Dennis Casselman has put the rumours to rest with his recent announcement that the 15-year-old back nine portion of the Cedar Glen Golf Course located east of Williamsburg has been sold to neighbouring farmer Robert Byvelds.
In an interview on Monday afternoon, Casselman said the sale of the back nine land will probably be finalized in late January.
It’s pretty disappointing for us,” said Casselman. “The way things have been going, every year the revenue is dropping and the expenses are going up.”
With two thirds of the 165 acre property occupied by the back nine layout, Casselman says that two thirds of the maintenance budget was going on the very spacious back nine holes which totalled 3,453 yards from the blue tees.
In addition to the longer holes, the back nine Cedar Glen holes featured huge expansive greens, large-sized tees and extensive mowed areas between holes.
With the Byvelds farm expected to put the land back into crop production, Casselman says it is certainly not something he or his family want to see.
Casselman recalls the building of the back nine holes and its opening in July of 1999, with his sons David and Paul and workers, David Stewart, Bunny Bennet and Randy Burke. “They were a great bunch of guys, and we all put in a lot of hard work.”
Although the back nine is sold, the Casselman family is pleased to be able to keep the land for the driving range intact along with the parking lot and current clubhouse location.
The northern boundary will be along the North tower line, which runs about halfway through the current 10th tee.
“Basically, we had too many holes and not enough golfers,” says Casselman of the current trend of fewer members and decreasing guest play in the golf industry. The current Cedar Glen membership of 350 members is well down from when the game was peaking in this area in the mid to late 90s.
“All the revenue streams are down,” says Casselman. “It isn’t just the fewer green fees and fewer members, but the members are getting older and not sticking around as much. And there just isn’t the young people coming up. Around here, it is also crazy competitive.”
“Our membership is great. We have a very longtime loyal membership. We have met a lot of nice people and made a lot of friends over the years We are hoping that most of them will stay with us, but we do realize that we are going to lose some for sure who enjoyed the 18 holes. That is why they were here.”
“So far the reaction from the members is that they are sorry to see it [back nine] go, but happy that we were able to hold onto our front nine. We still have our club, it’s intact and our nine hole original course is intact.”
Dennis who is 70 and perhaps looking forward to a little retirement golf himself, says [son] David will be getting more involved. “The 18-hour days are getting hard for me to take.”
For the 2015 golf season, members and the golfing public at the Cedar Glen Golf Course can expect conditions to be every bit as good as they were this past summer, and they were great. Casselman suggests that they will even get better with the focus now on just nine holes.
Work continues on the new tee on the second hole and plans are in the works for some other sodding in needed areas.
“It’s going to be a challenge, but we will make the best of it. We look forward to continuing with all the fun events of the past and to develop new ones. We believe that with the lessened pressure of maintaining the entire 165 acres, we will be able to provide better facilities, better course conditions and an even more enjoyable golf experience.”
Golfers were out and about thanks to the warm spell earlier this week and play will continue until the snow flies…again.
In the spring, it will be golf as usual at Cedar Glen with golfers returning to the 42 year old original nine holes for their action.