Fore closure: homeowners call golf course ‘a mess’ - FOX 13 News

Fore closure: homeowners call golf course ‘a mess’

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PLANT CITY (FOX 13) -

Residents of the Walden Lake Golf and Country Club in Plant City are gearing up for a fight.

They say that the golf course is in disarray and unsafe, making it difficult for people to play a game on the course. Residents are even saying the value of their homes has suffered.

"I'm going to stand my ground. We were golf members. We were in support of the club for many years," Shelly Orrico, a resident of the country club, said. "I came back to join the club but couldn't figure out why I couldn't golf the hills. Then I found out why. I walked it. I rode it. It's disgusting."

Another part of the problem is that the golf course is too large; it has 36 holes spread over 300 acres.

"Is it viable to have a 36-hole golf course? Probably not," Orrico said.

A meeting was held for residents to voice their frustrations to the homeowners association, but the owner of Walden Lake, Steve Mercer, wasn't there.

However, Mercer said residents are causing "hysteria and panic" over nothing. He said that they keep one of the two courses closed during the summer because the weather leads to fewer golfers, and it's difficult to maintain the course.

Mercer said he intends to build homes on some of the land to generate money to "upgrade and maintain their remaining property."

Residents aren't convinced, but Sharon Philbin says this is where she wanted to enjoy life after retiring.

"We retired here and invested quite a bit of money in a home we thought we would probably spend the rest of our days in and be part of a golf community," she said. "This is what we've always planned for our retirement."

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