FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.,- The grass on the greens is getting high, the only golf course on Fort Myers Beach is closed. Now, people living on the island want to know if it will ever reopen. WINK News spoke to the owner of the course who says it all comes down to a lack of money, and a lack of members.
"It all boils down to support, the ball is in the communities hands."
The Fort Myers Beach Golf Club has seen better days, a lack of memberships has forced the owner to shut down the course.
"If they want to keep the golf course, as we do, all they have to do is join it and support it," said President Chip Durpo.
On August 1st, this letter went out to the residents living on Bay Beach Lane. It explains "money" is needed to keep the course up and running. President Chip Durpo says prior to the letter he only had 30 members.
"It's very disappointing to find out they are not supporting the golf course," said Durpo.
Since this letter went out, four people have signed up, others have chosen to make it clear they do not support the course.
"They compared the golf course to having an amenity as having a gas grill," Durpo told WINK News.
Realtor Craigy Tupy says he uses the course as an attraction to market the beach area.
"If you lose it, you lose one of those selling features that we offer to residents coming into this area," said Tupy.
One beach visitor came to see about a membership, and to her surprise, there was no one there.
"We were shocked my husband and I, it looks overgrown and I said right away, it's closed," said Sherrie Cermak.
"It's a ghost town over there on the golf course," said Tupy.
But, Durpo says he hopes enough people will sign up and he'd be able to reopen the course in October.
"It really would be nice if they could open it back up," said Cermak.
If not, the future of golf on the island is unknown, and nothing has been ruled out as far as what could be on the property next.
"We will make a decision to do what we need to with the property."
The owner tells WINK News only half of the members are actually residents on Bay Beach Lane. He also says if the course does not reopen, the people who sign up will get their money back.