I played the St Johns course just before Xmas. Whilst the layout remains great the conditioning of course and the clubhouse are miles off what you’d want for a club of that (former???) ilk. It’s the 4th time I’ve played at Heritage and easily the sorriest state i've seen things
Some of the greens were so far from what they could or should be, and even if they got the cash investment they need (which I’m tipping they won’t), I think it’d take 12 months or more to get them back to where they need to be. Most of the fairways on the St Johns appear to have been mowed too short and were feeling the effects of the heat from the days prior. I don’t know if this was intentional (I'm no expect on fairway maintenance practices) or simply further evidence of the level of “care” being displayed by a grounds crew that I’m lead to believe continue to be paid late and sometimes not in full. FWIW, I don’t ‘blame’ the ground crew. I think they’re doing what they can with a shoestring budget that results in less experienced supers and staff and low levels engagement driven by Club management.
The club house is looking pretty weathered- downlights hanging out of their sockets on the patio overlooking 18 green, the wood panelling/shingles on the top level need to be replaced.
The proshop was looking pretty sparse and was selling Woolworths brand water (tipping their commercial arrangements with Coca-Cola are not going well, as the fridge was looking pretty empty). I'm not a water snob, I BYO from the tap, but it just caught my eye
Some other things I noticed that, in isolation you wouldn’t blink at- the little plastic ball the some clubs put midway up their pins had broken on one of the holes and was sitting on top of the cup, even the council run courses would take the 2 seconds of discretionary effort to rectify that. On multiple holes, the distance markers on sprinkler heads (when their were some) were all over the place, out of numerical sequence and not accurate. Flooding on/near some of the cart paths from broken irrigation pipes. The esky in the cart was jammed full of rubbish (we tee’d off at 730am so hadn’t been checked overnight). The whole place just screams of being uncared for. I overheard a member in the bar telling my “host” that he’d received an e-mail asking if they’d like to “adopt a green” to help keep it watered as if its some sort of volunteer managed country public course
The whole place has the feel of someone’s personal playground that likes the prestige of owning a Country Club (koi in some of the lakes), but has minimal interest in maintaining it.
Anyway, the club has two terrific courses that I really hope can be returned to their former glory and I sincerely hope the members that are brave enough to stick around get some value for money and can fully maximise their enjoyment