Lamberson still seeking buyer for Fallbrook Golf Course

Jack Lamberson, owner of Fallbrook Golf Course, was asked for an update regarding his 116-acre layout in the Gird Valley.

“It’s for sale, just as it’s been for the last two years,” said Lamberson during an interview in his golf course office on April 29.

Two weeks ago, it appeared Lamberson had found a buyer in Harold Vaubel (HGM Golf Enterprises) of Tucson, Ariz. Vaubel had spent a few days visiting Fallbrook Golf Course and rumors circulated that a deal had been made. The rumors proved false as the transaction fell apart late in the negotiations, according to Lamberson.

Anil Yadav, owner of Pala Mesa Golf Resort in Fallbrook, traveled from his home in the San Francisco Bay Area to meet with Lamberson on the afternoon of April 29. Contacted immediately following his discussion with Lamberson, Yadav stressed the meeting was strictly exploratory.

“The community is very active and that’s what peaked our interest,” said Yadav, a very successful entrepreneur who went from being a fry cook at Jack in the Box to owning more than 300 restaurants and employing more than 8,000 people. More than 200 of Yadav’s restaurants are Jack in the Box franchises.

“If it financially made sense we would do it, but we’re not sure where we’re going to go yet,” said Yadav of purchasing Fallbrook Golf Course. “If we weren’t interested, we wouldn’t have flown down here to meet with Jack. I just wanted to meet him and see what’s the story, what the opportunity is and what can be done. Evaluate it and go from there.”

Yadav added that his interest is in keeping the property as a golf course. He currently owns two golf courses – Pala Mesa and The Bridges Golf Club in San Ramon (Northern California) – and is in the final stages of purchasing a third, Eagle Ridge Golf Course in Gilroy (Santa Clara County).

Lamberson said he had more meetings with different parties scheduled for the week of May 2-6.

“I’ve got two meetings and someone else is supposed to get back to me,” said Lamberson. “All different people. Some of them for sub divisions, some of them for mitigation, some of them for golf, and some split – golf and mitigation.”

Lamberson doesn’t hide that he wants out of golf course ownership.

“You can’t entice me to stay in the golf business,” said Lamberson. “I wasn’t raised to be in a business that loses money every year. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work.”

Fallbrook Golf Course is currently operating – Lamberson announced in March that he was closing the course and then changed his mind – with a skeleton crew. The pro shop is only open from 7 a.m. to noon. After noon, golfers must check in with the bartender at AJ’s Taphouse to pay green fees and get carts, or to get a bucket of balls for the driving range.

The restaurant kitchen has been shut down, reducing food options to sandwiches and salads from a cooler in the corner, or snacks such as chips and peanuts.

Meanwhile, the course, despite its rough fairways, still attracts some golfers.

“It’s never been my favorite course but I just moved in up the street, so it’s now my local (course) and I use it as my practice facility,” said golfer Ron Ebel. “The course has deteriorated because they’ve kind of slacked off on the upkeep because of the uncertainty of the situation. My girlfriend likes to walk the back nine because it’s kind of park like. It’s a cute little municipal course. I think it benefits the community and it would be a shame to lose it. “

11 Responses to "Lamberson still seeking buyer for Fallbrook Golf Course"

  1.   May 6, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Good to read that qualified and experienced golf course buyers are working to acquire the course and restore it to the gem it was just a few short years ago! A new and engaged owner is most welcome and will have the full support of the community! Also, it’s important to understand that local regulations, land use restrictions (plus the fact that the land would need to be subdivided and undergo a use change) make residential development or mitigation banking uses impossible. The property is just a golf course, a bit tattered and in need of some TLC, but with a bit of care and community involvement, this land will deliver many more years of great golf, good exercise and wonderful memories in the future. For more info on the issue, visit

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  3. JD   May 6, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    said Lamberson. “I wasn’t raised to be in a business that loses money every year. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work.”

    He wasn’t raised to be a golf course owner, that’s for sure. He bought this and expected to make money without any experience in golf course management. And he did not invest properly. It’s not the courses fault that it is losing money, it’s Jack’s. A good, experienced owner, that knows where to invest, could make money in the business. That is clearly NOT what Jack is. He should stay in payroll and leave golf to someone who knows what they are doing. I hope hope hope it sells to someone that is willing and able to turn it around. The deals are probably falling through, because Jack is over-valuing the course. He needs to take his loss and get out!

  4. DL   May 6, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    As my husband and I walked Fallbrook golf course last week, our hearts broke. We moved here 15 years ago buying a home on the course and love this golf course. We so badly need someone who cares as much about this course as those of us who live here and have golfed here for so many years. It seems our local concers and desire to keep this course alive has drawn potential buyers to at least consider our course. I would tell any potential buyer, we are here to help and support you any way we can. Please keep trying!

  5. Stogie   May 6, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Maybe Donald Trump will buy it? Has anybody contacted him?

  6. Kimberly Shinner   May 7, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    Having grown up on this golf course I hope it will remain for years to come. I think it is a hidden gem of Fallbrook and has so much potential for success. Fallbrook is a community that values its treasures and I hope we can all rally together to ensure this golf course remains. The restaurant and golf course have endless possibilities and with the correct team behind it I have no doubt it will be a lucrative investment and a beautiful addition to any portfolio.

  7. Joan McConnell   May 8, 2016 at 8:58 am

    So, Jack Lamberson buys the golf course and runs it into the ground. Then he expects to get a premium price for it by selling it to anyone willing to pay but…can’t strike deal. Instead he turns away qualified golf course investors and forces his loss on the surrounding neighborhood and community at large.

    Bad business, bad neighbor. Hope he moves on soon.

  8. kma   May 8, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    What JD said! Altho from what I’ve seen of his “management” of the course and its restaurant and even the wedding venue, he wouldn’t be tops on my list for a payroll service!

  9. MyView   May 9, 2016 at 10:27 am

    To be honest, I don’t really know much about golf. I have never played golf or even watched a tournament. But, I do think that it’s a shame what has happened to this golf course. In an ideal situation (or if I had a lot of money to invest in this idea), I think that it would be great if this golf course could be turned into some kind of a teaching/educational facility while still being maintained as a first-class golf course. A teaching facility in the sense that it would be almost entirely run by high school and college age students who are over seen and supervised by knowledgeable adults. It would be a place for the students to learn first-hand about running a business, being responsible for its success and earning educational credits towards their classes. The different areas would include business management, accounting, customer service, grounds keeping/landscaping, public relations, food prep & serving, event planning, etc. I thought that I had read a while back about how some of the golf students were upset when the course at San Luis Rey was being shut down. I might be mistaken. But, this other golf course could be used by the same students plus all the additional educational benefits involved in the other areas involved with running a golf course & restaurant.
    If I happen to win the lottery or come into some other serious money I would be tempted to turn this “idealistic” thought into a reality. I’m sure that it would probably be a pain in the butt to get it started, but I think that it would benefit the Fallbrook community in the long run.

  10. DP   May 9, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    It’s unfortunate that this sale/change of ownership is moving at such a glacial pace when, for all intents and purposes, Jack has turned his back on the entire operation.

    And the article, as published here, feels like it ends with some fairly irrelevant information. “I practice there because it is close-by” and “My girlfriend likes it because it looks like a park” (no doubt because there are so few golfers to challenge that perception).

    At this point, not only is the golf course being shut down, piece-by-piece, plus being let go in terms of maintenance, but there’s also fewer people willing to _pay_ for golfing there. It is not unusual to see people just wandering onto the course, late in the day, likely not paying for the privilege because…

    A. They’re not interfering with other golfers playing through (there just aren’t that many).
    B. It feels like you’re “golfing in your local community park”.

    I’m seeing more people walking dogs, than actually golfing, these days…..perhaps that’s the new revenue stream, to extend the existing dog park (and then charge a nominal fee for use).


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