NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. — Six months after it was left dormant by its owner, a local golf course is set to be revived by an out-of-town buyer that’s looking to add to its established stake in the market.
Royal New Kent Golf Club is under contract to be purchased by Greenville, South Carolina-based Wingfield Golf, Richmond .
The company, which also owns the nearby Club at Viniterra and manages neighboring Brickshire Golf Club, is expected to close on the deal today, said CEO Barton Tuck.
Tuck would not say how much his company is paying for the course, but said it plans to invest around $2 million to restore it with a goal of reopening by spring 2019.
“We’re doing a lot of work and spending a lot of money,” he said.
Royal New Kent was shuttered toward the end of 2017, as it and sister clubs Brickshire and Stonehouse were put up for sale by their shared owner, Traditional Golf Properties.
Stonehouse shut down around the same time and remains closed. Brickshire, which has remained open, was purchased in March by its surrounding homeowners association for $2 million.
Traditional Golf has owned Royal New Kent and Stonehouse since 2001. It paid $5 million for each course that year, according to county real estate records. It has owned Brickshire since 2010, paying $425,000 for the course.
To bring Royal New Kent back to life, Tuck said Wingfield plans to redo the bunkers, which includes the purchase of 1,500 tons of sand. It also will convert the greens from bent grass to champion Bermuda grass, along with upgrades to the irrigation system, pump station and clubhouse.
But it won’t be an easy task, Tuck said.
“It is a disaster,” he said. “I’ve been around golf a long time. You see courses where the grass goes to hell. But things that were fixed (at Royal New Kent) were fixed incorrectly and rigged. The drainage system out there is a disaster. All that will be taken up and replaced.”
Tuck said Wingfield will look to restore Royal New Kent more in line with its original design from 1996. It was designed by the late Mike Strantz, a course architect who designed only seven or eight courses before his death at age 50.