TEMPLE TERRACE — Having provided a check for $125,000 in back payments owed, Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club is again in good graces with the city of Temple Terrace and can now focus on its effort to attract new members, raise more revenue and become self-sustaining again.
The club was declared in default by the city last summer for failing to make quarterly payments to the city, which owns the golf course. Club president Don Whittemore said the abrupt departure last June of Integrity Golf Company, which managed the club, left members in the lurch. Integrity, which collected revenues, was obligated to pay the city $125,000 per year for leasing the club but failed to make its first two quarterly payments last year. That responsibility fell to the club members.
Whittemore said several wealthy members put up the $125,000 to make the club current on its payments. That money makes up for less than half the $260,000 yearly debt that the city pays on a $3.1 million loan it co-signed in 2009 to make improvements at the country club.
The club's business consultant, Greg Christovich of Christovich and Associates, said the key to bringing the club back to stability is to get back members who have left and recruit new ones to boost membership by the end of September from about 500 now to 700 — 300 of them full golfing members, paying $199 a month.
The club is under new management and filling key positions that had been vacant, among them a food and beverage manager and head golfing professional, Christovich said in a recent meeting.
Christovich said that the staff has undergone training to provide "a consistent, high-touch, private club'' experience for members. Infrastructure and cosmetic improvements are being made, and the club plans to put more money into maintaining the golf course.
Temple Terrace has the only 18-hole course in Florida that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The city of Temple Terrace was founded in 1925 as one of the first planned golf communities in the nation.
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