StoneRidge Country Club in Poway faces foreclosure, to go on auction block

Club is $6.4M in debt

POWAY, Calif. - The StoneRidge Country Club is the centerpiece of a picturesque Poway neighborhood, but it now faces foreclosure.

John McNair, an executive for several competing courses, "The golf business is tough. Last year alone, there were 154 closures of golf courses in the United States."

The course closures have to do with the number of rounds played, which declined 11 percent -- 55 million fewer -- over the past decade. However, the number was back up 5.7 percent last year.

"I've noticed they're offering a lot of deals. You can play for $34 including breakfast or lunch; $39 at some courses, including a really good lunch and range balls,” said golfer Mike Toler.

Toler keeps an eye on the ads in Tuesday morning's sports page, where there are bargains to be had on weekdays. The deals are perfect for retired folks.

"Some of the courses, like StoneRidge, the members are getting older and they play less; [they] tend to drop out and not a lot of younger people are taking their places at the country club level,” said Toler.

Escondido Country Club closed earlier in the week. 10News learned new homes are planned to be built there, but some residents are joining together to fight the development.

Zoning regulations virtually assures that StoneRidge will remain a golf course. The club, however, is $6.4 million in debt and is on the auction block.

Toler noted the expense of maintaining a golf course, adding, "The cost of running it is pretty high; the water bill alone is in the thousands of dollars a month."

McNair said, "I think it'll bring out a lot of interested parties. The question is who can come up with that kind of cash immediately, on the doorstep, to make the transaction actually happen."

"I don't know anyone who'd want to invest in it right now. There's numerous golf course that are teetering on the brink. We had a couple go under,” said Toler.

McNair said, "It’ll be two things: how financially solid is the company that buys it and how many members will stay during the transition period? Those will be key factors."

There are currently 93 golf courses in San Diego.

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