First shoots of recovery for US golf?


First shoots of recovery for US golf?
Sean Dudley

The first shoots of recovery in the US golf development business may just be poking through, if one golf project is anything to go by. 

The Summit Rock course in Texas, part of the 1,618 acre Skywater Over Horseshoe Bay residential development, is a Jack Nicklaus signature design that was originally slated for an opening in 2008. The project stalled, and its former owner filed for bankruptcy in early 2009. Now, though, under new ownership, the construction of Summit Rock is back on track, and the course should open in 2011.

Texas-based economist Ray Perryman reckons this is a sign that the worst is over. “In Texas, the effects of the recession have been less severe than other states, and recovery is likely to be quicker,” he said. Perryman continued. “The Texas economy, somewhat sheltered from the recession from the onset due to a strong energy sector in a time of high oil and natural gas prices as well as a more stable housing market, appears to be leading the way in the recovery showing employment gains above all other states this past month.”

Skywater’s new owner, SW Ownership, is backed by several firms from Dallas, New York and Connecticut. Chet Williams of Nicklaus Design is leading the project from the architect firm; Wadsworth Golf Course Construction is the main contractor. Skywater Management, which will run the is an affiliate of Southstar Development Partners, a firm that has developed communities in the Dallas area and throughout Florida.