Why Did Money Need to be Raised?
Saddlebrook Golf Course went up for auction in March 2016. First Financial Bank (FFB) bought the course at auction struggled to sell the land. A 4-person committee of concerned Saddlebrook homeowners worked find a buyer for the 135 acres to keep the land as a golf course, instead of allowing the land to go to a developer. As the committee met with interested golf course operators, it became evident that there was no way for any buyer to pay FFB’s asking price, restore the course, and be able to operate it successfully. One by one, golf course buyers walked away. Meanwhile, the course continued to deteriorate, was vandalized, and needed major work and money to restore it to playability.
After a long search, Indiana-based Green Golf Partners (GGP) emerged as the best partner willing to buy Saddlebrook. In order to make the deal work, we knew our community needed to have skin the the game. This meant privately raising $300,000 a capital investment, to be used by GGP for restoration costs (not toward the course purchase or operating expenses).
How Did We Make it Happen?
An amazing group of volunteers joined together in early 2017, committed a huge amount of time and effort to meet our daunting fundraising goal in just a few short months. The communities surrounding Saddlebrook stepped up to the tee, mostly with individual homeowner contributions, and met the fundraising goal. This enabled GGP to complete its purchase of the course in July 2017, and the Saddlebrook Golf Club opened to the public in May 2018!
Additional 2017 Campaign pages: