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Cheval Golf Course, Lutz FL

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Anyone played or currenlty play at Cheval Golf Course,  Lutz FL. I went to visit my friend this week and got a chance to play there. It was a challenging course, but I had a lot of fun.

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I heard that the debt was purchased by Ace Golf, who also owns Pebble Creek, Wentworth and Crescent Oaks. If they miss one payment, the course goes to Ace.
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They have certainly changed their website in the last few months. There used to be a little link that said "Be a Member for a Day". It wasn't easy to spot, so they seemed to try and keep it low key. It was a decent rate- certainly a LOT cheaper than next door (TPC Tampa Bay). Now it is certainly readily available for outside play- probably like many other "Private" courses in the area, they are allowing outside play to stay alive. I had planned to play when I was down a week or so ago, but my Dad had some health issues and had to play much more local to keep close and with no real set times. Maybe when I'm down in October again, I'll give it a go.
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oops, almost forgot... The mention of Wentworth and Crescent Oaks kind of sealed my theory. BOTH of those courses were strictly private at one time. Ace must have had some say over the policies to try and generate revenue from outside play. Crescent Oaks was open to public until they filled out their Membership, then went totally private. As of a couple of years ago, I noticed they were back to a semi-private club with outside play. I liked it just after it opened- then the houses went in and it felt like a bowling alley on some of the holes. Wentworth started as a strictly private Equity type of club- you needed to buy a house to be a member IIRC. Then they went with a non-equity membership thing but still private. About 2 years ago I noticed that they had a sign on Rowan Road saying "Public Welcome". It always "looked" nice from what you could see, So I tried it in October of 2012 for $35 midweek morning @ 8:30am. When I arrived at the gate, the Guard said: "Mr. Gorman"? before I had even stopped. "They're expecting you". Whoa, fancy schmancy, I thought. Sure they were expecting me, I was the ONLY person on the course as far as I could tell. First one out, certainly- slight bit of dew on the greens only had one other set of footprints- the guy who put the flags in that morning. Not until I got midway through the back nine did I even HEAR another ball being struck by a driver somewhere. Well, THAT would explain why the could use some extra revenue. This last trip I saw that they were advertising an Irish themed Pub and Grill in the clubhouse. Not often does a "private" course open it's grill room to the public, and a cheesy Irish themed one, at that.
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This course recently had a coupon flier in ValPak advertising a golf membership at "93%" savings compared to the regular fees that I just so happened to stumble upon.  I knew it was too good to be true but my family and I went and visited anyway to find out more (hey, if I can get a membership for two years at that price and then show my wife the real value I could probably pay the regular membership after the two years are up).  Sure enough, it is not a golf membership, it is an "Anniversary Golf Membership", and basically all it is, is you pay $245 per year for two years up front and then can play anytime open Tue-Fri and after 11AM on Weekends and holidays.  You cannot walk the course because you are not a real member and the cart fee is $27.  On our "tour" they mentioned all kinds of different things and really tried to get us to buy a golf membership or full membership as they were not charging the initiation fees at that time as a special.  The advert says "Call or bring in and Save 93% TODAY!".  Well, the only way you can save 93% is if it is the actual golf membership, which it is not because there is nothing included in it that is included in the anniversary golf membership.  

It was a real bait and switch sell and left a poor taste in my mouth.  The only intent of the advertisement was clearly to get you in the door and tell you how wonderful their other packages are and move you towards purchasing one of those packages as after you were done with your anniversary golf membership you wouldn't really be saving anything, but that the value was in the membership.  They clearly didn't have the printed advertisement cleared through legal, and if they did they have absolutely no ethics.  

 

Edited by Gator Hazard
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I've played Cheval and Wentworth a few times.  Got a real deal at Cheval and played for free at Wentworth (connections).  I've played Crescent Oaks many times.  Had a friend that had a super membership where the entire 4 foursome was covered.  Number 18 at Crescent Oaks is probably the most difficult finishing hole I can remember playing.  463 yard par four with OB on the right and water all down the left.  Par was all I ever looked for.  Never birdied the hole.

Crescent Oaks closed down a few years back after the 2008 recession.  It's back operating now I believe.  I played it once, but it was not in the shape it used to be.

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