Owner of Fallbrook Golf Club to close course March 14

According to its owner, Fallbrook Golf Course will be closed to play effective Monday, March 14. Ken Seals photo
According to its owner, Fallbrook Golf Course will be closed to play effective Monday, March 14. –Ken Seals photo

Tom Ferrall
Special to the Village News

The last rounds of golf at Fallbrook Golf Club will be played this weekend as the course will be shut down effective Monday, March 14.

The sudden and surprising announcement of the closure of the course came midday last Saturday (March 5) when an employee received a phone call from the owner of the course, Jack Lamberson. The employee was told to create, print, and post signs stating, “Golf Course Will Be Closing March 14th.  Restaurant/Range Will Continue To Be Open.”

The restaurant is AJ’s Taphouse, which is located adjacent to the driving range and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

When contacted by the Village News Monday afternoon, March 7, Lamberson confirmed the closing of the course.

“It’s strictly economical,” said Lamberson of his decision to close the 18-hole layout.

The closure comes after months of speculation regarding the course’s future by residents of the Gird Valley area and golfers, conjecture prompted by Lamberson’s known desire to sell the 116-acre property, which he purchased in a short sale in June of 2012 and soon found to be a losing investment.

“It’s always been a loser, and I’ve thrown money at it for four years trying to make it work as a golf course,” said Lamberson. “We were at one time losing $250,000 a year. We got it down to $100,000 a year, and it still didn’t feel good.”

Lamberson said closing the course will help him make his payments on the property.

“What it really boils down to is I can make the payments that I owe on the property with the losses I’ve been suffering,” said Lamberson. “I don’t have the losses anymore, so that takes care of the payments.”

Lamberson said his company (Fallbrook Golf Course, Inc.) has the entire property up for sale.

“The land value is worth a lot more than what the golf course is worth, unfortunately,” said Lamberson. “The best for me is to quit fighting it. And I’ve had several offers for different things for it, but some of them just wanted to steal it.”

Lamberson said the driving range, practice putting course, and AJ’s Taphouse will remain open while he seeks a buyer for the course.

When asked about future maintenance of the property, Lamberson said, “I’ve got a mowing machine. I’ll probably keep it mowed, but the big thing is I’m not going to throw water at it. That’s one of the reasons I’m closing it, because of the water cost.”

Lamberson knows his decision to close the course and try to sell the land isn’t going to be a popular one with golfers and the course’s neighbors, many of which are members of the organization Save Fallbrook Golf Course.

“I’m going to catch flack because I’m going to be putting something together that will be beneficial to me,” said Lamberson. “I want to try to work something out to get out of where I’m at on it.”

9 Responses to "Owner of Fallbrook Golf Club to close course March 14"

  1. Brad Jordan   March 11, 2016 at 8:26 am

    Jack has totally run this beautiful course into the ground. He claims he has invested money but evidence is hard to find. The bathroom on the back nine has a tarp over the roof, which is non-existent on the ladies side. There are dead trees lying on the course. I played on Wednesday and was shocked how far he has let the course go into disrepair. What Jack doesn’t realize, or maybe he does, is that golfers are like any other consumers. If the product is crappy they have choices and will go elsewhere. Either Jack is a terrible business man (ruining the restaurant and bar business in addition to the course) or he is doing this on purpose so he can say it isn’t economically viable. Then he can sell it to a developer or a land mitigation bank.
    By the way, I just called the pro shop and they said the course is not closing on Monday. The hours will be from 7 to noon. Golfers have two choices – they can pay $250 for a monthly membership with unlimited golf or they can pay $40 for weekdays and $50 for weekends. Wonder how many times Jack is going to change his mind in the next month or so. He might want to have a public relations campaign to try and win back some golfers and good will. Little chance of that happening.

    Reply
  2. Dusty   March 11, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Man, I’m so tired of this Mickey-Mouse “Closing the back 9, opening back 9, closing the course, opening the course”.

    The article claims he’s going to stop watering it, starting Monday, in order to save money. How does having it open 1/2 days allow him to save money? Only watering it half the time?

    Set a reasonable, fair market price for selling the course, allow a new buyer to step in and run it in a professional, reasonable, sensible manner. Stop worrying about “people wanting to steal it”. What we want is someone with the clarity, and the common-sense, to stop sabotaging the chance for it to remain a golf course.

    I would rather have a captain that did not insist on “going down with the ship”. Allow a new captain to take over and stop being so stubborn and unrealistic and bitter and clearly misguided.This impacts too many other people for you to base your decisions solely on your own financial gains (or potential losses).

    Reply
  3. Don Kiehl   March 11, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    Oh Great! And what are we supposed to do with gift cards for rounds of golf that we haven’t used yet? Drive 25 minutes each way to buy a burger and Coke at the restaurant? I hope we’ll be able to use them at the driving range until the cards are drained. 🙁

    Reply
  4. Mike W   March 11, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    It should be obvious that the water cost in this area alone is staggering, not to mention building and greens maintenance, Even in tiptop shape it would not generate enough money in this economy, just look at all the other businesses, large and small that have closed. I think the article explains all that very well, for those who want to listen..

    Reply
  5. Dusty   March 12, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Two words Mike W….”Well Water”

    Reply
  6. Preston   March 13, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Has he considered taking on a partner?

    Reply
  7. Madi   March 14, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Maybe he’d make more money if the restaurant served some sort of breakfast and didn’t close so early, with that alone more golfers would spend more money there and would help the debt. Bad business man going to end up devaluing gird valley due to his lack of ability to run this place in an efficient way, devastating.

    Reply
  8. JD   March 14, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    It has NOT always been a loser. However, Jack, and the previous owner, did not invest properly to bring the golfers and bar patrons. There are a lot of good courses that make money, and they do so by investing in the quality of golf. Mike W is wrong. A tip top course and restaurant WOULD be successful. Here’s the formula. Buy it for $3m, close it and invest $3m to rip down the club house, remake the course, and then open the brand new, state of the art, high end course and club house. Jack bought it for a song, and thought he could just turn the switch for revenue. He spent money on air conditioning an old and tired bldg. Not much else. A grounds keeper once told me that they hadn’t even aerated the fairways in years. If water is expensive, why not get the most use out of it, by aeration. Jack just is clueless on how to run this place. A new owner/investor would be passionate about golf, and would be prideful as the owner of something great. He/she would talk to all the patrons, all the time, and would bring music, weddings, other events, soccer golf, kids day, dog day. A new owner with imagination and a fresh look at how to make golf courses popular is what is needed. Lets hope for that. Additionally, the county should block any other use. Do we want a future of tract houses and no recreation? Where is the vision?

    Reply
  9. kma   March 18, 2016 at 12:10 am

    Is Lamberson just arrogant or is it the way this article presents him? hahahaha

    VILLAGE NEWS REPLIES: Edited; Please refrain from using obscene language.

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