Article Courtesy of The
Tampa Bay Times
By C.T. Bowen
Published May 17, 2019
HUDSON — The Links Golf Club needs a facelift. Instead, it will be getting a
Owner Matthew Lowman announced he is
shuttering the course, pro shop, restaurant and driving
range on June 10 after failing to entice surrounding
neighbors to invest in club memberships.
The 6,256-yard, par 72 course needs substantial renovations,
including improved greens and tee-boxes, cart paths, a pump
station and maintenance equipment, Lowman said in an April
22 letter announcing the closing. It comes six years after
Lowman’s unsuccessful pitch to residents in the five
neighborhoods near or bordering the course for a mandatory
membership fee to help finance the upgrades.
“Due to the financial considerations and the lack of
homeowner associations support, we have not been able to
make it work,’’ Loman said.
The Links is now the fourth west Pasco golf course to close
since the mid-2000s, following Gulf Harbors, Magnolia Valley
and Timber Oaks. Separately, the owners of the Quail Hollow
Golf and Country Club in Wesley Chapel closed a year ago to
redevelop the land into residential housing.
Lowman said “what’s in store for the property is not known
as this time.’’ Neighbors are fearful of more development
or, worse, neglect.
The Links Golf Club in Hudson drew young and old
alike, including the Sunshine Athletic Conference tournaments. Its
owners said they will close the club June 10.
“We have a concern about what would happen to the golf
course if it closes and, if it closes, what would happen if it weren’t
maintained property,’’ said Dave Nelson of the Beacon Point neighborhood.
He and others pointed to the abandoned Timber Oaks course that became an
overgrown eyesore before Pasco County acquired the land to build storm water
“I just don’t want to see the health of the community go down,’’ said
Commissioner Jack Mariano, an avid golfer, whose district includes the Links
Golf Club. “I just hate to see the people suffer.’’
The Links opened 30 years ago amid a late-1980s building boom fueled in the
Hudson vicinity by the extension of Hudson Avenue to Hicks Road. At the
time, plans called for 3,000 homes including 1,700 to be known as the Links.
Currently, there are 1,200 homes in the course’s five neighborhoods: the
Estates, Beacon Point, Barrington Woods, Millwood Village and Fairway Oaks.
The course cost $2 million to build, developers said during the construction
stage, and its current website boasts of its style, layout, drainage and
“Instead of a flat, swampy green, we pride ourselves on our rolling hills
and challenging fairways,’’ it states.
Over the years, it became a favorite of old and young alike, attracting
Hudson retirees while also becoming the home course to the Ridgewood High
School golf teams and playing host to the high schools’ Sunshine Athletic
Conference end-of-the-season tournament.
Lowman and his wife, Beverly, purchased the course under the company name of
Lowman Links in 2001 for $1.9 million. Seven years later, they completed a
$220,000 renovation that redid 10 tee boxes, added a 1,600-square-foot
practice putting green and remodeled the driving range. At the time, the
manager said the course’s busy winter season meant more than 300 golfers a
day. Separately, Lowman acquired the nearby Beacon Woods Golf Club in 2009.
Five years later, however, Lowman asked surrounding homeowners of the Links
for help, saying the club’s income covered operations but left little or no
return on investment and provided no dollars for capital improvements. He
proposed $16.66 a month for properties adjacent to the course and half that
amount for properties not on the course. Only board members for the Fairway
Oaks residents were receptive.
With the announced closing, Mariano said he is hopeful that an idea could be
resurrected similar to the scenario at the Plantation Palms Golf Club in
Land O’ Lakes. There, homeowners agreed to a $15 monthly assessment in
exchange for a social membership at the golf club that provided discounts
and other perks. The agreement three years ago helped pave the way for a new
owner to acquire the closed course and invest up to $1.5 million to reopen
Beverly Lowman said they have not closed the door on that notion.
“Absolutely, we are open to discussing options that would allow us to keep
the course open", she said in an email.
Mariano told fellow commissioners last week he would try to aid the effort.
“It’s a great community out there," he said. “It should be a golf course."