Stevinson Ranch Golf Club preparing to shut down

Golf is still in full swing at Stevinson Ranch Golf Club, but news of the upcoming closure is hitting many people hard. Including members of the Cal State Stanislaus team who practice here.

The course opened in 1995 and has earned a number of accolades, including a four and a half star rating from Golf Digest, and a top five national ranking by readers of Golf World. But it's faced major challenges in recent years, including tiny worms that damaged the putting greens and a fire that destroyed the clubhouse. There's also been a decline in the number of golfers, and now the ongoing drought is the final straw.

General Manager Doug Colliflower said, "The golf course is owned by Stevinson Corporation, and its primary function is farming, so water allocation is really important and was part of this difficult decision."

Colliflower says it makes more financial sense for the owners to focus on water for their almond orchards and let the golf course go. That also means the restaurant and special event venues will close, and about 60 employees will lose their jobs.

"We are going to do everything we can to assist them to find positions," explained Colliflower.

Several fundraisers that are usually held here will also have to find new locations. Including one that benefits UC Merced.

The general manager says the golf course and other facilities here will remain fully operational right up until closing day on July 18th. He's encouraging everyone to come out and enjoy these last two months.

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