Cape Royal to open full course to the public Oct. 1
Royal Tee Golf Course that was shuttered last August, then purchased by the Cape Royal Homeowners Association a few months later, is rising from the ashes with a fresh new start when it opens to the public Oct. 1 as Cape Royal Golf Club.
After closing on the purchase of the centerpiece of the Cape Royal golfing residential development on Pine Island Road at Burnt Store Road, the homeowners association set about selecting a course management firm to run the day-to-day operation and restoration project. They selected Green Golf Partners, a company based in Indiana that now manages two courses in Florida, the other in Tampa.
“We have a 10-year lease with the homeowners association and an option for 10 more years after that,” said head professional and general manager Tyler Arnold. “The driving range has been open to the public since we took over in March. In May we opened nine holes for the Cape Royal residents. On Oct. 1 we will open all 27 holes to the public, but there is still work to be done.”
The homeowners association purchased equipment to mow the grass on the 225 acres, but did not maintain it as a course.
Arnold said the course was “brown” when Green Golf began renovations six months ago. The 9-hole course named Queen Course was the first to open for residents. Greens had to be redone on the Prince and King courses. There remains work to be done on the traps and tee boxes that will extend past the Oct. 1 “soft” opening.
“Renovations have gone smoothly and in a timely manner, on par with the budget,” said Arnold. “The Caloosa Club (clubhouse) is set to open by the end of September. The kitchen is the holdup on that, it’s being renovated.”
Arnold plans a tournament for Oct. 14 to serve as the grand opening.
“It will take two to three years, growing seasons to get the courses where we want them to be,” said Arnold. “We want people to be able to play golf and not break the bank. It is green and lush now and we still battle the weeds, but what golf course doesn’t?”
Golfers will have 74 spanking new golf carts to use when the course opens to the public. The carts have USB ports so players can charge cell phones or play music on digital devices.
“We will have four GolfBoards for rent,” said Arnold. “They are like electronic skateboards that can carry golf bags and a cooler. It’s something to get the younger generation involved.”
According to the product’s website, in Southwest Florida only three other courses, two in Naples and one in Bonita Springs, offer the GolfBoards.
Cape Royal will have a full-time teaching pro on staff by Sept. 15. John Zimbaro will be available for private or group lessons seven days a week. When the property is fully up and running it will have about 50 employees on staff.