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Pasadena Yacht, Country Club in new hands

The Pasadena Yacht & Country Club is under new ownership and will become a private membership club again in November.

CFC Pasadena Golf LLC, a group of investors from Colorado, bought the club in June for $5.8-million, according to Pinellas County official property records. Sellers were an ownership group of some of the club's members.

"It's a group of investors that have major experience in development and golf course background," said Joe Meyer, the new general manager.

The change in ownership resulted in the firing of a number of managers and other employees. Meyer said he was not sure how many of the club's 100 workers had been replaced.

"It's not really a complete change," Meyer said. "We are trying to streamline operations."

A number of improvements are planned under the "return to prominence" theme, he said.

Pasadena Yacht & Country Club, at 6300 Pasadena Point Blvd., consists of an 18-hole golf course, a 110-slip marina, tennis courts, swimming pool, clubhouse with banquet facilities, fitness center, pro shop and several restaurants. It has 650 members, according to Meyer.

The golf course was designed by golf great Walter Hagen, who was its first pro. It opened in 1924. Golfers Arnold Palmer and Babe Zaharias played there as did baseball star Babe Ruth when nearby St. Petersburg was the spring training home of the New York Yankees. Palmer was one of the redesigners of the course where the the Ladies Professional Golf Association has held a number of tournaments.

The previous ownership group opened the club to the public several years ago, meaning that anyone could come in a play a round of golf after paying fees. As of Nov. 1, the club will become membership-only again, but not limited to the residents of the nearby exclusive residential development with the same name.

"You can be a member from the outside," Meyer said, adding that when plans are set, there will be different kinds of memberships, such as golf, social and fitness. He said a golf member now pays a $2,500 initiation fee and $330 per month. The club grandfathered in existing members but is not selling any new memberships until it works out details of them, Meyer said.

Before the membership owners, Pasadena Yacht & Country Club was owned by USX Corp., a division of United States Steel Corp. USX completed the building of the residential development.

Planned improvements to the Pasadena club include redoing the docks, upgrading the interior of the clubhouse, remodeling the pro shop and building a new restaurant by the docks, Meyer said. The bar will be relocated so that it offers a better view. Greenside bunkers will be upgraded and other parts of the club repaired.

"We took quite a hit from Hurricane Frances. We lost 26 trees," Meyer said. The tennis area also took a beating.

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