 room waterfront Sheraton and the Harbor Club Vacation Resort. Exhibit B attached to this letter provides a more in depth description of recreational facilities in Palm Coast.

    From an education perspective, in 1983, Daytona Beach Community College opened a branch campus with an open air Performing Arts Pavilion. Currently, the County government is construction a new $6 million Elementary School and is expending over $ 13 million in renovations/expansion at the Flagler/Palm Coast High School.

    "Florida Trend" magazine predicted Flagler County would, on a percentage basis, have the state’s fastest growth rate over the next five years. This is corroborated by U.S. Census Bureau figures which, based on a percentage basis, identifies Flagler County , as the third fastest growing county in the nation during the 1980-1987 period with and 89% growth rate. Palm Coast, with its 7,552 dwelling units ( 6,784 single family and 768 multifamily ) and its population of approximately 15,000 ( 60 % of Flagler County’s total population ) is the major catalyst behind this explosive growth rate.
    Very truly yours
    Richard Braunstein


    @ Toby Question: Toby, with your Golf Contacts, can you inquire if any other Golf Course was Ordered to be built by the U. S. Government whether in Florida or in the United States or are our Four Sisters Golf Courses the only ones in the Nation? – Thank You very much.

    @ Ray Douglass – A copy of the 5 v. CLUP is at the Library should you want to peruse it.

    For the newer Palm Coasters: The above is the Federally Ordered 15 Year ‘Compliance Report’ for the REDRESS compensation ordered for us / me. If anyone wants to read this massive FILE they can get a free copy from the F.T.C. Docket C-2854 and ask for 15 Year ‘ Compliance Report’.

  29. toby
    toby says:

    Reply to ray douglass

    I have a reputation for publishing an informative website. For seven years, I’ve provided news, opinions, and analysis at no charge to thousands of readers. I’ve been relatively liberal in allowing my readers to express their opinions in the comments section following my articles. I draw the line, however, when a comment includes a charge that my post is ‘insulting garbage.’

    I may not be an expert myself, but I’m not unfamiliar with the golf industry. I have been quoted in Links Magazine and Golf Digest. I side with the analysis of ‘Expert.’ The fact that the City of Palm Coast spent $5 million to resurrect Palm Harbor also confirms Expert.

    While I’m at it, contrary to your comments, most of the local golf courses are run by seasoned professionals. They are in an industry that is dealing with very difficult economic times and is in the process of reinventing itself in order to survive.

    I stand behind my lemonade comment. Dreams aside, there are limited options for the Matanzas property. Realistically, a golf course is not likely to be one of them. If residents dig in their heels as you have, they may be forgoing other options available that would be better than a potential abandonment of the property.

    Ray, please feel free to continue posting thoughtful and respectful comments. All reader comments are reviewed by me before they are posted to

  30. Robert McKenna
    Robert McKenna says:

    Mantanzas Woods Golf Course

    The only reason I purchased my home in Mantanzas Woods is it is a Golf Course Community, many home owners purchased for the same reason, the economy has hurt our values , closing the course made it worse, meetings were held and residents were told it Will re-open, I have found out Jim Cullis filed plans way back in 2005+or-, so we have been lied to, and now Cullis is back again with the same plans, although he is not telling us about his plans for Residential construction, I have read the documents of public records which makes it very clear it must remain a golf course until the year 2026, can you Please help our Community, Thank you, any help would be greatful.

  31. Ray Douglass
    Ray Douglass says:

    Cullis rescinds offer to buy property.

    As noted in the Palm Coast Observer, Jim Cullis has rescinded his offer to purchase the Matanzas Woods Golf Course. He cited a lack of consensus among residents as his reason for pulling out on the sale. On the contrary, there was a consensus and it was obvious at his neighborhood meetings. The consensus was that the residents want the golf course reopened that he closed and we will not allow the zoning changes which would have turned the course into a subdivision of houses and condos.

  32. Brad
    Brad says:

    A Missed Opportunity For the Neighborhood

    Matanzas Woods has seen it’s share of challenges over the last few years. We actually built on the course when it was open and know all too well the loss of value for us and our neighbors (the ones that stayed). This was a very unique opportunity that could have allowed for the property to be protected, revitalize the neighborhood, restore values for those that lost, and increase equity for those that purchased more recently in the neighborhood. It was a discussion truly worth having, but unfortunately that discussion was not allowed to happen. The tone and route things were going were obvious at the one initial meeting and many just did not want to be around such things for obvious reasons.

    The one part that really stood out for me during this situation is that it is very important that people have access to the information to make informed decisions. This is a growing area and Matanzas Woods has some very unique challenges ahead especially with future development. There are many people new to the area and new to Florida and these matters can be confusing, and even more confusing when assumptions take precedence over facts.

    In regards to golf in general, I think people are naturally concerned about the future of the sport. Golf isn’t going away. One course in the area closing and not re-opening is not an indicator that “golf is dead”. We have 7 others courses in the area. Yes people playing has declined because it’s an expensive sport to play, and it’s been a rough economy over the last several years. So we have 7 courses all pulling at a market. The fact is that golf is a business and businesses need to be able to generate a profit to stay “alive”. With the condition of the property, the cost to restore, the amount of competition, and the state of demand in that industry I find it hard to fathom an investor willing to take the risk and be able to be successful with that property.

    But none of this is about golf advocacy, because it’s about property values. It’s about our homes and neighborhood. And the truth is that the property continuing to deteriorate is holding back values in a recovering local market.

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