The future of the Jeremy Ranch Golf Club and the Showdown Classic golf tournament that is played on the course every summer, remain up in the air following actions taken earlier this week.
On Tuesday the golf course was closed down and all employees terminated. According to Jeremy Ranch golf pro Pete Scroggie, "They closed it down, gave us our check and said `bye."'"They" was Tim Miller, a vice president of Virginia Beach Federal, which owns Jeremy Services Inc., the group that runs the Jeremy Ranch operation and an attorney for the bank. Practically since its inception, the Jeremy Ranch property has been in financial difficulty. With the debt with the Virginia Beach bank apparently grown to $32 million, the bank decided to throw in the towel and sell it. The bank is set to foreclose on the property this week.
What effect this will have on the Showdown Classic, the senior PGA event that has been held at Jeremy Ranch the past seven years, remains to be seen.
Jay C. Woolley, the Showdown Co-Chairman and member of the Board of Trustees that runs the tournament, feels confident that the tournament will come off despite the finanacial problems of the Jeremy Ranch property.
"We were told a month ago that they (Virginia Beach Federal) planned to sell it to a developer and make a go of it. And whoever it is sold to, a condition of the sale would be the tournament being played there."
Woolley said the tournament has a three-year contract with the PGA Tour. However one member of the Showdown Board of Governors, who preferred to remain anonymous, expressed serious doubts about the future of the Showdown.
"I'm pretty pessimistic about the future of the tournament," he said. "I understand they are already past the due date for the letter of credit (money to the PGA, guaranteeing the purse)."
Scroggie believes the course will be reopened next spring, but there is real concern among the members that if the course isn't "winterized" this fall, it may not be ready for play next year.