A pair of Mike Strantz-designed courses in the Richmond, Virginia area — Royal New Kent and Stonehouse Golf Club — now have new life thanks to new owners who are working quickly to reopen both gems to the public.
Traditional Golf Properties closed both properties at the end of 2017, citing financial troubles. A third course, The Golf Club at Brickshire, remained open while Traditional Golf looked for new buyers.
Brickshire was the first course to get a new owner, with the surrounding homeowners association purchasing the club for $2 million.
Royal New Kent was purchased by Wingfield Golf, an area course owner and manager, in June 2018, for $1.1 million — a fraction of the $5 million Traditional Golf paid for the the course and its 282-acre footprint in 2001.
However, Stonehouse had remained dormant and without a new buyer until Dec. 11, 2018, when a local resident and former member of all three courses bought Stonehouse for $800,000. Joe Sanders, who lives nearby in West Point according to the Richmond BizSense, made the purchase and is getting to work on making a deal to restore the course to its former luster. Sanders owns J. Sanders Construction Co., a general contractor, so he has equipment, resources and contacts to get started on the work right away.
“The more I did the math, the more I thought it was a good buy and a reasonable investment if the business is run correctly,” he told Richmond BizSense. “I think any business can be profitable if you run it correctly.”
Sanders has estimated the renovation will run $1.4 million, and he’s set an aggressive goal of re-opening the course for July 2019 as a semi-private facility.
The initial work was, of course, cutting back grass that had grown as high as 4 feet tall. Other projects will include improving drainage, installing a new irrigation system and a tree management project. Sanders helped complete drainage improvements at Royal New Kent for Wingfield Golf.
Sanders has already made a number of key hires for his permanent staff, and there will be more to come.
It’s an exciting time for Strantz fans, who will again be able to head to the Richmond area — which is flush with great food and beer options — to appreciate his maverick architecture.